By: Megan Lux ~Staff Writer~
The Big East Media Day was held on Oct. 14 at Madison Square Garden for the second year in a row. The event kicked off with the opening introduction from commissioner Val Ackerman.
“I can report to you that the conference is strong and stable and fully committed to nothing short of a national title in basketball,” Ackerman said.
Out of the Big East teams, Villanova has again been picked as the favorite to win the conference and will start the season ranked in the top 25. Last year the Musketeers were runners-up to Villanova in the Big East tournament championship game but are fully prepared to put that behind them and focus on the upcoming season.
Xavier was voted to finish fourth in the Big East conference coaches’ poll. Both Jalen Reynolds and Trevon Bluiett made preseason All-Big East teams, which is promising for coach Chris Mack.
“I think Jalen Reynolds has the opportunity to be one of the best bigs in our league,” Mack said.
Echoing Mack’s sentiments about this upcoming season is senior James Farr.
“Oh yeah, we have a great core,” Farr said. “You know, with me and Remy being seniors, we have been around Matt for about three years, and I’ve been around Dee for about three years, so I’ve learned so much in seeing how they lead the team. How they lead our team to the Sweet Sixteen.”
Both Remy Abell and Farr were the representatives for the men’s basketball team for Big East Media Day.
Representing the women’s basketball team were redshirt junior guard Raeshaun Gaffney and senior forward Briana Glover. The women’s team is ranked number six in the preseason coaches’ poll above Georgetown, Butler, Marquette and Providence. This is a significant poll climb for the women’s team as it was ranked ninth in the past two seasons.
Glover made a spot on the preseason All-Big East team, and coach Brian Neal is perhaps more optimistic about this season.
“That’s why hopefully this year with our experience we should be able to have more energy, more engagement. If we can do that through the long part of the season, hopefully we can climb the ladder,” Neal said.
The Big East will start league play on Dec. 29 and 31. Xavier men’s team will play at Villanova on Dec. 31 and the women’s team will take on Georegtown on Dec. 29 at Cintas Center.