"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

BIG EAST Media Day preview

The BIG EAST hosts its annual basketball media day today in Manhattan and a league-wide poll of beat writers shows no love for Marquette. In a poll conducted by the Syracuse Post-Standard, the writers pick MU to finish 12th in the conference this year --- and according to the same bunch Lazar Hayward is not one of the 15 best players in the league.

It is difficult to argue with MU being slotted into the bottom tier of the league, but to ignore Hayward's talent and productivity (he is the league's most efficient returning offensive player and grabs eight boards a night to boot) is a shocking oversight. We were annoyed when Jeff Goodman from Fox Sports left Hayward off his FIRST team, leading to a spirited message board debate arguing that Lazar is at least as good as Greg Monroe. Not only that, but we've wondered if Lazar could have a better senior season than Novak.

Walker, Mike Rosario and Stanley Robinson over Lazar Hayward? While there is a natural attention-deficit penalty paid by elite players on bad teams, the lack of recognition for Hayward s wholly unnatural. Realize that USF's Dominique Jones and Rutgers' overrated gunner Mike Rosario are on squads picked to finish below the Golden Eagles this year. Some players, like Stanley Robinson, are on the list purely because of the team they play for rather than an appreciation for that player's history of inconsistency. How else can one account for Robinson making the pre-season list after scoring in double digits just five times as a junior, even as the Huskies lost one of their leading scorers late in the season. Meanwhile a player like Devin Ebanks makes the first-team purely on his reputation from high school despite seasonal averages that fall well short of anybody else on the writers' first-team squad.

These BIG EAST beat writers need to wake up.

Below are the results of the poll.

1. Villanova 24 (11)
2. West Virginia 31 (6 )
3. Connecticut 58
4. Georgetown 75
5. Louisville 87
6. Syracuse 110
7. Notre Dame 128
8. Cincinnati 137
9. Pittsburgh 140
10. Seton Hall 159
11. St. John’s 191
12. Marquette 195
13. Rutgers 232
14. South Florida 240
15. Providence 242
16. DePaul 268

All-Big East First Team
Luke Harangody, Notre Dame (unanimous)
Greg Monroe, Georgetown
Scottie Reynolds, Villanova
Da’Sean Butler, West Virginia
Devin Ebanks, West Virginia

All-Big East Second Team
Dominique Jones, South Florida
Jeremy Hazell, Seton Hall
Kemba Walker, Connecticut
Jerome Dyson, Connecticut
Deonta Vaughn, Cincinnati

All-Big East Third Team
Corey Fisher, Villanova
Corey Stokes, Villanova
Mike Rosario, Rutgers
Stanley Robinson, Connecticut
Samardo Samuels, Louisville

Player of the Year
Luke Harangody, Notre Dame

If you're interested in BIG EAST Media Day details on content that will be made available this week can be found here. Buzz Williams will be joined by seniors Lazar Hayward, David Cubillan and Maurice Acker at today's event.

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