NEW YORK – Pitt senior guard Ashton Gibbs has been named the 2011-12 Big East Preseason Player of the Year and Pitt was picked fourth in the preseason poll in voting by the league’s head coaches.
Pitt received one first-place vote and 188 points, as part of Big East media day today in Manhattan. West Virginia was picked seventh.
Defending national champion Connecticut (seven first-place votes) and Syracuse (five first-place votes) tied for first place in the preseason coaches vote with 209 points. Louisville, picked third, garnered 201 points and the remaining three first-place votes.
Gibbs and West Virginia forward Kevin Jones were named to the all-Big East first-team pre-season team.
Gibbs is the fifth Pitt player to be named Big East preseason Player of the Year, joining Charles Smith (1986-87), Jerome Lane (1987-88), Brandin Knight (2002-03) and Aaron Gray (2006-07).
Connecticut freshman center Andre Drummond was picked as the Big East Preseason Rookie of the Year.
Big East 2011-12 Preseason Coaches’ poll
1. Connecticut (7) 209
Syracuse (5) 209
3. Louisville (3) 201
4. Pitt (1) 188
5. Cincinnati 169
6. Marquette 155
7. West Virginia 132
8. Villanova 127
9. Notre Dame 114
10. Georgetown 104
11. Rutgers 75
12. St. John’s 71
13. Seton Hall 56
14. USF 43
15. Providence 40
16. DePaul 27
First-place votes in parantheses
2011-12 Pre-season all-Big East
Ashton Gibbs, 6-2, Sr., G, Pittsburgh
Jeremy Lamb, 6-5, So., G/F, Connecticut
Darius Johnson-Odom, 6-2, Sr., G, Marquette
Tim Abromaitis, 6-8, Sr., F, Notre Dame
Kris Joseph, 6-7, Sr., F, Syracuse
Kevin Jones, 6-8, Sr., F, West Virginia
Yancy Gates, 6-9, Sr., F, Cincinnati
Alex Oriahki, 6-9, Jr., C/F, Connecticut
Peyton Siva, 5-11, Jr., G, Louisville
Scoop Jardine, 6-2, Sr., G, Syracuse
Maalik Wayns, 6-2, Jr., G, Villanova
Andre Drummond, 6-11, Fr., C, Connecticut
Shabazz Napier, 6-0, So., G, Connecticut
Cleveland Melvin, 6-8, So., F, DePaul
Jae Crowder, 6-6, Sr., F, Marquette
Augustus Gilchrist, 6-10, Sr., F/C, USF
Preseason Player of the Year – Ashton Gibbs, Pittsburgh
Preseason Rookie of the Year – Andre Drummond, Connecticut