Oct. 19, 2011
NEW YORK, N.Y. – Notre Dame forward Tim Abromaitis (Unionville, Conn.) has been selected to the preseason All-BIG EAST First Team, while the Fighting Irish were picked to finish ninth in the conference according to a vote by the league’s head coaches.
The preseason all-conference teams and awards along with the projected standings were announced Wednesday at BIG EAST Men’s Basketball Media Day. Head coaches were not permitted to vote for their own teams or players.
Connecticut and Syracuse were picked as the co-favorites to win the 2011-12 BIG EAST men’s basketball regular-season crown in the BIG EAST Preseason Coaches’ Poll. The Huskies, who won the 2011 NCAA national championship, received seven first-place votes and a total of 209 points.
The Orange, who finished last season with a 27-8 record, collected five first-place votes. It is the third tie for first place in the history of the BIG EAST with the last coming in 2007-08.
Notre Dame was picked seventh in last year’s vote, yet ended up finishing second in the BIG EAST with a 14-4 league record. Pittsburgh is the defending BIG EAST regular-season champion.
Pittsburgh senior guard Ashton Gibbs was selected as the 2011-12 BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year. Joining Abromaitis and Gibbs on the preseason all-league first team are Connecticut’s Jeremy Lamb (So., G/F), Marquette’s Darius Johnson-Odom (Sr., G), Syracuse’s Kris Joseph (Sr., F) and West Virginia’s Kevin Jones (Sr., F).
Abromaitis, who is entering his fifth season with the Fighting Irish, was named to the Preseason Top 50 List for the John R. Wooden Award earlier this month. He started all 34 games last season and registered 15.4 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. Abromaitis earned third-team all-BIG EAST honors in addition to taking home the BIG EAST Scholar-Athlete of the Year award for men’s basketball for the second straight year.
He also was named to the Capital One Academic All-America first team for men’s basketball each of the past two seasons. Abromaitis graduated from Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business with a degree in finance in May 2010 and earned his MBA in May 2011 after being enrolled in an intensified one-year MBA program during the 2010-11 school year.
Abromaitis, a Fighting Irish co-captain, netted his 1,000th career point last season and his career total stands at 1,109 (13.7 ppg.) entering the 2011-12 campaign. His 160 made three-pointers ranks 10th in program history, while his 42.2% career three-point shooting percentage currently is sixth in Irish history.
The Connecticut native was an integral part in Notre Dame notching a 27-7 record last season, establishing the most wins in the modern era of Fighting Irish basketball. The Irish peaked at No. 4 in the national polls and garnered the No. 2 seed in the Southwest Region for the 2011 NCAA Tournament. That signified the highest NCAA seed for the Irish since the 1980-81 campaign.
In August, Abromaitis represented the United States at the 2011 World University Games in China. The U.S. squad posted a 7-1 record and placed fifth in the competition. Abromaitis started three of the games and averaged 6.4 points and 4.3 rebounds per contest.
2011-12 Preseason Coaches’ Poll
1. Connecticut (7) 209
Syracuse (5) 209
3. Louisville (3) 201
4. Pittsburgh (1) 188
5. Cincinnati 169
6. Marquette 155
7. West Virginia 132
8. Villanova 127
9. NOTRE DAME 114
10. Georgetown 104
11. Rutgers 75
12. St. John’s 71
13. Seton Hall 56
14. USF 43
15. Providence 40
16. DePaul 27
First-place votes in parentheses
2011-12 BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year
Ashton Gibbs, Pittsburgh
2011-12 BIG EAST Preseason Rookie of the Year
Andre Drummond, Connecticut
2011-12 Preseason All-BIG EAST First Team
Ashton Gibbs, Pittsburgh (Player of the Year), G, Sr., 6-2, 190, Scotch Plains, N.J.
Jeremy Lamb, Connecticut, G/F, So., 6-5, 185, Norcross, Ga.
Darius Johnson-Odom, Marquette, G, Sr., 6-2, 215, Raleigh, N.C.
Tim Abromaitis, Notre Dame, F, Gr., 6-8, 235, Unionville, Conn.
Kris Joseph, Syracuse, F, Sr., 6-7, 210, Montreal, Quebec
Kevin Jones, West Virginia, F, Sr., 6-8, 260, Mount Vernon, N.Y.
2011-12 Preseason All-BIG EAST Second Team
Yancy Gates, Cincinnati, F, Sr., 6-9, 260, Cincinnati, Ohio
Alex Oriakhi Connecticut, F/C, Jr., 6-9, 240, Lowell, Mass.
Peyton Siva, Louisville, G, Jr., 5-11, 180, Seattle, Wash.
Scoop Jardine, Syracuse, G, Sr., 6-2 190, Philadelphia, Pa.
Maalik Wayns, Villanova, G, Jr., 6-2, 200, Philadelphia, Pa.
2011-12 Preseason All-BIG EAST Honorable Mention
Andre Drummond, Connecticut, C, Fr., 6-11, 275, Middletown, Conn.
Shabazz Napier, Connecticut, G, So. 6-0, 170, Roxbury, Mass.
Cleveland Melvin, DePaul, F, So., 6-8, 208, Baltimore, Md.
Jae Crowder, Marquette, F, Sr., 6-6, 235, Villa Rica, Ga.
Augustus Gilchrist, USF, F/C, Sr., 6-10, 245, Clinton, Md.