By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
FREDRICK King and the Creighton Bluejays were selected to finish number one overall in the Big East when the conference announced its preseason poll.
The conference hosted media day yesterday at Madison Square Garden and the Bluejays were selected to finish first by Big East coaches for the first time in programme history.
The Bluejays collected eight first-place votes and earned 98 points in the poll.
The Blue Jays finished last season 23-12, fourth place in the Big East Conference regular-season standings, and runner-up in the league tournament.
After receiving an at large bid to the NCAA Tournament, they defeated San Diego State in the first round before they lost in the second round to eventual national champion Kansas Jayhawks. King joins a roster that returns three double figure scorers from last season, several players that received all-conference honours and a highly touted team.
“Certainly from a depth standpoint we have experience and we have a lot of versatility,” McDermott said at Tuesday’s BIG EAST Media Day at Madison Square Garden.
“We have a starting five that can do a lot of things. We can be small and quick or we can be big and physical. We just have to make sure our defence is elite like it was last year and then hopefully in time our offence will catch up.”
Creighton will open its preseason on October 30 against Drury and the regular season on November 7 against St Thomas.
“Fredrick is a versatile and an athletic front line player,” McDermott said at the time of King’s signing.
“Having played at NBA Academy Latin America, he has been coached and trained at a high level. His motor and competitive spirit will allow for an immediate impact on our programme.”
King, a 6’10” frontcourt player out of the NBA Academy (Latin America), decided on the Blue Jays over the BYU Cougars, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and Utah Utes..
King said he hopes to learn from and lend support to Bluejays starting centre and Big East Defensive Player of the Year - the 7’1” Ryan Kalkbrenner.
“(Kalkbrenner) is a great player. He’s bigger than everybody else,” King said.
“I’ll come in after Kalkbrenner,” King said. “I’ll be able to help inside while also working on multiple skills.”