Oct. 25, 2000

Troy Murphy, the Notre Dame forward who was the 1999-2000 BIG EAST Player of the Year, has been named the 2000-01 Preseason Player of the Year by a vote of the league’s head coaches. Last season, Murphy became the first player in BIG EAST history to lead the league in scoring and rebounding in the same year and the first player to be named BIG EAST rookie and player of the year in consecutive seasons. In conference games only, he averaged 21.7 points and 10.5 rebounds. Overall, the 6-11 native of Morristown, N.J. was also first in scoring (22.7 ppg) and rebounding (10.3). Murphy helped the Irish to a 22-15 record and the championship game of the National Invitation Tournament.

Murphy is on the Preseason All-BIG EAST First Team for the second consecutive season. He is joined on this year’s first team by Troy Bell of Boston College, Pittsburgh’s Ricardo Greer, Kevin Braswell of Georgetown and Darius Lane of Seton Hall.

Greer shared the 1999-00 BIG EAST Most Improved Player award with Seton Hall guard Shaheen Holloway. A 6-5 forward, Greer averaged 18.1 points and 9.8 rebounds for the Panthers. He was third in overall scoring and second to Murphy in rebounding. Greer was the first Pittsburgh player to finish in the top 10 in scoring and rebounding since Brian Shorter in 1989-90.

Bell was the 1999-00 BIG EAST Rookie of the Year. He set a league freshmen scoring record, averaging 20.1 points in conference games. The 6-1 native of Minneapolis, Minn. set a Boston College freshmen scoring record with 508 points despite missing the last three games of the season with a knee injury.

Braswell averaged 14.8 points and 5.3 assists last season for the Hoyas. The 6-2 junior from Baltimore, Md. directed Georgetown to a 19-15 mark, the semifinals of the AT&T BIG EAST Championship and into the second round of the NIT. Teammates Ruben Boumtje Boumtje and Lee Suggs were named to the preseason second team, the first time since 1994-95 (Connecticut) that three players from the same team were cited in the preseason.

Lane was the leading scorer on last season’s Pirate squad that finished 22-10 and advanced to the East Region semifinals of the NCAA Tournament. A native of Fridley, Minn., he averaged 15.3 points and led all league players with 91 three-point baskets.

Griffin was chosen as Parade Magazine’s National Player of the Year following last season. He averaged 26 points, 12 rebounds and 6.1 blocked shots as a senior. The native of Philadelphia, Pa. was also a member of the McDonald’s and USA Today All-America teams. He is the third Seton Hall player (Luther Wright, 1991-92, Terry Dehere, 1989-90) to earn preseason rookie recognition.


2000-01 Preseason Player of the Year
Troy Murphy, Notre Dame, Jr., F, 6-11, 245, Morristown, N.J.

2000-01 Preseason Rookie of the Year
Eddie Griffin, Seton Hall, F, 6-9, 205, Philadelphia, Pa.

2000-01 Preseason All-BIG EAST First Team
Troy Bell, Boston College, So., G, 6-1, 169, Minneapolis, Minn.
Kevin Braswell, Georgetown, Jr., G, 6-2, 190, Baltimore, Md.
Troy Murphy, Notre Dame, Jr., F, 6-11, 245, Morristown, N.J.
Ricardo Greer, Pittsburgh, Jr., F, 6-5, 220, New York, N.Y.
Darius Lane, Seton Hall, Jr., G, 6-4, 223, Fridley, Minn.

2000-01 Preseason All-BIG EAST Second Team
Albert Mouring, Connecticut, Sr., G, 6-3, 180, Preston, Md.
Ruben Boumtje Boumtje, Georgetown, Sr., F-C, 6-11, 245, Yaounde, Cameroon
Lee Scruggs, Georgetown, Sr., C, 6-11, 215, Franklin, N.C.
Samuel Dalembert, Seton Hall, So., C, 6-11, 232, Port-Au-Prince, Haiti
Michael Bradley, Villanova, Jr., C, 6-10, 245, Worcester, Mass.

Connecticut and Seton Hall are the selections to win their respective divisions in 2000-01, according to a vote of the BIG EAST head coaches. Coaches could not place their own teams on their preseason ballots.

With the addition of Virginia Tech, the 14-team league has been split into two divisions. BIG EAST squads will play a 16-game conference schedule. Each season, teams will meet each divisional opponent on a home-and-home basis and will play four games against teams from the other division.

The Huskies were a solid choice to win the East Division. They received 12 first-place votes. St. John’s edged Villanova for second place, though it was the Wildcats who received the other two first-place nods. Miami was fourth, followed by Boston College, Providence and Virginia Tech.

The balloting in the West Division was much closer among the top four teams. Seton Hall won the overall voting tally, though Georgetown had a 5-4 advantage in first-place votes. Notre Dame had three first-place votes and placed third. Syracuse was at the top of two ballots and finished fourth. Pittsburgh was fifth, followed by West Virginia and Rutgers.

2000-01 BIG EAST Preseason Coaches’ Poll

East Division Points
1. Connecticut (12) 90
2. St. John’s 72
3. Villanova (2) 69
4. Miami 58
5. Boston College 37
6. Providence 35
7. Virginia Tech 24
West Division Points
1. Seton Hall (4) 80
2. Georgetown (5) 77
3. NOTRE DAME (3) 68
4. Syracuse (2) 63
5. Pittsburgh 45
6. West Virginia 27
7. Rutgers 25

(First-place votes in parentheses)