Connecticut, McCoughtry Are Big East Preseason Picks

Connecticut was picked to repeat as Big East champions in the preseason coaches poll

Oct. 25, 2007

NEW YORK (AP) - With its entire roster back, Connecticut was picked to repeat as Big East champions in the conference's preseason coaches poll released Thursday.

Louisville junior Angel McCoughtry was picked to defend the conference player of the year award she won last season. She averaged 21.5 points and 10.3 rebounds to earn second-team All-America honors.

Connecticut, which went 32-4 and lost in the NCAA regional finals, received 15 of the 16 first-place votes and 225 points. Coaches can't vote for their own team so Connecticut's Geno Auriemma picked Rutgers No. 1.

The Scarlet Knights, returning the entire team that advanced to the NCAA final against Tennessee, finished second in the voting.

West Virginia was third followed by Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Louisville, DePaul and Marquette in the top half of the league. South Florida was ninth followed by Seton Hall, St. John's, Villanova, Syracuse, Cincinnati, Providence and Georgetown.

Besides McCoughtry, three other players - seniors Essence Carson of Rutgers, Olayinka Sanni of West Virginia and Marcedes Walker of Pittsburgh - were unanimous selections to the 11-person all-conference team.

The others on the team were: Tina Charles and Renee Montgomery of Connecticut, Charel Allen of Notre Dame, Matee Ajavon and Kia Vaughn of Rutgers, Krystal Ellis of Marquette and Shavonte Zellous of Pittsburgh.

Maya Moore, the national high school player of the year last season who plays for Connecticut, was an unanimous selection as preseason rookie of the year.