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McDermott leads All-BIG EAST squad

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Creighton forward Doug McDermott, a two-time consensus All-American, has been selected unanimously as the 2013-14 BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year by a vote of the league’s head coaches. St. John’s freshman forward Rysheed Jordan was named BIG EAST Preseason Rookie of the Year.

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In an era when heralded college basketball players are usually turning professional as soon as they can, McDermott has returned to Creighton for his senior season. He averaged 23.2 points per game last year while helping the Bluejays to a 28-8 record. He also averaged 7.7 rebounds and shot 49 percent from 3-point range. He led the nation with 834 total points. McDermott is already the school’s all-time leading scorer with 2,216 points. Creighton will be playing its first season in the BIG EAST.

Jordan is a 6-4 guard who is considered one of the nation’s top recruits. Last year, he helped Robert Vaux High School in Philadelphia win the Pennsylvania Intercollegiate Athletics Association Class A state championship. He averaged 24.8 points and 6.1 rebounds and was named PIAA State Player of the Year.

The 2013-14 Preseason All-BIG EAST First Team includes three seniors, a junior and a sophomore. The seniors are Georgetown’s Markel Starks, Marquette’s Davante Gardner and Providence’s Bryce Cotton. The junior is D’Angelo Harrison of St. John’s, and the sophomore is Semaj Christon of Xavier.

Starks was an All-BIG EAST Third Team selection last season after averaging 12.8 points and helping Georgetown to a share of the league’s regular-season title and a 25-7 overall record. The dependable guard was third in the BIG EAST in 3-point shooting, making 41.7 percent.

Gardner won the BIG EAST Sixth Man Award. He averaged 11.5 points and 4.8 rebounds despite playing only 21.5 minutes per game for Marquette, which also grabbed a share of the regular-season crown with Georgetown. In the NCAA tournament, Gardner was named to the All-Eastern Regional Team.

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Cotton, a 6-1 senior, was the BIG EAST scoring champion last year and a first-team All-BIG EAST pick, averaging 18.3 points per game in conference play. He also led all league players with 56 3-point baskets in BIG EAST games. His 19.7 points per game scoring average in all games ranked 22nd nationally. Cotton is the only All-BIG EAST First or Second Team selection who is returning to the conference this season.

Harrison is a 6-4 guard who was third in the BIG EAST in scoring last year with a 17.8 points per game average in 27 games. He was named to the Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association All-Met First Team. In two seasons, he has already scored 1,025 points.

Christon is a 6-3 sophomore guard who led Xavier in scoring as a freshman with a 15.2 points per game average and earned Rookie of the Year honors in the Atlantic 10 Conference. He reached double figures in 19 straight games to end the season and tied the school record for assists as a freshman with 139.

The Preseason All-BIG EAST Second Team includes three seniors, one junior and two sophomores. A tie in the voting created an extra position.

DePaul forward Cleveland Melvin was seventh in the BIG EAST in scoring last year at 16.6 points per game and 10th in rebounding at 6.8. The 6-8 senior is a former BIG EAST Rookie of the Year.

Marquette senior forward Jamil Wilson averaged 9.7 points and 4.9 rebounds and was the team’s top 3-point shooter, hitting 36 percent. Seton Hall’s Fuquan Edwin is one of the league’s most versatile players. Last year, the 6-6 forward was All-BIG EAST Honorable Mention after averaging 16.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.4 steals. He also shot 41.2 percent from beyond the arc.

Villanova junior forward JayVaughn Pinkston earned All-BIG EAST Third Team honors last year after scoring at a 13.3 clip and helping the Wildcats finish 20-14.

St. John’s sophomore forward JaKarr Sampson was the BIG EAST Rookie of the Year last season. He averaged 14.9 points and 6.6 rebounds. Villanova guard Ryan Arcidiacono was a BIG EAST All-Rookie selection last year after averaging 11.9 points and shooting 82.4 percent from the foul line.

A full look at the teams:

2013-14 BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year
Doug McDermott, Creighton

2013-14 BIG EAST Preseason Rookie of the Year
Rysheed Jordan, St. John’s

2013-14 BIG EAST Preseason All-BIG EAST First Team
Markel Starks, Georgetown, G, Sr., 6-1, 175, Accokeek, Md.
Davante Gardner, Marquette, F, Sr., 6-8, 290, Suffolk, Va.
Bryce Cotton, Providence, G, Sr., 6-1, 165, Tucson, Ariz.
D’Angelo Harrison, St. John’s, G, Jr., 6-4, 204, Missouri City, Texas
Semaj Christon, Xavier, G, So., 6-3, 190, Cincinnati, Ohio

*2013-14 BIG EAST Preseason All-BIG EAST Second Team
Cleveland Melvin, DePaul, F, Sr., 6-8, 208, Baltimore, Md.
Jamil Wilson, Marquette, F, Sr., 6-7, 230, Racine, Wis.
JaKarr Sampson, St. John’s, F, So., 6-9, 214, Akron, Ohio
Fuquan Edwin, Seton Hall, G/F, Sr., 6-6, 215, Paterson, N.J.
Ryan Arcidiacono, Villanova, G, So., 6-3, 195, Langhorne, Pa.
JayVaughn Pinkston, Villanova, F, Jr., 6-7, 240, Brooklyn, N.Y.
*a tie in the balloting created an extra position

2013-14 BIG EAST Preseason All-BIG EAST Honorable Mention
Kadeem Batts, Providence, F, 6-10, 245, Boston, Mass.
Chris Obekpa, St. John’s, C, So., 6-9, 240, Makurdi, Nigeria

Tagged: Marquette, DePaul, Creighton, Xavier, Providence, Villanova, Georgetown, St. John's (NY), Seton Hall, Jamil Wilson, Fuquan Edwin, JayVaughn Pinkston, Markel Starks, Cleveland Melvin, Davante Gardner, Doug McDermott, Bryce Cotton

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