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2011 Big East Media Day Recap: Pitt Picked 4th, West Virginia 7th

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Big East Basketball Media Day was held on Wednesday and, as always, there were cryptic quotes, predictions, and a variety of other happenings.

Lots of news on the local front. In the preseason conference poll, Pitt was picked fourth while West Virginia was picked seventh. Both teams are slotted appropriately in my opinion. PItt fans could argue that the Panthers should be ranked a bit higher based on past history as the team always seems to be right there in the battle for the conference title. Still, with the losses of seniors Brad Wanamaker, Gary McGhee, and Gilbert Brown, it's possible Pitt could take a step back from last season.

UConn and Syracuse tied for first place with seven and five first-place votes respectively.

Here's the slotting for all 16 teams:

T-1: Connecticut

T-1: Syracuse

3: Louisville

4: Pittsburgh

5: Cincinnati

6: Marquette

7: West Virginia

8: Villanova

9: Notre Dame

10: Georgetown

11: Rutgers

12: St. John's

13: Seton Hall

14: South Florida

15: Providence

16: DePaul

Onto the awards, Pitt was front and center as guard Ashton Gibbs was named the Big East preseason Player of the Year. That comes as little surprise as Gibbs is not only known as one of the better players in the Big East, but in all of the NCAA. He averaged nearly 17 points a game last year and with the aforementioned losses of Wanamaker, McGhee, and Brown, could get even more shots this season.

Both Pitt and West Virginia also had some representation on the Big East's first team. Gibbs received the honor along with West Virginia's Kevin Jones. However, the local schools had no additional players on the first, second, or third teams.

UConn placed the most players on the All-Conference teams with four - Jeremy Lamb (1st), Alex Oriakhi (2nd), Andre Drummond (3rd), and Shabazz Napier (3rd). Drummond was also named the Big East Rookie of the Year. With so much talent, it's not hard to see why they were picked as the conference's top team along with Syracuse.

Below is the rundown on the All-Conference teams.

All-Big East 1st Team:

Ashton Gibbs, Pitt

Jeremy Lamb, Connecticut

Darius Johnson-Odom, Marquette

Tim Abromaitis, Notre Dame

Kris Joesph, Syracuse

Kevin Jones, West Virginia

All-Big East 2nd Team:

Yancy Gates, Cincinnati

Alex Oriakhi, Connecticut

Peyton Siva, Louisville

Scoop Jardine, Syracuse

Maalik Wayns, Villanova

All-Big East 3rd Team:

Andre Drummond, Connecticut

Shabazz Napier, Connecticut

Cleveland Melvin, DePaul

Jae Crowder, Marquette

Augustus Gilchrist, South Florida

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.