WVU Picked Ninth in Hoops

West Virginia's men's basketball team was picked ninth in the league by a preseason vote of coaches, but didn't place any players on the two deep all-league team.

Not surprisingly, UConn swept the first place voting in the poll (coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team). The Huskies got all 13 votes from the other league coaches, with Syracuse getting UConn's top ballot.

WVU, in ninth, was only three points short of eight-place Boston College.

2003-04 BIG EAST Coaches' Preseason Poll
1Connecticut (13)169
2Syracuse (1)153
3Notre Dame135
5Providence 123
6Seton Hall112
8Boston College73
9West Virginia70
10St. John's66
13Virginia Tech23

Although that seems a fair placement of the Mountaineers as they continue the rebuilding process, it was something of a surprise that junior Drew Schifino was shut out of the two-team preseason all-conference selections. Schifino, who averaged 20.1 points and 4.7 rebounds per game last year, will no doubt be motivated by the snub.

2003-04 Preseason Player of the Year
Emeka Okafor, Connecticut

2003-04 Preseason Rookie of the Year
Charlie Villanueva, Connecticut

2003-04 Preseason All-BIG EAST First Team
Emeka Okafor, Connecticut, Jr., C, 6-9, 240, Houston, Texas*
Ben Gordon, Connecticut, Jr., G, 6-2, 185, Mount Vernon, Texas
Darius Rice, Miami, Sr., F, 6-10, 222, Jackson, Miss.
Chris Thomas, Notre Dame, Jr., G, 6-1, 182, Indianapolis, Ind.*
Ryan Gomes, Providence, Jr., F/C, 6-7, 238, Waterbury, Conn.
Hakim Warrick, Syracuse, Jr., F, 6-8, 205, Philadelphia, Pa.

2003-04 Preseason All-BIG EAST Second Team
Craig Smith, Boston College, So., F, 6-7, 265, Los Angeles, Calif.
Julius Page, Pittsburgh, Sr., G, 6-3, 191, Buffalo, N.Y.
Andre Barrett, Seton Hall, Sr., G, 5-10, 172, Bronx, N.Y.
Gerry McNamara, Syracuse, So., G, 6-2, 172, Scranton, Pa.
Bryant Matthews, Virginia Tech, Sr., G/F, 6-7, 215, Columbia, S.C.

* - denotes unanimous selection

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