Big East Media Day Foreshadows An Intense Conference Slate

A Media Day recap and understanding of what the conference has to offer this season.

Torch Photo / Sara Kiernan

The Big East conference hosted its annual media day for the upcoming Men’s and Women’s Basketball season on Oct. 18 at Madison Square Garden. 

The overall preseason rankings from the Big East were released the morning of the event, placing Creighton as the surprising number one ranking for Men’s Basketball. Unsurprisingly, the University of Connecticut was ranked at the top of the Women’s Basketball poll. St. John’s was ranked sixth overall for Men’s Basketball and seventh for Women’s Basketball. The entire list is as follows:

Big East Men’s Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll

  1. Creighton (8)    98
  2. Xavier (2)             86
  3. Villanova (1)       85
  4. Connecticut     77
  5. Providence             62
  6. St. John’s             52
  7. Seton Hall         44
  8. Butler             36
  9. Marquette             32
  10. Georgetown             21
  11. DePaul             12

Big East Women’s Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll

  1.   Connecticut (10)         100
  2.   Creighton                     89
  3.   Villanova (1)                 83
  4.   DePaul                          68
  5.     Seton Hall                     68
  6.   Marquette                    56
  7.   St. John’s                      47
  8.   Providence                   34
  9.   Butler                            21
  10.     Georgetown                 21
  11. Xavier                            18

St. John’s guard Posh Alexander made his first career appearance in the Preseason All-Big East First Team. In his third-year with the Johnnies, he looks to make his mark following the departure of longtime conference standout Julian Champagnie. 

“I’m excited that they picked me to be All-Big East First Team,” Alexander said. “But my main focus is to go practice every day with my teammates, get better every day and just focus on us and the upcoming season.” 

The full All-Big East First team is as follows:

Preseason All-Big East First Team

Ryan Kalkbrenner, Creighton, C, Jr., 7-1, 260, St. Louis, Mo.  

Jared Bynum, Providence, G, Gr., 5-10, 180, Largo, Md.

Posh Alexander, St. John’s, G, Jr., 6-0, 200, Brooklyn, N.Y. 

Colby Jones, Xavier, G, Jr., 6-6, 207, Birmingham, Ala. 

Jack Nunge, Xavier, F, Gr., 7-0, 245, Newburgh, Ind. 

Through interviewing Big East players and coaches, the excitement of the season was bursting in Madison Square Garden. “I think the league is going to be wide open,” said St. John’s head coach Mike Anderson. “There’s some really good teams, a lot of good players coming back and really good coaches.”

Providence head coach Ed Cooley described the league’s intensity ahead of the season, seven months after winning the Big East Tournament last season. “Pressure to me is a privilege from where I come from,” Cooley said. “I don’t feel one ounce of pressure at all. Pressure to me is turning on the lights.” 

DePaul head coach Tony Stubblefield was asked his thoughts on former player David Jones joining the Red Storm roster and did not provide comment. “I’m not here to talk about David Jones,” Stubblefield told reporters. “I’m here to talk about the guys I brought today.”

Seton Hall head coach Shaheen Holloway, who came fresh off a historic run in the NCAA Tournament with St. Peter’s University, spoke on his approach for the upcoming season at his alma mater. “The goal is to keep building,” Holloway said. “I think I’m in the best conference with the best coaches in the country so I gotta step my game up.”

On the Women’s Basketball front, University of Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma faced questions after losing in the title game and with star Paige Bueckers out for the season. 

“That usually shows itself,” Auriemma said when asked about who might fill Bueckers’ shoes. “I don’t think anyone can say ‘okay you’re the leader, you be it.’ I always like to give it a chance to evolve organically, noticing [who] takes on that role and then they inherit that in theirs.” 

This season’s Big East conference is shaping up to be a competitive one. Teams like Creighton and Providence are out for revenge following last season’s play. Rising stars St. John’s and Seton Hall are looking to make their mark on the conference through key additions. The teams will reconvene at The Garden once again at the Big East Tournament, where the energy will be much different than it was on media day.