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October 24, 2007

Hoyas, Cardinals open as Big East co-favorites

NEW YORK The Big East is a two-team race according to the league's coaches. Georgetown and Louisville tied for first in the coaches preseason poll released Monday at Big East media day. The Hoyas and Cardinals split the 16 first-place votes.

The Hoyas return four starters from last season's Final Four team, including center Roy Hibbert, who was voted the league's preseason player of the year. Guard Jonathan Wallace was also voted to the 10-player preseason team.

The Cardinals return their top seven scorers from a team that won 24 games and finished second. Small forward Terrence Williams and center David Padgett were voted to the preseason team.

Marquette was picked third, followed by Pittsburgh and traditional powers Syracuse and Connecticut. The Orange narrowly missed the NCAA Tournament last season, while the Huskies didn't receive a postseason bid.

Villanova was voted seventh, followed by Providence, Notre Dame, West Virginia, DePaul, Cincinnati, Seton Hall, St. John's, Rutgers and South Florida. West Virginia (Bob Huggins) and USF (Stan Heath) each hired new coaches in the offseason.

Villanova guard Scottie Reynolds was the only unanimous pick on the preseason team. Marquette also landed two players on the squad with guards Dominic James and Jerel McNeal. Other members included UConn's Jeff Adrien, Providence's Geoff McDermott, USF's Kentrell Gransberry and Syracuse's Eric Devendorf.

Syracuse's Donte Greene and Jonny Flynn were selected the preseason co-rookies of the year. Both were ranked five-star recruits by Rivals.com.

Return to Rivals.com later today for more coverage of Big East Media Day.

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