Fresh off a conference championship a year ago, Marquette University has been picked to win the 2013-14 Big East regular-season title. The Golden Eagles received five of the 10 first-place votes in the league’s preseason coaches’ poll which was released Wednesday at Big East media day in New York City.
Marquette returns nine players and two starters from last year’s team that went 14-4 in league play, sharing the Big East regular-season championship with Louisville and Georgetown.
The Golden Eagles received 74 points in the preseason poll, edging out second-place Georgetown. Creighton, Villanova and St. John’s are picked third through fifth, while Providence, Xavier, Seton Hall, Butler and DePaul round out the poll.
Senior forward Davante Gardner was named preseason All-Big East first team, while senior forward Jamil Wilson is on the preseason All-Big East second team. Gardner earned second-team All-Big East honors and was the league’s Sixth Man of the Year last season after averaging 11.5 points and 4.8 rebounds per game as a junior. Wilson averaged 9.7 points and 4.9 rebounds per game a year ago but is expected to play a bigger role this season for the Golden Eagles.
Creighton forward Doug McDermott, a two-time consensus All-American, was unanimously chosen as the Big East preseason player of the year. St. John’s forward Rysheed Jordan was named Big East preseason rookie of the year.
Joining Gardner on the league’s preseason first team are Georgetown guard Markel Starks, Providence guard Bryce Cotton, St. John’s guard D’Angelo Harrison and Xavier guard Semaj Christon.
The second team includes Wilson, DePaul forward Cleveland Melvin, St. John’s forward JaKarr Sampson, Seton Hall guard/forward Fuquan Edwin, Villanova guard Ryan Arcidiacono and Villanova forward JayVaughn Pinkston.