Big East media day rundown (video)
Another Big East basketball media day is over here in New York.
UConn coach Kevin Ollie brought along junior Shabazz Napier, junior Tyler Olander and sophomore Ryan Boatright.
Some news, notes and quotes from the annual gathering held at the New York Athletic Club.
-- As expected, UConn was picked to finish in the lower half of the conference. The Huskies checked in at ninth in the preseason coaches' poll.
The Huskies took the news in stride.
"It's nothing big," junior Shabazz Napier said. "When I was a freshmen, we were picked 10th."
UConn won the national championship that season.
-- Ollie attended his first Big East media day as a head coach. He's the only new coach in the conference this season.
"It's special being here as a head coach...," Ollie said. "It's another fraternity that I belong to and everybody has been giving me well-wishes. I know at the end of the day they want to beat me."
One of Ollie's biggest challenges this season may be keeping his voice. He sounded a bit hoarse while talking with the media horde. He's starting to use the whistle more in practice instead of shouting, but it's not his favorite thing to do.
"I hate using the whistle," Ollie said.
-- It was the last Big East media day for two coaches –Pittsburgh's Jamie Dixon and Syracuse's Jim Boeheim. Both schools are leaving for the Atlantic Coast Conference next season.
Boeheim, who's never been the warm and fuzzy type, isn't making playing the last season in the Big East a big deal with his team.
"We thought we'd be gone last year," Boeheim said. "We didn't talk about it at all. … And we got a good result. We're going to do the same thing this year."
-- Louisville was the unanimous choice to win the championship, receiving 14 first place votes. The Cardinals return three starters, including preseason player of the year Peyton Siva, from a Big East championship and Final Four team.
Syracuse was second and Notre Dame, which had the only other first place vote, was third.Cincinnati and Georgetown rounded out the top five.
Other teams in order from six to 15:Pittsburgh, Marquette, South Florida, UConn, St. John's, Rutgers, Villanova, DePaul, Seton Hall and Providence.
-- PC coach Ed Cooley didn't expect his team to land at the bottom of the poll.
"Very shocked where we were picked," Cooley said.
The Friars will be without Kris Dunn, a highly-touted freshman from New London. Dunn remains sideline recovering from shoulder surgery. Cooley hopes Dunn will return by mid to late December.
"We won't rush him back until he's ready to go 100 percent because I don't want to jeopardize his future," Cooley said.
-- Napier was the only Husky to earn a preseason honor, making the All-Big East second team. He had no interest in celebrating the honor.
"That doesn't mean anything to me," Napier said. "I don't care about individual recognition."
Joining Napier on the second team: DePaul junior Cleveland Melvin,St. John's sophomore D'Angelo Harrison, South Florida sophomore Anthony Collins andSyracuse senior Brandon Triche.
The following players made All-Big East first team:Cincinnati junior Sean Kilpatrick,Georgetown sophomore Otto Porter,Louisville junior Gorgui Dieng, Notre Dame senior Jack Cooley and Providence senior Vincent Council.
Honorable mentions: Louisville sophomore Chane Behanan, Notre Dame junior Jerian Grant, Pittsburgh senior Tray Woodall and Syracuse junior C.J. Fair.
Pittsburgh's Steven Adams was named the preseason rookie-of-the-year.
-- Louisville coach Rick Pitino says he'll terribly miss coaching against coach Jim Calhoun who retired last month.
"I loved to coach against Jim Calhoun," Pitino said. "He's such a character."
Their relationship started out rocky.
When Pitino coached at Boston University and Calhoun at Northeastern, they used to take the same jogging route along the Charles River in Boston. They would ignore each other when they crossed paths.
They get along well now.
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