The Marquette Golden Eagles have been unanimously selected as the preseason favorite to win the Big East Conference this year, the league announced on Wednesday. The Golden Eagles received 81 points to earn the top spot in the poll, which is voted on by the conference’s head coaches. Marquette earned nine first-place votes while DePaul received one first-place vote. Take a look at the full poll below:
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Returning four junior starters and the team’s four leading scorers from last year, Marquette finished third in the Big East last season before capturing the conference tournament title. However, the fifth-seeded Golden Eagles were knocked off in the first round of the NCAA Tournament by No. 12 Quinnipiac. It was Marquette’s first Big East Tournament title in school history and first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2011. Now, the Golden Eagles will be looking to win its first conference regular season title.
But this wasn’t the only honor that Marquette earned at Big East Media Day on Wednesday at Madison Square Garden. Junior All-American guard Allazia Blockton was unanimously selected as the Big East Preseason Player of the Year after leading the conference in scoring last year with over 17 points per game. The award was also voted on by the conference’s head coaches. Blockton’s scoring prowess propelled her to the All-Big East First Team and to over 1,000 career points during her sophomore season, the youngest to reach that milestone in school history.
Blockton was also a unanimous selection for the preseason All-Big East Team, along with fellow juniors Erika Davenport and Natisha Hiedeman. Below here is the entire preseason All-Big East team:
Tanita Allen, DePaul, Junior, Guard
Amarah Coleman, DePaul, Senior, Guard
Erika Davenport, Marquette, Junior, Forward
Audrey Faber, Creighton, Junior, Forward
Adrianna Hahn, Villanova, Junior, Guard
Natisha Hiedeman, Marquette, Junior, Guard
JaQuan Jackson, Seton Hall, Redshirt-Senior, Guard
Jovana Nogic, Providence, Junior, Guard
Tori Schickel, Butler, Junior, Forward
Akina Wellere, St. John’s, Junior, Guard/Forward
Dionna White, Georgetown, Junior, Guard/Forward
Defending Big East regular season co-champion DePaul placed second in the poll with 73 points, as the Blue Demons have earned at least a share of the conference regular season title for four straight years. DePaul will be looking for its 16th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance this year. Freshman guard Dee Bekelja was named the Big East Preseason Freshman of the Year, while junior guard Tanita Allen and senior guard Amarah Coleman made the preseason All-Big East Team.