NEW YORK, N.Y. – Rutgers has been tabbed 11th in the 2012-13 BIG EAST Conference Preseason Coaches Poll, released today during the league’s media day at the New York Athletic Club. The league’s head coaches do not place their own teams on their ballots.
Louisville is the unanimous choice to win the 2012-13 BIG EAST men’s basketball regular-season crown. The Cardinals, who have three starters back from last year’s team that reached the NCAA Final Four, received 14 first-place votes and a total of 196 points.
Syracuse was tabbed for second place with 175 points. The Orange is coming off a 34-3 mark, the best record in school history. They won the BIG EAST regular-season crown with a 17-1 record and stayed in the top five of the national polls every week of the season.
Notre Dame was picked for third place with 166 points. Coach Mike Brey may have the most experienced team in the league. The Irish return all five starters, including 6-9 senior Jack Cooley, the BIG EAST Most Improved Player last season.
Cincinnati was picked fourth, the Bearcats’ highest preseason position since joining the BIG EAST in 2005-06. Coach Mick Cronin’s club has won 26 games in each of the past two seasons. Last year, the Bearcats made it to The BIG EAST Championship title game and the NCAA Sweet 16.
The league coaches placed Georgetown in fifth place. The Hoyas finished 24-9 last year under coach John Thompson III and were 12-6 in the BIG EAST.
2012-13 Preseason Coaches’ Poll
1. Louisville (14) 196
2. Syracuse 175
3. Notre Dame (1) 166
4. Cincinnati 152
5. Georgetown 136
6. Pittsburgh 132
7. Marquette 121
8. USF 96
9. Connecticut 83
10. St. John’s 73
11. Rutgers 63
12. Villanova 61
13. DePaul 48
14. Seton Hall 42
15. Providence 31
First-place votes in parentheses