Ellenson voted to All-Big East second team, as Marquette picked to finish 6th
Marquette was picked by Big East coaches to finish in sixth place, while two Golden Eagles big men were selected to preseason all-conference teams, as announced before Big East Media Day on Wednesday.
Marquette (44 points) was just behind fifth-place Providence (45) in the coaches' poll. Last year, the Golden Eagles finished last in the conference, with a 4-14 Big East record, in head coach Steve Wojociechowski's first season. But a year later, having brought one of the best recruiting classes in program history to campus, Wojociechowski is expected to guide his team to a better record.
Two players that are expected to lead that on-court improvement are freshman forward Henry Ellenson and junior center Luke Fischer. The 6-foot-10 Ellenson, a McDonald's and Parade All-American and the co-winner of the Wisconsin Mr. Basketball award last year as a senior at Rice Lake (Wis.), was selected to the preseason All-Big East Second Team. He is the first freshman to earn first- or second-team honors since the conference's preseason All-Rookie Team was discontinued in 1992-93.
Oddly, despite being the only freshman selected to an All-Big East first or second team, Ellenson was not chosen as the conference's preseason rookie of the year. That honor went to Villanova guard Jalen Brunson, who was an honorable mention pick.
The Golden Eagles did have another player recognized, as the 6-11 Fischer, who averaged 11.0 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.2 blocked shots last season, was voted a preseason All-Big East Honorable Mention player.
Not listed on any of the three teams was sophomore guard Duane Wilson, who made the All-Rookie Team last year after leading all Big East freshmen in scoring at 11.9 points per game.
Villanova was picked to win the conference, receiving all nine possible first-place votes and a total of 81 points. Coaches can't vote for their own teams.
The Wildcats were followed in the preseason standings by Georgetown, Butler, Xavier and Providence. Behind Marquette were Seton Hall, DePaul, Creighton and St. John's.
Providence junior guard Kris Dunn was selected as the preseason Big East Player of the Year.