Oct. 26, 2005
The Notre Dame men’s basketball team has been picked eighth in the preseason BIG EAST Conference coaches poll, as announced Wednesday at BIG EAST media day at Madison Square Garden. Notre Dame senior guard Chris Quinn was one of 14 players to receive preseason all-BIG EAST honors, as one of four honorable mention selections.
Head coach Mike Brey and the team’s three veteran seniors – Quinn and forward Torin Francis and Rick Cornett – were in New York for the media day festivities. Notre Dame’s returning regulars for ’05-’06 also include junior Colin Falls while three other returners – junior swingmen Russell Carter and Omari Isreal and sophomore forward Rob Kurz – also will look to get their share of playing time and will have the opportunity to make significant contributions.
Quinn is set to enter his final season with Irish as one of the nation’s top all-around guards. The third-year starter rotates into the role of starting point guard, where he expected to show his great court savvy and good vision on the floor. An excellent outside shooter, Quinn is expected to combine with Falls to form one of the nation’s top backcourt shooting tandems.
Quinn’s junior season in 2004-05 included averaging 12.6 points and 3.1 assists per game while connecting on 66-of-145 shots from three-point range (.455). He posted double figures in scoring 21 times, was Notre Dame’s leading scorer nine times and logged six games without a turnover during the ’04-’05 season. He enters his final season with the Irish having played in 94 of 95 games, averaging 10.1 points (47 double-figures games) while draining nearly 42 percent of his three-point shots (169-of-406).
Villanova is a narrow choice over Connecticut to win the 2005-06 BIG EAST regular-season crown. The Wildcats earned nine first-place votes while UConn picked up seven.
Louisville, a new member of the BIG EAST, was picked third while the league coaches tabbed Syracuse for fourth place. West Virginia was placed fifth and Georgetown sixth, followed closely by Pittsburgh, Notre Dame and Cincinnati (those three teams were separated by just three voting points).
Syracuse senior guard Gerry McNamara and Connecticut sophomore forward Rudy Gay were named the 2005-06 BIG EAST preseason co-players of the year while Syracuse freshman guard Eric Devendorf was picked preseason rookie of the year.
With the expansion of the BIG EAST to 16 teams, a 10-player preseason All-BIG EAST first team was announced. In addition to McNamara and Gay, Villanova placed three players on the squad: guards Randy Foye and Allan Ray and forward Curtis Sumpter. UConn junior center Josh Boone was a unanimous selection. Also named to the squad were Louisville guard Taquan Dean, Pittsburgh guard Carl Krauser, St. John’s guard Daryll Hill and West Virginia center Kevin Pittsnogle.
Quinn was one of four to receive preseason all-BIG EAST honorable-mention recognition, as were Cincinnati forward Eric Hicks and Georgetown forwards Brandon Bowman and Jeff Green.
2005-06 Preseason Coaches’ Poll: 1. Villanova (9 first-place votes; 215 pts); 2. Connecticut (7; 213; 3. Louisville (192); 4. Syracuse (181); 5. West Virginia (175); 6. Georgetown (152); 7. Pittsburgh (130); 8. Notre Dame (128); 9.Cincinnati (127); 10. St. John’s (79); 11. DePaul (76); 12. Marquette (73); 13. Providence (68); 14. Rutgers (53); 15. Seton Hall (35); 16. USF (23)
2005-06 Preseason Co-Players of the Year: Rudy Gay (Connecticut), Gerry McNamara (Syracuse)
2005-06 Preseason All-BIG EAST Team
* Josh Boone, Connecticut, C, Jr., 6-10, 237, Mt. Airy, Md.
Rudy Gay, Connecticut, F, So., 6-9, 220, Baltimore, Md.
Taquan Dean, Louisville, G, Sr., 6-3, 185, Red Bank, N.J.
Carl Krauser, Pittsburgh, G, Sr., 6-2, 200, Bronx, N.Y.
Daryll Hill, St. John’s, G, Jr., 6-0, 167, Queens, N.Y.
* Gerry McNamara, Syracuse, G, Sr., 6-2, 182, Scranton, Pa.
Randy Foye, Villanova, G, Sr., 6-3, 205, Newark, N.J.
Allan Ray, Villanova, G, Sr., 6-2, 195, Bronx, N.Y.
Curtis Sumpter, Villanova, F, Sr., 6-7, 223, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Kevin Pittsnogle, West Virginia, C, Sr., 6-11, 250, Martinsburg, W.Va.
2005-06 Preseason All-BIG EAST Honorable Mention
Eric Hicks, Cincinnati, F, Sr., 6-6, 240, Greensboro, N.C.
Brandon Bowman, Georgetown, F, Sr., 6-8, 219, Santa Monica, Calif.
Jeff Green, Georgetown, F, So., 6-8, 225, Hyattsville, Md.
Chris Quinn, Notre Dame, G, Jr., 6-2, 185, Dublin, Ohio
* denotes unanimous selection