NEW YORK, N.Y. – The 2018-19 Creighton men’s basketball team has been picked to finish ninth in the BIG EAST Conference, with junior forward Martin Krampelj being named Honorable Mention All-BIG EAST. The results of a preseason poll of BIG EAST coaches were announced on Thursday morning as part of the league’s annual Media Day festivities at Madison Square Garden.
Creighton was the coaches’ pick for ninth place in the poll, but has matched or exceeded its preseason projection every season since joining the BIG EAST in 2013-14. The Bluejays put together a 21-12 season in 2017-18, advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in seven seasons. Last year’s CU team was picked to finish fifth but tied for third place at year’s end.
Defending national champion Villanova was picked to win the BIG EAST crown, garnering 8-of-9 possible first-place votes. The Wildcats return two starters from last year’s team that finished 32-4, including First Team All-BIG EAST forward Eric Paschall and Second Team pick Phil Booth. Last year’s Villanova team finished 36-4 and was 14-4 in league play.
Marquette garnered one first-place vote and was picked to finish in second place, with Providence and St. John’s close behind. Butler rounded out the top half of the league prognostications and also picked up a first-place vote.
Defending league champ Xavier was picked sixth, just ahead of Georgetown and Seton Hall. Following ninth-place Creighton was DePaul.
St. John’s junior guard Shamorie Ponds was chosen as the Preseason BIG EAST Player of the Year, with Providence’s David Duke and Villanova’s Jahvon Quinerly sharing Preseason Co-BIG EAST Freshmen of the Year accolades.
A junior forward from Grosuplje, Slovenia, Krampelj averaged 11.9 points and 8.1 rebounds per game before a season-ending injury in mid-January. He ranked second in the BIG EAST in field goal percentage (.671) and third in the league in rebounds per game (8.1) before suffering his injury.
Creighton hosts an exhibition game on Saturday vs. Winona State before opening the regular-season on Nov. 6 against Western Illinois.