Villanova Picked to Finish 12th in BIG EAST in 2007-08
Oct. 25, 2007
NEW YORK-- At ESPN Zone in New York on Thursday morning, the BIG EAST Conference revealed the results of the 2007-08 BIG EAST Preseason Coaches' Poll. Villanova was chosen to finish 12th in the league this season.
The Wildcats received a total of 77 points in the preseason poll and fell in the midst of a crowded field towards the middle of the pack. The team was chosen ahead of Syracuse (61), Cincinnati (49), Providence (36) and Georgetown (20).
Villanova returns eight letterwinners and four of its starters from last season, including the forward tandem of senior Stacie Witman and junior Lisa Karcic. Witman averaged 12.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game last season and Karcic contributed 11.3 points and 6.1 rebounds while making a team-high 61 three-pointers.
Another player who will be in the mix of forwards is junior Laura Kurz, a local product who sat out last season as a transfer from Duke. Kurz is a talented offensive player who averaged 5.5 points and 2.3 rebounds per game in two seasons at Duke.
The other returning starters for the Wildcats are in the backcourt and include sophomores Maria Getty and Tia Grant. The pair will be joined by junior Siobhan O'Connor to vie for the majority of playing time among the guards. O'Connor averaged 3.9 points and 2.9 rebounds while ranking second on the team with 58 assists a year ago. Meanwhile, Getty averaged 7.0 points per game and made 41 three-pointers and Grant contributed 5.0 points per contest and had 54 assists.
The 2007-08 season tips off for Villanova with a road game at La Salle on November 9. The team plays its first five games on the road before opening its home schedule on November 28 against Fairfield.
The BIG EAST coaches chose Connecticut as the preseason favorite for the regular season title in a close finish at the top. The Huskies received 15 first-place votes and 225 points to finish just ahead of national runner-up Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights return all five of their starters from 2006-07 and received one first place vote and 211 points. The top five was rounded out by West Virginia (186), Pittsburgh (169) and Notre Dame (165).
Also finishing ahead of the Wildcats were Louisville (154), DePaul (152), Marquette (124), USF (105), Seton Hall (93) and St. John's (83).
Louisville's Angel McCoughtry was named Preseason Player of the Year and Maya Moore of Connecticut was the Preseason Freshman of the Year. The other members of the Preseason All-BIG EAST Team were Matee Ajavon, Essence Carson and Kia Vaughn (Rutgers), Tina Charles and Renee Montgomery (Connecticut), Marcedes Walker and Shavonte Zellous (Pittsburgh), Charel Allen (Notre Dame), Krystal Ellis (Marquette) and Olayinka Sanni (West Virginia).
In addition, Allie Quigley (DePaul), Charde Houston (Connecticut) and Kia Wright (St. John's) received Preseason All-BIG EAST Honorable Mention.