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Irish Insights

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Beast of the Big East

Irish's Harangody selected preseason conference player of the year

Notre Dame may be picked to finish in the middle of the pack in Big East men's basketball this season, but individually, the Irish have the top player.

Notre Dame senior forward Luke Harangody, who returned after flirting with the idea of entering the NBA draft, was selected the Big East preseason player of the year for a second time at the Big East men's media day in New York on Wednesday.

The 6-foot-8 forward was also the preseason player of the year last season, and he joins former Georgetown standout Patrick Ewing to earn the honor more than once. Harangody was also the Big East player of the year as a sophomore.

Harangody led the Big East in scoring (23.3 points per game) and was secnod in rebounding (11.8) last season, and he is also a member of the preseason first-team all-conference selection. Other first-team selectons were Cincinnati's Deonta Vaughn, Marquette's Lazar Hayward, Villanova's Scottie Reynolds, West Virginia's Da'Sean Butler and Georgetown's Greg Monroe.

The Irish were picked to finish eighth in the 16-team conference by the coaches. Villanova edged West Virginia by three points for the top spot.

Along with announcing the preseason teams and conference coaches' poll, the Big East and Madison square Garden extended their postseason tournament deal five years, keeping the Big East tournament in New York through 2016.

The Big East women's basketball media day is Thursday.

All-Big East awards, teams

2009-10 BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year

Luke Harangody, Notre Dame

2009-10 BIG EAST Preseason Rookie of the Year

Lance Stephenson, Cincinnati

2009-10 Preseason All-BIG EAST First Team

Luke Harangody, Notre Dame (Player of the Year), F, Sr., 6-8, 255, Schererville, Ind.

Deonta Vaughn, Cincinnati, G, Sr., 6-1, 190, Indianapolis, Ind.

Greg Monroe, Georgetown, C, So., 6-11, 247, New Orleans, La.

Lazar Hayward, Marquette, F, Sr., 6-6, 225, Buffalo, N.Y.

Scottie Reynolds, Villanova, G, Sr., 6-2, 195, Herndon, Va.

Da'Sean Butler, West Virginia, F, Sr., 6-7, 225, Newark, N.J.

Second Team

Jerome Dyson, Connecticut, G, Sr., 6-3, 190, Potomac, Md.

Kemba Walker, Connecticut, G, So., 6-1, 172, Bronx, N.Y.

Samardo Samuels, Louisville, F, So., 6-9, 260, Trelawny, Jamaica

Jeremy Hazell, Seton Hall, G, Jr., 6-5, 185, Bronx, N.Y.

Dominique Jones, USF, G, Jr., 6-4, 205, Lake Wales, Fla.

Devin Ebanks, West Virginia, F, So., 6-9, 210, Long Island City, N.Y.

a tie in the balloting created six positions

Honorable Mention

Stanley Robinson, Connecticut, F, Sr., 6-9, 210, Birmingham, Ala.

Arinze Onuaku, Syracuse, C, Sr., 6-9, 275, Lanham, Md

Coaches' poll

Pts.

1. Villanova (10)

218

2. West Virginia (5)

215

3. Connecticut (1)

185

4. Louisville

179

5. Georgetown

161

6. Syracuse

152

7. Cincinnati

135

8. Notre Dame

132

9. Pittsburgh

119

10. Seton Hall

110

11. St. John's

82

12. Marquette

78

13. Providence

52

14. USF

44

15. Rutgers

43

16. DePaul

15

Analysis

Harangody picking up preseason honors is really no shock. The Big East went from a veterans league to a rookie league with graduations and players leaving early.

Harangody is what makes Notre Dame a middle of the pack team, because the rest of the Irish are unproven. Notre Dame has plenty of upperclassmen but most of those veterans haven't been called on to play big roles.

This year, they will, and it could lead Notre Dame to a surprise run to, if not the top, at least near the top of the Big East.

The Irish did take a hit when they lost transfer Scott Martin, who sat out last season when he came over from Purdue, to an ACL injury, but they have plenty of options to fill in for a guy who hasn't suited up for Notre Dame yet.

Last year, Big East teams seem to settle on letting Harangody get his points and rebounds and for the rest of the Irish to make the difference. With a new cast of characters surrounding Harangody, expect teams to follow that philosophy again until someone besides Harangody steps up to beat teams.

The Journal Gazette's Assistant Sports Editor Tony Krausz covers The University of Notre Dame. Krausz, a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and a native of St. Louis, has been assistant sports editor since October 2005. Prior to joining the JG, he worked at two papers in Mississippi covering high school and college athletics.

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