Wednesday, October 19, 2011

One time, at Big East Media Day....

If Midnight Madness is the official kickoff of college basketball season, then the conference Media Days are the....end of the first quarter? Hold on, what? Screw the football analogy (we'll get to an interesting analogy in a little bit though), let's just say, Media Day is awesome. We get to see who the coaches pick as the best teams and players in the conference, and you get to see a bunch of college kids look uncomfortable in a shirt and tie.

Scoop, in a Suit. (
Today was Big East Basketball Media Day in NYC, which is the home of one of the homes of Syracuse University basketball. The coaches selected Syracuse and UConn as the co-favorites for the league title this year. Next was Louisville, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Marquette, West Virginia, Villanova, Notre Dame and Georgetown rounding out the top 10. Jeez, this conference is tough.

On an individual basis, Pitt's Ashton Gibbs (and his undershirt) was selected as the Player of Year, while UConn's Andre Drummond was voted Freshman of the Year. Syracuse has Kris Joseph on the 1st team and Scoop Jardine on the 2nd team. West Virginia's Kevin Jones and Tim Abromitis of Notre Dame, both return for their 8th year of college, and were both voted as preseason 1st Teamers as well.

Daily Onions had the opportunity to attend Big East Media Day back before the 2002-03 season, when we were more Orange than Onion. We thought it'd be fun to reminisce about some of the names we chatted with that day at Madison Square Garden.

Let's check out the preseason 1st All-Big East honors that were handed out that day:

Probably taken before 1 of Bell's 6 NBA Games
  • Brandin Knight, Pittsburgh - Selected as the preseason conference player of the year in '02-03, you can still find Knight in the Steel City, now as an assistant coach.
  • Troy Bell (left), Boston College - This guy could absolutely light it up in college, is BC's all-time leading scorer, and had half a cup of coffee in the NBA.
  • Emeka Okafor, Connecticut- Almost 10 years later, its crazy to think there was a debate over who should go #1 in the NBA Draft, Okafor or Dwight Howard. With that said, Okafor did win a National Championship, and has had a serviceable NBA career.
  • Mike Sweetney, Georgetown - Undersized, big man for the Hoyas. Didn't have the body for an NBA career.
  • Darius Rice, Miami, Jr.- Remember this guy? Freakishly athletic, McDonald's All-American, nephew of Jerry Rice. He ended up staying all 4 years of college, went undrafted and bounced around overseas and the D-League.
  • Marcus Hatten, St. John's - Kind of like Bell, a pure scorer. Best memory of Hatten has to be playing for Uncle Phil at St. John's.
The 2nd team featured guys like: James Jones - yep, the same James Jones that is hitting 3s for the Heatles. He got his start in Miami as Hurricane; Chris Thomas - In a recent survey we just made up, this Notre Dame PG was voted most annoying player by opposing fans teams. Good to know he got an acting gig playing the PG in the movie Finding Forrester; Jerome Coleman - this Rutgers shooting guard led the Scarlet Knights to an upset over the eventual National Champions (Syracuse) that year in...New Jerrrrsey, and allowed me to exclaim "Send it in Jerome" (a Raftery fan even at a young age!) over the Syracuse radio airwaves. Shout out to Herve Lamizana as well.

Always a good time to look back at some of the players who came through the Big East. Carmelo Anthony was a freshman in 2002-03, and was picked to be the best Freshman of the Year in the conference, but was left off the 1st and 2nd team. Looks like Melo got the last laugh there.

Slick Rick: Why Don't You Sit the Next Few Plays Out
Speaking of laughs, today at Big East Media Day, Rick Pitino had some choice words about Syracuse and Pitt leaving the conference. Rick, who has been known to compare a tough start to a seasons to... 9/11, added this analogy to his resume:

"My problem is not them leaving," he said. "My problem is you did it in 48 hours. Don't run away with a girl after one date when you've been dating someone else for three or four years. You've been dating this woman for 30 years, show a little respect."

In case you forgot, Pitino, who has been married to his wife for more than 30 years, once met a woman in a restaurant, had a few drinks, and then proceeded to have sex with her in the bathroom. This occurred in 2003, and in 2009 Pitino admitted to not only having consensual sex, but also paying for an abortion. 

Pot, meet kettle. Hope you enjoyed media day.

No comments:

Post a Comment