Villanova picked No. 1 in Big East men's basketball preseason poll

NEW YORK - If the headline looks familiar, it is. I used the exact same one last year. To no one's surprise, Villanova tops the Big East preseason coaches' poll, which was released Wednesday morning as the conference's basketball media day began at Madison Square Garden.

Jay Wright's team went on to prove last season's prediction right, winning the regular-season title and the conference tournament, too. But as ever, the big questions will come in March, when the Wildcats try to get past the NCAA tournament's first weekend for the first time since they reached the Final Four in 2009.

The real news item isn't the poll, though. It's the recognition of much-heralded freshman point guard Jalen Brunson as the preseason rookie of the year. Expectations for Brunson have long been sky-high, and whatever work Jay Wright already had to do to contain them is sure to only increase now.

Here are the poll results and the preseason player honors:

Big East Preseason Coaches' Poll

1. Villanova, 81 points (9 first-place votes)
2. Georgetown, 70 points (1 first-place vote)
3. Butler, 67 points
4. Xavier, 55 points
5. Providence, 45 points
6. Marquette, 44 points
7. Seton Hall, 27 points
8. DePaul, 25 points
9. Creighton, 23 points
10. St. John's, 13 points 

Preseason Player Honors

Player of the Year: G Jr. Kris Dunn, Providence
Rookie of the Year: G Fr. Jalen Brunson, Villanova

First Team

G Sr. Kellen Dunham, Butler
F Sr. Roosevelt Jones, Butler
G Sr. D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Georgetown
G Sr. Ryan Arcidiacono, Villanova
F Jr. Jalen Reynolds, Xavier 

Second Team

F Fr. Henry Ellenson, Marquette
F So. Angel Delgado, Seton Hall
F Sr. Daniel Ochefu, Villanova
G Jr. Billy Garrett, Jr., DePaul
G So. Isaiah Whitehead, Seton Hall

Honorable Mention

F So. Isaac Copeland, Georgetown 
C Jr. Luke Fischer, Marquette
G Fr. Jalen Brunson, Villanova
G So. Trevon Bluiett, Xavier