Count the Big East coaches among those expecting lots out of the Otto Porter-less Georgetown Hoyas this season. Senior guard Markel Starks is one reason why.
The Hoyas finished second in the Big East preseason coaches poll, the conference announced during its media day in New York on Wednesday. Georgetown received two first place votes and 70 points in the poll, coming in just behind first place Marquette (74 points, five 1st place votes).
Both teams were considered the primary favorites in the league thanks to the returning talent and headliner coaches in Georgetown's John Thompson III and Marquette's Buzz Williams. Creighton, led by Big East preseason Player of the Year Doug McDermott, came in third with one first place vote followed Villanova and St. John's, which received the final two first-place votes.
Starks, Georgetown's leading returning scorer, was selected to the All-Big East first team. Last season the Hoyas' point guard was selected to the conference's third-team after averaging 12.8 points and shooting 41.7 percent on 3-point attempts for the Big East co-regular season champions.
Joining Starks on the first team, Marquette's Davante Gardner, Providence's Bryce Cotton, St. John's guard D'Angelo Harrison and Xavier's Semaj Christon. St. John's Rysheed Jordan was selected Preseason Rookie of the Year.
No other Hoyas received preseason honors, which is not surprising, but also shows some of the front line uncertainty with the team entering the season minus Porter, last season's All-Big East Player of the Year, and injured forward Greg Whittington. Rising sophomore guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera likely was on a few short lists thanks to his scoring prowess. Ex-UCLA transfer Josh Smith might have a splash as a second-team pick if anybody knew whether the big man will play for the Hoyas before the second semester.
On the women's side, Georgetown was picked sixth in the preseason poll, freshman Shayla Cooper was selected Big East preseason Rookie of the Year and senior forward Andrea White made the All-conference team.
2013-14 Big East Preseason Coaches' Poll
Marquette (5) 74
Georgetown (2) 70
Creighton (1) 61
St. John’s (2) 56
Seton Hall 20
PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR:
Doug McDermott, Creighton
PRESEASON ROOKIE OF THE YEAR:
Rysheed Jordan, St. John's
PRESEASON All-BIG EAST FIRST TEAM:
Markel Starks, Georgetown, G, Sr., 6-1, 175, Accokeek, Md.
Davante Gardner, Marquette, F, Sr., 6-8, 290, Suffolk, Va.
Bryce Cotton, Providence, G, Sr., 6-1, 165, Tucson, Ariz.
D'Angelo Harrison, St. John's, G, Jr., 6-4, 204, Missouri City, Texas
Semaj Christon, Xavier, G, So., 6-3, 190, Cincinnati, Ohio
*PRESEASON All-BIG EAST SECOND TEAM:
Cleveland Melvin, DePaul, F, Sr., 6-8, 208, Baltimore, Md.
Jamil Wilson, Marquette, F, Sr., 6-7, 230, Racine, Wis.
JaKarr Sampson, St. John's, F, So., 6-9, 214, Akron, Ohio
Fuquan Edwin, Seton Hall, G/F, Sr., 6-6, 215, Paterson, N.J.
Ryan Arcidiacono, Villanova, G, So., 6-3, 195, Langhorne, Pa.
JayVaughn Pinkston, Villanova, F, Jr., 6-7, 240, Brooklyn, N.Y.
*a tie in the balloting created an extra position
PRESEASON All-BIG EAST HONORABLE MENTION:
Kadeem Batts, Providence, F, 6-10, 245, Boston, Mass.
Chris Obekpa, St. John's, C, So., 6-9, 240, Makurdi, Nigeria