NEW YORK (AP) -Notre Dame forward Luke Harangody, the Big East player of the year last season, was picked as the league's preseason player of the year by the conference's coaches Wednesday, and Connecticut was picked No. 1 in the poll for 2008-09.
The 6-foot-8 Harangody, who led the Big East in scoring (23.3) and rebounding (11.3) last season, and Pittsburgh's Sam Young, the MVP of the conference tournament last season, were the only unanimous selections to the league's 11-man preseason team.
Connecticut, which returns its nucleus of center Hasheem Thabeet, guard A.J. Price and forward Jeff Adrien, received nine first-place votes and 214 points, edging Louisville, which got three No. 1 votes and 205 points. Pittsburgh had three No. 1s and 200 points, and Notre Dame had one first-place vote and 195 points.
Villanova was fifth followed by Marquette, Georgetown, Syracuse, West Virginia, Providence, Cincinnati, Rutgers, Seton Hall, St. John's, DePaul and South Florida.
ing the regional final, while Villanova and West Virginia both reached the round of 16.
Harangody is the first Big East player of the year to return to school since Pitt's Brandin Knight, who shared the honor with Connecticut's Caron Butler in 2001-02.
Kyle McAlarney of Notre Dame was also chosen to the preseason team, meaning the Fighting Irish and Connecticut, with Thabeet and Price, were the only teams with two selections.
The rest of the preseason team was: Deonta Vaughn, Cincinnati; DaJuan Summers, Georgetown; Terrence Williams, Louisville; Jerel McNeal, Marquette; Jonny Flynn, Syracuse; and Scottie Reynolds, Villanova.
Greg Monroe of Georgetown and Samardo Samuels of Louisville were chosen co-preseason rookies of the year.
For the first time since the Big East became a 16-team conference, all the schools will participate in tournament at Madison Square Garden from March 10-14. Pitt, which won four games in as many days last March, is the defending champion.

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