First Associated Press Poll Released for 2018-19 Season
Long Island, NY- The first preseason Associated Press poll for the 2018-19 college basketball season has been released, and features Villanova as the lone Big East school to be ranked within the top 25. But as we scroll down on the poll list, you may see some very familiar schools within the conference that have not been in the A.P. poll in quite some time.
BOLD- Big East Conference Teams (Villanova, Marquette, Butler, St. John’s, Providence, Xavier)
Receiving Votes: Loyola of Chicago 162, Marquette 124, Indiana 98, Florida 71, Nebraska 35, Maryland 28, Wisconsin 24, Notre Dame 22, Cincinnati 21, UCF 15, Alabama 15, Arizona 14, Buffalo 14, Louisville 11, Miami 10, San Diego St. 9, Texas Tech 6, Southern Cal 6, Butler 6, Texas 5, St. John's 3, Arizona St 3, Providence 2, Xavier 2, Davidson 1, Missouri 1, Marshall 1, NC State 1.
Villanova Notes- The Wildcats are ranked in the A.P. poll once again, and have not been excluded from the list since the December 2013 ranking list, where they were bounced after a rough series during the Battle 4 Atlantis games in the Bahamas.
Marquette Notes- The Golden Eagles are ranked for the first time since the end of the 2013 season, when they finished #15 overall in the national polling.
Butler Notes- The Bulldogs have received votes once again in the A.P. poll, this time by getting six to begin this season. Roughly two seasons ago was the last time that the Bulldogs landed a spot in the A.P. voting that secured them #21 to finish off a strong season for then-head coach Chris Holtmann and his Butler squad.
St. John’s Notes- The Red Storm received a total of three votes on this seasons preseason ballot for the first time in the Chris Mullin era. The last votes occurred during the Steve Lavin era in 2013-14 when the Johnnies received three votes as well. Additionally, the Red Storm were also garnered their 28th NCAA tournament appearance that same year as well. This season, a few notable votes included CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein, who selected the Johnnies at #25, and Omaha World-Herald’s Jon Nyatawa, who ranked the Red Storm at #24 to open up the 2018-19 season.
Providence Notes- The Friars have lost Kyron Cartwright and Rodney Bullock, two of their dominant playmakers and scorers in team history. They return Alpha Diallo and Nate Watson, who both averaged 13.2 points-per-game, and 6.8 PPG and 26 blocks respectively. Preseason Big East Co-Freshman of the Year, David Duke, makes his long-awaited debut for the Friars. As the previous generation rides into the sunsets post-college careers, the next wave of Friars heads north, as the votes come with them, as they received a pair of votes for the first time since February 26th, 2016, when they also received votes in the Associated Press poll.
Xavier Notes- The Muskateers come into the season losing their all-time leading scorer in Trevon Blueitt, along with J.P. Macura, but most notably, their head coach in Chris Mack, as he moves onto Louisville among the mess that has gone in for the Cardinals. Mack’s former assistant Travis Steele now takes over at the helm in Cincinnati, and yet seem to stay relevant within some voters. Another pair of anonymous voters were out there, as Naji Marshall and Quentin Goodin look to lead Xavier past the critics that have some players not happy as heard during Big East Media Day in New York City.