St. John’s  Posh Alexander at St. John’s Men’s and Women’s...

St. John’s  Posh Alexander at St. John’s Men’s and Women’s Basketball Media Day at Carnesecca Arena on Oct. 13, 2022 Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

Mike Anderson believes St. John’s will be among the top teams in the Big East.

Anderson’s colleagues, evidently, view the 2022-23 Red Storm through a different prism.

St. John’s was picked to finish sixth in the 11-team conference by rival coaches in the Big East preseason poll.

The coaches selected Creighton to win the conference. Following the Bluejays, who received eight first-place votes, was Xavier (two), Villanova (one), Connecticut, Providence, St. John’s, Seton Hall, Butler, Marquette, Georgetown and DePaul.

“Predictions are what they are,” Anderson said during Big East Media Day on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden. “We want to be one of the top teams, not only in this league but in the country. That is our goal.”

St. John’s is returning eight players from a team that went 17-15 overall and 8-11 in conference play last season, including junior guard Posh Alexander, who was named to the All-Big East First Team. The Red Storm also added transfers David Jones and former LI Lutheran High School star Andre Curbelo, and brought in freshmen AJ Storr, Kolby King and Mohamed Keita.

“I may have eight starters,” Anderson said. “It’s that type of team.”

Quality depth is always important, but it is especially vital in a conference that sent six teams (Villanova, Providence, Connecticut, Seton Hall, Creighton and Marquette) to the NCAA Tournament last spring. Two of those teams — Villanova and Seton Hall — will have new coaches. Kyle Neptune replaces the retired Jay Wright at Villanova, while Shaheen Holloway turned Saint Peter’s run to the Elite Eight into the head coaching gig at his alma mater. Seton Hall hired Holloway after Kevin Willard accepted the Maryland job.

“I want to do well for this school,” Holloway said. “I want to win. I want to take it to new heights. I want to do what P.J. Carlesimo did. What he did for a small school at the time is why we’re here today.”

 Big East commissioner Val Ackerman gave a state-of-the-conference address, stressing  that they are willing to partner with other conferences on a blueprint to keep college basketball financially strong.    

“Football in this country is a force. Basketball is actually the connective tissue that binds all schools,” Ackerman said. “And so we plan to work with our colleagues across Division I in the coming months and beyond to make sure that basketball, both men’s and women’s, has its own growth and management strategies apart from football, and that the sport continues to thrive irregardless of whatever governance membership and legal changes come our way.”

Ackerman also used her time to implore Congress to implement national legislation regarding athletes’ NIL rights.

“While the Big East fully supports the opportunities that have become available to our athletes to exploit their name, image and likeness — and a number of our basketball players and other athletes have in fact done just that — we believe the system would benefit from a national standard that preempts the patchwork of state laws now in effect, and clarifies the application of the antitrust and labor laws to college sports programs,” Ackerman said.

2022-23 Big East Men’s Basketball Preseason Coaches’ Poll

  1. Creighton   (8)                   98
  2. Xavier        (2)                         86
  3. Villanova    (1)                         85
  4. Connecticut                             77
  5. Providence                              62
  6. St. John’s                               52
  7. Seton Hall                               44
  8. Butler                                      36
  9. Marquette                               32
  10. Georgetown                           21
  11. DePaul                                   12

Preseason All-First Team

Ryan Kalkbrenner, center, Creighton

Jared Bynum, guard, Providence

Posh Alexander, guard, St. John’s

Colby Jones, guard, Xavier

Jack Nunge, forward, Xavier

Preseason Player of the Year: Adama Sanogo, forward, Connecticut

Preseason Freshman of the Year: Cam Whitmore, forward, Villanova

Big East Women’s Basketball Preseason Coaches’ Poll

  1. Connecticut   (10)                   100
  2. Creighton                                 89
  3. Villanova    (1)                         83
  4. DePaul                                    68
  5. Seton Hall                                68
  6. Marquette                               56
  7. St. John’s                               47
  8. Providence                             34
  9. Butler                                     21
  10. Georgetown                           21
  11. Xavier                                    18

Preseason All-Big East Team

Caroline Ducharme, guard, Connecticut

Aaliyah Edwards, forward, Connecticut

Azzi Fudd, guard, Connecticut. *

Lauren Jensen, guard, Creighton

Emma Ronsiek, forward, Creighton *

Aneesah Morrow, forward, DePaul *

Jordan King, guard, Marquette

Janai Crooms, guard, Providence

Kadaja Bailey, guard, St. John’s

Sidney Cooks, forward/center, Seton Hall

Lauren Park-Lane, guard Seton Hall

(* Indicates a unanimous selection.)

Preseason Player of the Year: Maddy Siegrist, forward, Villanova

Preseason Freshman of the Year: Ayanna Paterson, forward, Connecticut.

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