NEW YORK – Pittsburgh was chosen to win the BIG EAST regular season crown in the poll of the league's coaches, unveiled at the league's annual media day on Wednesday. The Panthers received 10 first-place votes, which helped them edge Georgetown in total points, 219 to 212, for the top spot in the poll. The Hoyas were picked second and had four first-place votes. Syracuse was picked for third place with 182 points, just one point ahead of Marquette, and Connecticut was picked for fifth with 173 points. Louisville edged Villanova for sixth place, and the coaches predicted that DePaul will finish eighth, followed by the Red Storm. Providence was picked 10th and Notre Dame was selected 11th, followed by West Virginia, Cincinnati, Rutgers, Seton Hall and USF.
Pittsburgh center Aaron Gray was named the 2006-07 BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year, while Syracuse freshman forward Paul Harris was tabbed BIG EAST Preseason Rookie of the Year. Georgetown juniors Jeff Green and center Roy Hibbert were unanimous selections to the 10-man All-BIG EAST Team along with Marquette sophomore guard Dominic James. UConn’s Jeff Adrien, DePaul’s Wilson Chandler and Sammy Mejia, Louisville’s Juan Palacios, Syracuse’s Terrence Roberts and Villanova’s Curtis Sumpter joined the Red Storm’s Hamilton and the others on the preseason all-conference team as well.
2006-07 BIG EAST Preseason Coaches' Poll
1. Pittsburgh (10) 219
2. Georgetown (4) 212
3. Syracuse (1) 182
4. Marquette (1) 181
5. Connecticut 173
6. Louisville 149
7. Villanova 146
8. DePaul 134
9. St. John's 105
10. Providence 102
11. Notre Dame 80
12. West Virginia 72
13. Cincinnati 52
14. Rutgers 49
15. Seton Hall 42
16. USF 22
First-place votes in parentheses
2006-07 BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year
Aaron Gray, Pittsburgh
2006-07 BIG EAST Preseason Rookie of the Year
Paul Harris, Syracuse
2006-07 Preseason All-BIG EAST Team
*Aaron Gray, Pittsburgh (Player of the Year), C, Sr., 7-0, 270, Emmaus, Pa.
Jeff Adrien, Connecticut, F, So., 6-7, 245, Brookline, Mass.
Wilson Chandler, DePaul, F, So., 6-8, 210, Benton Harbor, Mich.
Sammy Mejia, DePaul, G, Sr., 6-6, 195, Bronx, N.Y.
*Jeff Green, Georgetown, F, Jr., 6-9, 235, Hyattsville, Md.
*Roy Hibbert, Georgetown, C, Jr., 7-2, 283, Adelphi, Md.
Juan Palacios, Louisville, F, Jr., 6-8, 245, Medelin, Columbia
*Dominic James, Marquette, G, So., 5-11, 175, Richmond, Ind.
Lamont Hamilton, St. John's, F, Sr., 6-10, 253, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Terrence Roberts, Syracuse, F, Sr., 6-9, 235, Jersey City, N.J.
Curtis Sumpter, Villanova, F, Sr., 6-7, 220, Brooklyn, N.Y.
2006-07 Preseason All-BIG EAST Honorable Mention
David Padgett, Louisville, F/C, Jr., 6-11, 250, Reno, Nev.
Colin Falls, Notre Dame, G, Sr., 6-5, 200, Park Ridge, Ill.
Eric Devendorf, Syracuse, G, So., 6-4, 175, Bay City, Mich.