DePaul unanimous pick for Big East women's title

DePaul coach Doug Bruno addresses players during practice in Lincoln, Neb., Friday, March 28, 2014. DePaul will play Texas A&M in an NCAA women's college basketball tournament regional semifinal on Saturday. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
Nati Harnik

NEW YORK (AP) With most of the team back from last season's special run, it's no surprise that DePaul is the unanimous choice to win the Big East again.

Coach Doug Bruno returns four starters from the squad that won the conference's regular-season and tournament titles and advanced to the Sweet 16.

''It's an honor, but it's always about the review,'' Bruno said. ''Previews are great, but they are without substance. They are speculation. What you do during the year is never taken from you. It's all about the reviews not the previews. We have a lot of really great kids back and we'll see in a few weeks where we are.''

St. John's is second in the poll announced Wednesday, receiving the other first-place vote since coaches can't pick their own team. The Red Storm finished second last season and advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament.

''We're very proud that we're toward the top of the conference in the preseason,'' St. John's coach Joe Tartamella said. ''It's a testament to where our program is. It shows that as a program we have respect from the league.''

Villanova, Creighton, Seton Hall, Providence, Marquette, Georgetown, Xavier and Butler round out the poll.

The conference has three new coaches with Butler's Kurt Godlevske, Georgetown's Natasha Adair and Marquette's Carolyn Kieger. None are strangers to the conference. Godlevske was an assistant coach at the school before taking over as the interim last spring.

Adair was an assistant for the Hoyas for six seasons and Kieger starred at Marquette.

''It's great to be back and help rebuild some of the tradition at the school,'' Adair said.

Creighton's Marissa Janning is the preseason player of the year. She won the award last spring as a sophomore.

''It lights a little fire under me to try and maintain that and improve,'' Janning said.

Joining Janning on the preseason team are Caroline Coyer of Villanova, Danaejah Grant and Aliyyah Handford of St. John's, Alexis Harris of Providence, Brittany Hrynko of DePaul, Arlesia Morse of Marquette, Tabath Richardson-Smith and Daisha Simmons of Seton Hall and Faith Woodard of Georgetown.

The Hoyas' Dorothy Adomako is the preseason freshman of the year.

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