Returning Xavier starters Paul Scruggs, Quentin Goodin, Naji Marshall and Tyrique Jones spoke to The Enquirer Thursday at Big East Media Day
Adam Baum, firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW YORK – Coming off a shaky 19-16 season, familiar expectations have returned in 2019-2020 for the Xavier Musketeers.
With four returning starters in Quentin Goodin, Tyrique Jones, Paul Scruggs and Naji Marshall, Xavier was picked to finish third Thursday in the preseason coaches’ poll at Big East Conference Media Day at Madison Square Garden.
This time last year, the Musketeers were selected sixth and Marshall, with honorable mention, was the only player on Xavier’s roster to receive any preseason honors.
It’s a much different story a year later. Marshall and Scruggs, both juniors, received preseason honors Thursday. Marshall, a second-team All-Big East selection last season, was a unanimous preseason first-team All-Big East selection and Scruggs earned honorable mention.
Marshall led Xavier in scoring last season (14.7) and really turned it on in Big East play, upping that average to 16.6 points per game. Scruggs averaged 12.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game last season.
Seton Hall, with four returning starters from an NCAA Tournament team, edged out defending regular-season and conference tournament champion Villanova by one point for the top spot in the preseason coaches’ poll.
Seton Hall’s selection marks the first time in five years that Villanova hasn’t been the preseason choice to win the Big East.
Marquette and Providence tied for fourth in the preseason poll, followed by Georgetown, Creighton, Butler, St. John’s and DePaul.
2019-20 Preseason Coaches’ Poll
1. Seton Hall (5)–77
2. Villanova (5)–76
9. St. John’s–19
Seton Hall senior Myles Powell was selected as the Big East preseason player of the year and 6-foot-9 Villanova freshman Jeremiah Robinson-Earl was named preseason freshman of the year.
Butler’s Kamar Baldwin, Providence’s Alpha Diallo, Marquette’s Markus Howard and Creighton’s Ty-Shon Alexander joined Marshall with first-team honors.
Second team consisted of Paul Reed (DePaul), James Akinjo (Georgetown), L.J. Figueroa (St. John’s), Mustapha Heron (St. John’s), Collin Gillespie (Villanova) and Jermaine Samuels (Villanova).
Georgetown’s 7-foot center Omer Yurtseven was also honorable mention with Scruggs.
Stay with Cincinnati.com Thursday for more live coverage from Madison Square Garden