For the second straight season, Notre Dame's Luke Harangody was named BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year by a vote of the league's head coaches. He is only the second player in the history of the BIG EAST to earn Preseason Player of the Year honors more than once. Georgetown's Patrick Ewing was honored three times (1982-83, 1983-84 and 1984-85).
Irish point guard Tory Jackson was left off the pre-season 1st, 2nd and honorable mention teams.
Harangody, a 6-8 senior forward, was an All-BIG EAST First Team selection last season. He led the BIG EAST in scoring last year in all games with a 23.3 average. Harangody was second in rebounding at 11.8. In league games, the native of Schererville, Ind., was first in both categories, averaging 25.2 points and 12.8 boards. It was the second straight season he was first in points and rebounds in league play. He is the first player in the history of the BIG EAST to lead the league in both categories more than once.
Two seasons ago, Harangody was named BIG EAST Player of the Year. Going into 2009-10, he has the opportunity to become the league's all-time scorer and rebounder in BIG EAST play. He has scored 1,036 points and grabbed 540 rebounds in his first three seasons of conference competition. If he averages 20.6 points and 9.0 rebounds over an 18-game league schedule, he will become the BIG EAST's all-time leader in both categories.
The five-member Preseason All-BIG EAST Team includes last year's BIG EAST Rookie of the Year and four seniors. Georgetown sophomore center Greg Monroe averaged 12.7 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.8 steals en route to rookie honors last season.
Forwards Lazar Hayward of Marquette and Da'Sean Butler of West Virginia have been consistent performers. The 6-6 Hayward averaged 16.3 points and a team-leading 8.6 rebounds last year for the Golden Eagles. The 6-7 Butler was the Mountaineers' top scorer and rebounder, averaging 17.1 points and 5.9 boards.
Villanova's Scottie Reynolds and Cincinnati's Deonta Vaughn are expected to be their respective teams' backcourt anchors. Reynolds averaged 15.2 points and 3.4 assists in a Wildcat season that did not end until the NCAA Final Four. Vaughn has been the key cog in the rise of the Bearcats' program. Vaughn has led UC in scoring in each of his three seasons. Last year, his scoring mark was 15.3 points and he averaged a team-high 4.7 assists.
Six players were named to the Preseason All-BIG EAST Second Team due to a tie in the voting. Connecticut placed two guards, senior Jerome Dyson and sophomore Kemba Walker, on the squad. A pair of junior shooting guards, Jeremy Hazell of Seton Hall and Dominique Jones of USF, were chosen by the coaches along with sophomore forwards Samardo Samuels of Louisville and Devin Ebanks of West Virginia.
Connecticut forward Stanley Robinson and Syracuse center Arinze Onuaku, a pair of seniors, received Preseason All-BIG EAST Honorable Mention recognition.
Stephenson, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., enjoyed a prolific prep career. He was the Class AA New York State Player of the Year as a senior and scored a state record 2,946 career points.
2009-10 BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year
Luke Harangody, Notre Dame
2009-10 BIG EAST Preseason Rookie of the Year
Lance Stephenson, Cincinnati
2009-10 Preseason All-BIG EAST First Team
Luke Harangody, Notre Dame (Player of the Year), F, Sr., 6-8, 255, Schererville, Ind.
Deonta Vaughn, Cincinnati, G, Sr., 6-1, 190, Indianapolis, Ind.
Greg Monroe, Georgetown, C, So., 6-11, 247, New Orleans, La.
Lazar Hayward, Marquette, F, Sr., 6-6, 225, Buffalo, N.Y.
Scottie Reynolds, Villanova, G, Sr., 6-2, 195, Herndon, Va.
Da'Sean Butler, West Virginia, F, Sr., 6-7, 225, Newark, N.J.
2009-10 Preseason All-BIG EAST Second Team
Jerome Dyson, Connecticut, G, Sr., 6-3, 190, Potomac, Md.
Kemba Walker, Connecticut, G, So., 6-1, 172, Bronx, N.Y.
Samardo Samuels, Louisville, F, So., 6-9, 260, Trelawny, Jamaica
Jeremy Hazell, Seton Hall, G, Jr., 6-5, 185, Bronx, N.Y.
Dominique Jones, USF, G, Jr., 6-4, 205, Lake Wales, Fla.
Devin Ebanks, West Virginia, F, So., 6-9, 210, Long Island City, N.Y.
****a tie in the balloting created six positions
2009-10 Preseason All-BIG EAST Honorable Mention
Stanley Robinson, Connecticut, F, Sr., 6-9, 210, Birmingham, Ala.
Arinze Onuaku, Syracuse, C, Sr., 6-9, 275, Lanham, Md