Recap of 2017 Big East Media Day
New York, NY-- The 36th season at Madison Square Garden for the Big East Tournament began with the annual Media Day hosted on October 18th featuring all 10 basketball schools in the conference.
Starting off with the statement from Big East commissioner Val Ackerman, then a coaches panel which included a few controversial statements made by Providence head coach Ed Cooley and St. John's head coach Chris Mullin, Media Day did not disappoint by any measure.
FOX Sports' Tarik Turner began the coaches panel with a question to the panel regarding incoming freshman. Providence's Ed Cooley took the stand on this one. "I think all freshman are garbage." Villanova's Jay Wright did not agree with that at all. "I'm sorry Ed, but I disagree with you 100%." Chris Mullin, head coach of the St. John's Red Storm put some pressure of sophomores Marcus LoVett and Shamorie Ponds by mentioning that he expects more from them this year.
Led by Jay Wright and his Villanova Wildcats, Jalen Brunson now leads the group, in what used to be a stacked trio of Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins. The latter two have graduated. Josh Hart made his way to becoming a first round draft pick by the Utah Jazz, then later traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. Attending media day for the Wildcats, was Jalen Brunson, who spoke with I-95 Sports Network's Rodney Harris regarding becoming the true leader of "Nova Nation" in his senior year and his thoughts on the season ahead.
"I think we can do a lot of things, begins with leadership, as a captain of course. Leadership in Eric and Dante as well. We control our own fate. We have the tools to do it. We have to want to do it."
I asked Jalen Brunson what he needs to do better with a Hart and Jenkins-less Villanova club, "we need to set the tone defensively, rebounds are key. We have make sure we are locking on defense. I think we focus on that, everything is going to take care of itself.
Head Coach Jay Wright told the media speaking about expectations for his team without his two stars, "Josh Hart was the ultimate shot maker, I just watched a summer league game that he played in for the Lakers, and he sinks in a three with a minute to go to put his team ahead. I was like, oh yeah, were going to miss that for sure. We need to see how were going to fit Jalen (Brunson) and Mikal (Bridges) as the go-to guys now"
Wright continued by saying "The three guys that were sitting next to me, played complimentary roles to Josh (Hart) and Kris (Jenkins) in their tenure, now these are the go to guys now, that will be a challenge that we have on our plate"
The list released during Big East Media Day included the following categories:
Preseason Player of the Year
Jalen Brunson, Villanova, G, Junior
Preseason Freshman of the Year
Omari Spellman, Villanova, F, Freshman
Preseason All-Big East First Team
Kelan Martin, Butler, F, Senior
Marcus Foster, Creighton, G, Senior
Khadeen Carrington, Seton Hall, G, Senior
Angel Delgado, Seton Hall, C, Senior
Trevon Bluiett, Xavier, G, Senior
Preseason All-Big East Second Team
Markus Howard, Marquette, G, Sophomore
Rodney Bullock, Providence, F, Sophomore
Kyron Cartwright, Providence, G, Senior
Marcus LoVett, St. John's, G, Sophomore
Shamorie Ponds, St. John's, G, Sophomore
Mikal Bridges, Villanova, F/G, Junior
Preseason All-Big East Honorable Mention
Khyri Thomas, Creighton, G, Junior
Desi Rodriguez, Seton Hall, G/F, Senior
J.P. Macura, Xavier, G, Senior
The Big East preseason poll is no surprise to many, where Seton Hall was picked second, where Villanova chosen as the expected champion for the third season in a row. Third place downward includes Xavier, Providence, Creighton, St. John's, Marquette, Butler, Georgetown, DePaul.
Big East play begins on December 28th on the networks of FOX. Check bigeast.com for more information regarding times and channel listing.