Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Kevin Jones on Big East Preseason First Team

West Virginia forward, Kevin Jones was selected to the Big East Preseason First Team. The senior from Mount Vernon, NY joins Ashton Gibbs (Pitt), Tim Abromaitis (Notre Dame), Darius Johnson-Odem (Marquette), Kris Joseph (Syracuse, and Jeremy Lamb (Connecticut) on the preseason list. Gibbs was also named the Preseason Player of the Year.

Jones enters his final season as WVU's leader on and off the court. He averaged 13.1 PPG and 7.4 RPG in his junior season. Look for the numbers to improve if Jones wants the NBA to be his future.

Earlier, WVU was picked to finish seventh in the conference by the coaches.

Here's a complete list of the Preseason Awards

2011-12 BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year
Ashton Gibbs, Pittsburgh

2011-12 BIG EAST Preseason Rookie of the Year
Andre Drummond, Connecticut

2011-12 Preseason All-BIG EAST First Team
Ashton Gibbs, Pittsburgh (Player of the Year), G, Sr., 6-2, 190, Scotch Plains, N.J.
Jeremy Lamb, Connecticut, G/F, So., 6-5, 185, Norcross, Ga.
Darius Johnson-Odom, Marquette, G, Sr., 6-2, 215, Raleigh, N.C.
Tim Abromaitis, Notre Dame, F, Gr., 6-8, 235, Unionville, Conn.
Kris Joseph, Syracuse, F, Sr., 6-7, 210, Montreal, Quebec
Kevin Jones, West Virginia, F, Sr., 6-8, 260, Mount Vernon, N.Y.

2011-12 Preseason All-BIG EAST Second Team
Yancy Gates, Cincinnati, F, Sr., 6-9, 260, Cincinnati, Ohio
Alex Oriakhi Connecticut, F/C, Jr., 6-9, 240, Lowell, Mass.
Peyton Siva, Louisville, G, Jr., 5-11, 180, Seattle, Wash.
Scoop Jardine, Syracuse, G, Sr., 6-2 190, Philadelphia, Pa.
Maalik Wayns, Villanova, G, Jr., 6-2, 200, Philadelphia, Pa.

2011-12 Preseason All-BIG EAST Honorable Mention
Andre Drummond, Connecticut, C, Fr., 6-11, 275, Middletown, Conn.
Shabazz Napier, Connecticut, G, So. 6-0, 170, Roxbury, Mass.
Cleveland Melvin, DePaul, F, So., 6-8, 208, Baltimore, Md.
Jae Crowder, Marquette, F, Sr., 6-6, 235, Villa Rica, Ga.
Augustus Gilchrist, USF, F/C, Sr., 6-10, 245, Clinton, Md.

Deep Thoughts, WVU Style

I wonder if Dana Holgorsen just watches last year's tape and laughs at how anemic the offense was. Hell, he even took a few swipes at the scheme in his weekly press conference (start at the 9:30 mark). He has good reason to. How bad was the Mountaineer offense? Well, lets just say Jeff Mullen made Steve Addiazo look like a fantastic play-caller. Holgorsen must look back, and take away nothing. Talk about having no legit game tape to work with.

Would joing the Big 12 help WVU keep Holgorsen? It would seem to be his true comfort zone. He has coached at Texas Tech and Oklahoma State. Holgy also spent time at Houston, which is in the Big 12 region. I imagine Holgorsen would be much more likely to stay if the Mountaineers future opponents are Texas and Oklahoma, not Air Force and UCF. Texas and Oklahoma are also fertile recruiting grounds...grounds that Holgy knows very well. Of course, this all means nothing if WVU gets into the SEC, which would trump all.

The defense seems to be poised to kick some serious ass in the Big East. The line continues to bring more pressure. The linebacking unit is getting deeper. And the secondary is gaining in confidence. Plus, the highest ranked offense left is South Florida, a team that hasn't scored over 17 points since Sept 24th. Look for Jeff Casteel to fire up the aggression as WVU looks to build on the last few performances.

Is it possible that Stedman Bailey is still underrated? The kid has 634 receiving yards, which includes four straight 100+ yard games. He also leads the team with five touchdowns. Bailey also bested some of the best cornerbacks when he went off against LSU. So while we constantly talk about Tavon Austin (with good reason) Stedman Bailey just continues to truck on through the season.

WVU Basketball Picked to Finish 7th in Big East

The West Virginia Men's basketball team has been picked to finish seventh in the Big East. The Mountaineers finished with 132 points, and are sandwiched between number six, Marquette and Villanova, who comes in eighth. Defending champ, UConn and Syracuse are tied at number one, with Louisville in the third spot. UConn has the most first place votes with seven.

The Mountaineers come into 2011 having to rely on a mix of experience and youth. Kevin Jones and Daryll Bryant will be asked to lead WVU, while hoping for solid play from Deniz Kilicli and Kevin Noreen. Look for bigtime minutes early from freshmen, Jabarie Hinds and Keaton Miles.

WVU will open the season on Nov 4th in an exhibition against Northern Kentucky. The first regular season game will be Nov 11th against Oral Roberts in the Coliseum.

(First place votes in parentheses)

1. Connecticut (7) 209
2. Syracuse (5) 209
3. Louisville (3) 201
4. Pittsburgh (1) 188
5. Cincinnati 169
6. Marquette 155
7. West Virginia 132
8. Villanova 127
9. Notre Dame 114
10. Georgetown 104
11. Rutgers 75
12. St. Johns 71
13. Seton Hall 56
14. USF 43
15. Providence 40
16. DePaul 27

Big East Power Rankings, Week 7

1. West Virginia (5-1, 1-0 in conference): Spent the bye week gearing up for a run at the BCS. Next Step...Seeking revenge in the dome

2. Cincinnati (5-1, 1-0): The Bearcats won a close, tough game over Louisville, and continue to surprise many people. Next Step...Tough roady at South Florida.

3. Rutgers (5-1, 2-0): Talk about surprises, the Knights just continue to roll on. Yes, they were picked to finish last. Next Step...road game at Louisville.

4. South Florida (4-2, 0-2): This team is in total dissaray. Two straight conference losses have the Bulls searching for answers. Next Step...Hostin Cincy in a must-win.

5. Syracuse (4-2, 0-1): Well, the Big East isn't deep this year, considering an inconsistent Syracuse falls in as the 5th best team tis week. Next Step...Proving me wrong against WVU.

6. Pittsburgh (3-4, 1-1): Hard to believe that this team was once considered good. It just goes to show how important a quarterback is. Next Step...Much needed bye week.

7. Connecticut (3-4, 1-1): A nice win over South Florida have the Huskies believing again. Next Step...Bye Week for the boys.

8. Louisville (2-4, 0-1): Not a bad game against Cincinnati last week, but no moral victories in football. Next Step...Big matchup up against Rutgers