Oct. 24, 2001
Troy Bell, the Boston College guard who was the BIG EAST Co-Player of the Year last season, was named 2001-02 Preseason Player of the Year by a vote of the league’s head coaches. West Virginia’s Jonathan Hargett, a 6-0 freshman guard, was tabbed Preseason Rookie of the Year.
It would be hard to accomplish more than what Bell did last year. He led the Eagles to a 27-5 overall record, an East Division title and the BIG EAST Championship crown. Bell won the Dave Gavitt Trophy as the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. The native of Minneapolis, Minn. averaged 20.4 points for the season en route to second team consensus All-American honors. The sharpshooter hit at a .459 clip from the field, .391 from three-point range and .857 from the foul line.
Bell, a 6-1 junior, was a unanimous pick for the Preseason All-BIG EAST First Team along with Syracuse’s Preston Shumpert. The other first team selections are John Linehan of Providence, Kevin Braswell of Georgetown, Caron Butler of Connecticut and Darius Rice of Miami.
Shumpert, a 6-6 senior, averaged 19.5 points last season while earning All-BIG EAST First Team honors. He made 80 three-point baskets and shared the BIG EAST Most Improved Player award.
Linehan was a unanimous pick as the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year in 2000-01. The 5-9 senior guard was fourth in the nation with a 3.1 steals average. The Friars’ floor general, Linehan also averaged 10.7 points, 3.9 assists and earned All-BIG EAST Second Team accolades.
Braswell helped carry the Hoyas to a Sweet 16 appearance in the NCAA Tournament last year. The 6-2 senior averaged 12.8 points and was fourth in the league in assists with a 6.1 average. He was an All-BIG EAST Second Team selection last season.
Butler, a 6-7 sophomore, made the BIG EAST All-Rookie Team unanimously last year after leading the Huskies with a 15.3 scoring average and a 7.6 rebounding mark. He also was tops on the team in steals with a 2.2 average. Like Butler, Rice made the BIG EAST All-Rookie Team last season. The 6-10 forward led the Hurricanes in scoring with a 14.1 average and pulled down 4.9 rebounds.
Four of the five Preseason All-BIG EAST Second Team selections earned all-conference recognition last season. Senior forwards John Salmons of Miami and Ryan Humphrey of Notre Dame were All-BIG EAST Second Team picks. Sophomore forward Mike Sweetney of Georgetown and senior guard Darius Lane of Seton Hall were accorded All-BIG EAST Honorable Mention. Sweetney also made the All-Rookie Team. Villanova’s Gary Buchanan, a junior guard, set an NCAA record by making 73 straight free throws.
2001-02 Preseason Player of the Year Troy Bell, Boston College
2001-02 Preseason Rookie of the Year Jonathan Hargett, West Virginia
2001-02 Preseason All-BIG EAST First Team *Troy Bell, Boston College, Jr., G, 6-1, 171, Minneapolis, Minn. Caron Butler, Connecticut, So., F, 6-7, 235, Racine, Wisc. Kevin Braswell, Georgetown, Sr., G, 6-2, 190, Baltimore, Md. Darius Rice, Miami, So., F, 6-10, 205, Jackson, Miss. John Linehan, Providence, Sr., G, 5-9, 165, Chester, Pa. Preston Shumpert, Syracuse, Sr., F, 6-6, 198, Fort Walton Beach, Fla. *Preseason Player of the Year
2001-02 Preseason All-BIG EAST Second Team Mike Sweetney, Georgetown, So., F, 6-8, 260, Oxon Hill, Md. John Salmons, Miami, Sr., F, 6-7, 200, Philadelphia, Pa. Ryan Humphrey, Notre Dame, Sr., F, 6-8, 233, Tulsa, Okla. Darius Lane, Seton Hall, Sr., G, 6-4, 208, Brooklyn Center, Minn. Gary Buchanan, Villanova, Jr., G, 6-4, 205, St. Louis, Mo.