Oct. 27, 2004
NEW YORK — Ryan Gomes, the Providence frontcourt ace who is a returning consensus All-American, has been tabbed the 2004-05 BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year by a vote of the league’s head coaches. Connecticut freshman forward Rudy Gay was named Preseason Rookie of the Year.
A 6-7 senior, Gomes was fourth in the BIG EAST last season in scoring with an 18.9 average. He placed second in rebounding at 9.4. The native of Waterbury, Conn. shot 50.7 percent from the floor and 87 percent from foul line. His free throw percentage was second best in the league. Gomes is the first Providence player to be named Preseason Player of the Year in the history of the league.
Gomes was a unanimous pick on the Preseason All-BIG EAST First Team. Last season, he was the first Associated Press First Team All-American at Providence since Marvin Barnes in 1974.
Syracuse forward Hakim Warrick was also chosen unanimously to the All-BIG EAST First Team. The 6-8 senior earned first-team honors at the end of last season. He finished second in the conference in scoring with a 19.8 average and fourth in rebounding with an 8.6 mark.
Warrick is joined on the first team by teammate Gerry McNamara, a junior guard. McNamara averaged 17.2 points and was first in the BIG EAST with an 87.2 shooting percentage from the foul line. He also averaged 3.8 assists.
Boston College’s junior forward Craig Smith also earned preseason All-BIG EAST First Team honors. The only sophomore on last year’s All-BIG EAST First Team squad, the 6-7 Smith averaged 16.9 points and 8.3 baords. He shot 55.3 percent from the floor, which was third best in the league.
Chris Thomas, Notre Dame’s versatile point guard, earned his spot on the first team after averaging 19.7 points and 4.7 assists last season. Both marks were third best in the BIG EAST. His 18.4 scoring mark is best among the league’s active players. He is also first in 3- point baskets (119), assists (311) and steals (84).
Two Pittsburgh players were selected. Junior guard Carl Krauser averaged 15.4 points and 4.5 assists in his first season as a starter. Some of Krauser’s assists resulted in baskets by Chris Taft. A 6-10 sophomore, Taft was named BIG EAST Rookie of the Year last season after averaging 10.9 points and 7.5 rebounds.
Ties in the balloting produced one additional first team member. The league customarily announces a Preseason Player of the Year and five more All-BIG EAST First Team players.
Gay is a 6-9 freshman from Baltimore, Md. He earned preseason rookie honors despite the fact that the Huskies appear to have considerable depth at the forward position. Gay played high school basketball at Archbishop Spaulding. He is the second straight Husky player to be named Preseason Rookie of the Year. Forward Charlie Villanueva took those honors last season.
2004-05 Preseason Player of the Year: Ryan Gomes, Providence
2004-05 Preseason Rookie of the Year: Rudy Gay, Connecticut
Preseason All-BIG EAST First Team: Craig Smith, Boston College, F, Jr., 6-7, 255, Los Angeles, Calif., Chris Thomas, Notre Dame, G, Sr., 6-1, 185, Indianapolis, Ind., Carl Krauser, Pittsburgh, G, Jr., 6-2, 200, Bronx, N.Y., Chris Taft, Pittsburgh, C, So., 6-10, 230, Brooklyn, N.Y., *Ryan Gomes, Providence, F, Sr., 6-7, 240, Waterbury, Conn., Gerry McNamara, Syracuse, G, Jr., 6-2, 179, Scranton, Pa., *Hakim Warrick, Syracuse, F, Sr., 6-8, 209, Philadelphia, Pa.
Preseason All-BIG EAST Second Team: Rashad Anderson, Connecticut, F/G, Jr., 6-5, 210, Lakeland, Fla., Josh Boone, Connecticut, F/C, So., 6-10, 230, Mt. Airy, Md., Ricky Shields, Rutgers, G, Sr.,6-4, 190, Upper Marlboro, Md., Kelly Whitney, Seton Hall, C/F, Jr., 6-8, 240, Chicago, Ill., Allan Ray, Villanova, G, Jr., 6-2, 205, Bronx, N.Y., Curtis Sumpter, Villanova, F, Jr., 6-7, 220, Brooklyn, N.Y.
*denotes unanimous selection
Ties in the balloting created additional positions.