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Pitt hoops favored to win Big East


NEW YORK – Pitt was named the favorite to win the Big East and junior guard Ashton Gibbs was named first-team all-conference at Big East men’s basketball Media Day today at Madison Square Garden.

The Panthers, who return four starters from a 25-9 team, received 12 of a possible 16 first-place votes in the coach’s poll for a total of 222 points. They easily outdistanced Villanova (208 points), which got one first-place vote and is second in the poll. Syracuse, which received two first-place votes, is third, followed by Georgetown and West Virginia.

Kevin Jones of West Virginia also made the first-team all-Big East team, and St. John’s senior D.J. Kennedy, a Schenley High School graduate, earned second-team honors.

Austin Freeman of Georgetown was named the preseason player of the year and Syracuse’s Fab Melo was named the preseason rookie of the year.

St. John’s, which received the remaining first-place vote, finished sixth in the voting. Notre Dame, Louisville, Marquette and Connecticut round out the top 10.


2010-11 Big East preseason coaches poll


1. Pittsburgh (12)          222

2. Villanova (1) 208

3. Syracuse (2) 187

4. Georgetown             173

5. West Virginia            164

6. St. John’s (1)            145

7. Notre Dame             123

8 (tie). Louisville           121

Marquette        121

10. Connecticut            113

11. Seton Hall  104

12. Cincinnati   91

13. USF           54

14. Providence 36

15. Rutgers       32

16. Depaul       26



2010-11 Preseason all-Big East

First team

Austin Freeman, 6-3, Jr., G, Georgetown

Kemba Walker, 6-1, Jr., G, Connecticut

Ashton Gibbs, 6-2, Jr., G, Pittsburgh

Jeremy Hazell, 6-5, Sr., G, Seton Hall

Corey Fisher, 6-1, Sr., G, Villanova

Kevin Jones, 6-8, Jr., F, West Virginia


Second team

Chris Wright, 6-1, Sr., G, Georgetown

Jimmy Butler, 6-7, Sr., F, Marquette

Tim Abromaitis, 6-8, Sr., G, Notre Dame

D.J. Kennedy, 6-5, Sr., G/F, St. John’s

Kris Joseph, 6-7, Jr., F, Syracuse


Honorable mention

Yancy Gates, 6-9, Sr., F, Cincinnati

Darius Johnson-Odom, 6-2, Jr., G, Marquette

Rick Jackson, 6-9, Sr., F, Syracuse


Preseason Player of the Year

Austin Freeman, Georgetown

Preseason Rookie of the Year

Fab Melo, Syracuse



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