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November 2, 2006

Rivals.com Preseason All-Big East Team

Preseason Top 25
Big East Preview
The College Basketball Wire

Get the inside scoop on your favorite team:

When it comes to the Big East, the best teams have the best players.

Pittsburgh and Georgetown, picked first and second in the preseason coaches' poll, each landed two players on Rivals.com's preseason All-Big East teams. They each had a selection on the first and second team.

After that, balance reigns - lending credence to the belief that the teams projected to finish in the middle of the pack are very closely bunched.

Connecticut, DePaul, Louisville, Marquette, Syracuse, Villanova are each represented with one selection apiece. Those teams were all ranked between No. 3 and No. 8 in the poll.

Even the talent on the All-Big East Rookie team is spread out evenly. Connecticut, Georgetown, Louisville, Syracuse and Rutgers each placed one player on the squad.

Rivals.com 2006-07 Preseason All-Big East First Team
G Dominic James, Marquette, So., 5-11, 175
With former Illinois star Dee Brown gone, the title of the fastest man in college basketball may belong to this rising star. The 2005-06 Big East Rookie of the Year is most dangerous in transition, where he can blow past defenders and use his quick moves to create scoring opportunities in traffic. He averaged 15.3 points and 5.4 assists a game last season, making him the leading returning scorer and assist man in the league. Expect those numbers to improve with the departure of Marquette's leading scorer, Steve Novak (17.5 ppg).
G Sammy Mejia, DePaul, Sr., 6-6, 195
One of four double-digit scorers to return for the Blue Demons, Mejia is the best of the bunch. He creates matchup problems with his size, moves extremely well without the ball and does most of his damage with an accurate mid-range jumper. As a junior he showed all those abilities, averaging 15.1 points per game - making him the second-leading returning scorer in the league. Mejia cracked the 20-point barrier 11 times last season.
F Juan Palacios, Louisville, Jr., 6-8, 245
Remember that promising young big man on the Cardinals' 2005 Final Four team? He's back, and he's healthy. Palacios played with a nagging ankle injury all of last season. The native of Columbia still managed to show flashes of his massive potential, scoring a career-high 29 points at Connecticut and putting together a double-double versus Cincinnati (19 points, 12 rebounds). Those types of performances will be more frequent now that he is healthy and can showcase his athleticism.
F Jeff Green, Georgetown, Jr., 6-9, 235
One of the most versatile and athletic players in the Big East, there isn't much Green can't do. He is an ideal fit for the Hoyas' Princeton-style system. The veteran excels in transition - where he can use his extraordinary leaping ability to make big plays - but can also hit 3-pointers. Green possesses the vision to find streaking teammates around the basket with flashy passes. As a sophomore, he averaged 11.9 points, pulled down 6.5 boards and also averaged a team-high 3.3 assists.
C Aaron Gray, Pittsburgh, Sr., 7-0, 270
This giant went from a little-known reserve to the Big East's Most Improved Player in 2005-06, averaging 13.9 points and 10.5 rebounds a game. Gray, who pulled out of the NBA Draft hours before the withdrawal deadline, now focuses his sights on the league's Player of the Year award. With fiery guard Carl Krauser gone, Gray will be expected to provide an even bigger inside presence and handle more of the scoring load.
Rivals.com 2006-07 Preseason All-Big East Second Team
G Ronald Ramon, Pittsburgh, Jr., 6-1, 180
G Eric Devendorf, Syracuse, So., 6-4, 175
F Curtis Sumpter, Villanova, Sr., 6-7, 220
F Jeff Adrien, Connecticut, So., 6-7, 245
C Roy Hibbert, Georgetown, Jr., 7-2, 270
Rivals.com 2006-07 Preseason Big East All-Freshman Team
G Jerome Dyson, Connecticut, 6-3, 180
G Paul Harris, Syracuse, 6-5, 220
F DaJuan Summers, Georgetown, 6-8, 235
F Derrick Caracter, Louisville, 6-9, 275
C Hamady N'Diaye, Rutgers, 6-11, 235

Rivals.com Big East Basketball Preview



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