The Creighton men’s basketball team has been picked to finish ninth in a preseason poll of BIG EAST coaches.
Defending league champion Villanova was a unanimous favorite with 81 points, as coaches are not able to vote for their own team in the poll. Georgetown (67) picked up the other first place vote and was tabbed second, just two points ahead of St. John’s (65). Rounding out the top half of the poll were Xavier (52) and defending Tournament champion Providence (49).
The bottom half of the poll features Seton Hall (43) in sixth, Butler and Marquette (28) in a tie for seventh, Creighton (25) ninth and DePaul (12) in 10th.
Creighton’s ninth place prognostication is the program’s lowest mark since being tabbed 10th of 11 Missouri Valley Conference teams in 1995-96. That Creighton team exceed expectations, tying for fifth place in The Valley.
It also snaps the program’s streak of 14 straight years being picked fourth or higher in the preseason poll of its conference, a remarkable testament to CU’s consistency and ability to live up to lofty expectations that is evidenced by the team’s streak of 17 straight top-four finishes in the year-end standings.
Georgetown guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera was selected as the 2014-15 BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year. He was joined on the preseason first team by Butler’s Kellen Dunham, St. John’s D’Angelo Harrison, Villanova’s JayVaughn Pinkston and Xavier’s Matt Stainbrook.
Seton Hall’s Isaiah Whitehead earned the nod as the Preseason Rookie of the Year.
Creighton did not have any representatives on the preseason all-conference team for the first time since 2007-08. It’s just the sixth time in the last 20 years CU did not have a first team all-conference honoree in the presason, and will mark the first time in Greg McDermott’s five seasons at Creighton that his team did not have the Preseason Player of the Year. Four of the five previous Bluejay teams in the last 20 years without a preseason all-league honoree would reach either the NCAA or NIT.
Creighton will open the exhibition season on Nov. 7 vs. Sioux Falls before starting the regular season one week later against Central Arkansas.
Story courtesy: GoCreighton.com