NEW YORK, N.Y. – The 2019-20 Creighton men’s basketball team has been picked to finish seventh in the BIG EAST Conference, with junior guard Ty-Shon Alexander being named a Preseason First Team All-BIG EAST selection. The results of a preseason poll of BIG EAST coaches were announced on Thursday morning as part of the league’s annual Media Day festivities at Madison Square Garden.
Creighton was the coaches’ pick for seventh place in the poll, but is the only team in the league to match or exceed its preseason projection every season since joining the BIG EAST in 2013-14. Last year’s Bluejay team was picked to finish ninth but tied for third at year’s end, CU’s third consecutive third place finish. The Bluejays finished 20-15 overall in 2018-19, advancing to the quarterfinals of the National Invitation Tournament.
Alexander led Creighton with 15.7 points per game, 41 steals and 97 three-pointers en route to Honorable Mention All-BIG EAST status a year ago. In addition to posting the league’s biggest scoring improvement (+10.2 ppg.), the Charlotte, N.C., native ranked fourth in the league in three-pointers per game, 10th in scoring, 11th in free throw percentage and 12th in steals per game.
The junior guard is Creighton’s first player to be named First Team Preseason All-BIG EAST since Marcus Foster in 2017-18, and just the fourth player in program history.
Led by 2019-20 BIG EAST Preseason BIG EAST Player of the Year Myles Powell, Seton Hall was selected to win the 2019-20 BIG EAST regular-season crown by the narrowest of margins in the league’s Preseason Coaches’ Poll. The Pirates, with four starters returning from a 20-14 season that included an NCAA Tournament berth, finished ahead of defending regular-season and tournament champion Villanova by one point in the voting. Both teams received five first-place votes. Coaches do not place their own teams or student-athletes on their ballots.
Seton Hall is first in the poll for only the second time in BIG EAST history. The Pirates also were tabbed as preseason favorites in 1992-93.
For the first time since 2013-14, Villanova was not picked to win the league, as the Wildcats were tabbed second. Xavier was picked third with 52 points in the balloting, with Marquette and Providence close behind in a tie for fourth with 50 points.
Georgetown was tabbed sixth with 49 points, edging Creighton (45) for seventh. Rounding out the poll were Butler (21), St. John’s (19) and DePaul (11).
Villanova forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl was tabbed BIG EAST Freshman of the Year. The coaches, who were not permitted to choose their own players, also selected an All-BIG EAST First Team, All-BIG EAST Second Team and All-BIG EAST Honorable Mention.
Creighton hosts an exhibition game on Nov. 1 vs. McKendree before opening the regular-season on Nov. 5 against Kennesaw State.