NEW YORK (AP) Villanova is the unanimous pick of the Big East coaches in their preseason poll for the second straight year.
The Wildcats lived up to the billing last season, winning their second straight regular-season title with a 16-2 record, and then won the Big East Tournament. They finished 33-3 and were No. 2 in the final AP poll.
Two starters return – seniors Daniel Ochefu and Ryan Arcidiacono, last season’s conference co-player of the year. They will be joined by a recruiting class that includes guard Jalen Brunson, the preseason rookie of the year.
Georgetown is second in the preseason poll, followed by Butler, Xavier, Providence, Marquette, Seton Hall, DePaul, Creighton and St. John’s.
Providence junior guard Kris Dunn is the preseason player of the year. He was the first guard in Big East history to earn player and defensive player of the year awards in the same season. He was a co-winner of both.
The preseason first team is Butler’s Kellen Dunham and Roosevelt Jones, Georgetown’s D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Xavier’s Jalen Reynolds and Arcidiacono.