Sam Young, the Big East's Most Improved Player last season, also won the Dave Gavitt Trophy as the Most Outstanding Player at The Big East Tournament to lead Pittsburgh to the championship with four wins in four days. The 6-foot-6 Young averaged 18.1 points and 6.3 rebounds for the season.
Notre Dame's Luke Harangody, the 2007-08 Big East Player of the Year, was named 2008-09 Big East Preseason Player of the Year by a vote of the Conference's head coaches. Georgetown's Greg Monroe and Louisville's Samardo Samuels, a pair of freshman forwards, were selected Big East Co-Rookies of the Year.
Pitt coach Jamie Dixon was not permitted to vote for his own players.
A 6-8 forward, Harangody was the Big East's scoring and rebounding champion in league games last season. He averaged 23.3 points and 11.3 rebounds, statistics that were even better than his overall averages of 20.4 points and 10.6 rebounds. A native of Schererville, Ind., Harangody is the first reigning Big East Player of the Year to forego an immediate professional basketball career since Pitt's Brandin Knight shared Player of the Year honors with Connecticut's Caron Butler in 2001-02 and came back to play in 2002-03.
Harangody's teammate, Kyle McAlarney, was chosen for the 2008-09 Preseason All-Big East Team. A 6-0 senior guard, McAlarney averaged 15.1 points per game last season while helping the Fighting Irish to a 25-8 overall record and a 14-4 Big East mark. He led all league players with 108 3-pointers and ranked second in 3-point percentage at 44.1 percent.
Along with Young, two other individual award=winners from last year are Preseason All-Big East selections. Connecticut junior Hasheem Thabeet, who was the 2007-08 Big East Defensive Player of the Year, set a league record with 94 blocked shots in conference play. For the season, the 7-3 center averaged 10.5 points, 7.9 boards and 4.5 blocks.
Jonny Flynn, Syracuse's speedy point guard, shared Big East Rookie of the Year honors last season with Pitt's DeJuan Blair after averaging 15.7 points and 5.3 assists. His assist mark was third in the Big East. Amazingly enough, Blair was not voted to any preseason team.
Cincinnati's Deonta Vaughn is the league's top returning scorer at guard. The 6-1 junior averaged 17.3 points last season, while garnering All-Big East First Team honors.
Connecticut's A.J. Price, a senior point guard, also earned All-Big East First Team recognition when he averaged 14.5 points and 5.8 assists. His assist average was second in the Big East.
Forward DaJuan Summers has been a key contributor in Georgetown's recent success. The 6-8 junior averaged 11.1 points and 5.4 rebounds last year for the Hoyas, who were the Big East regular-season champions and finished with a 28-6 overall record.
Louisville's Terrence Williams has been an all-around contributor. The 6-6 senior forward averaged 11.1 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.5 assists last year. The Cardinals advanced to the East Regional final of the NCAA Tournament.
Marquette senior guard Jerel McNeal added offensive prowess last year to his stellar defensive reputation. Last year, he averaged 14.9 points and 3.5 assists. Two years ago, McNeal was the Big East Defensive Player of the Year.
Villanova guard Scottie Reynolds was the Big East Rookie of the Year two years ago. Last season, the 6-2 guard averaged 15.9 points, 3.2 assists and 3.1 rebounds, while directing the Wildcats to the NCAA Midwest Regional semifinal.
Georgetown's Monroe and Louisville's Samuels were McDonald's All-Americans and first-team Parade All-Americans as high school seniors. Monroe is a 6-10 native of Gretna, La. He attended Helen Cox H.S. Samuels is a native of Trelawny, Jamaica, who attended St. Benedict's Prep in New Jersey. Samuels was named 2008 USA Today Player of the Year.
2008-09 Big East Preseason Player of the Year
Luke Harangody, Notre Dame
2008-09 Big East Preseason Co-Rookies of the Year
Greg Monroe, Georgetown
Samardo Samuels, Louisville
2008-09 Preseason All-Big East Team
*Luke Harangody, Notre Dame (Player of the Year), F, Jr., 6-8, Schererville, Ind.
Deonta Vaughn, Cincinnati, G, Jr., 6-1, 195, Indianapolis, Ind.
A.J. Price, Connecticut, G, Sr., 6-2, 181, Amityville, N.Y.
Hasheem Thabeet, Connecticut, C, Jr., 7-3, 263, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
DaJuan Summers, Georgetown, F, Jr., 6-8, 241, Baltimore, Md.
Terrence Williams, Louisville, F, Sr., 6-6, 210, Seattle, Wash.
Jerel McNeal, Marquette, G, Sr., 6-3, 200, Country Club Hills, Ill.
Kyle McAlarney, Notre Dame, G, Sr., 6-0, 196, Staten Island, N.Y.
*Sam Young, Pittsburgh, F, Jr., 6-6, 215, Clinton, Md.
Jonny Flynn, Syracuse, G, So., 6-0, 185, Niagara Falls, N.Y.
Scottie Reynolds, Villanova, G, Jr., 6-2, 195, Herndon, Va.
2008-09 Preseason Big East Honorable Mention
Jeff Adrien, Connecticut, F, Sr., 6-7, 243, Brookline, Mass.
Earl Clark, Louisville, G/F, Jr., 6-8, 220, Rahway, N.J.
Dominic James, Marquette, G, Sr., 5-11, 185, Richmond, Ind.
Sam Young First-Team All-Big East
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