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Adama Sanogo named Big East Preseason Player of the Year

Sanogo is the Huskies’ first Preseason Player of the Year award winner since Rudy Gay in 2005.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn’s Adama Sanogo was named the 2022-23 Big East Preseason Player of the Year ahead of the Big East’s Media Day in New York City on Tuesday. Sanogo, a junior forward from Bamako, Mali, is the only returning player from last year’s All-Big East First Team and projects to be one of the best big men in the country this season.

“We’re excited for Adama,” UConn coach Dan Hurley said in a statement. “This well-earned recognition is the product of a great deal of hard work and dedication.

“Not since Rudy Gay in 2005 has a Husky been named preseason player of the year. Adama is very deserving and we anticipate an excellent junior season for him.”

Sanogo averaged 14.8 points and 8.8 rebounds per game last season for the Huskies, and improved his defensive abilities to become a formidable shot blocker, swatting 55 shots last year. He was also the Big East’s leading scorer and rebounder in conference play, averaging 15.1 points and 9.7 boards per game.

With his Preseason Player of the Year selection, Sanogo becomes the seventh player in program history to earn the honor, joining Corny Thompson (1981-82), Donnell Marshall (1993-94), Richard Hamilton (1998-99), Khalid El-Amin (1999-2000), Emeka Okafor (2003-04) and Rudy Gay (2005-06). Of those seven, three players — Marshall, Hamilton and Okafor — went on to win the postseason Big East Player of the Year award that same season.

Aside from Sanogo’s POY honors, no other UConn player received preseason recognition for the preseason All-Big East First or Second Teams. Villanova’s Cam Whitmore, a 6-foot-7 forward and the No. 14 recruit in the Class of 2022, was named the Big East Preseason Freshman of the Year.

Five players — Creighton’s Ryan Kalkbrenner, Providence guard Jared Bynum, St. John’s guard Posh Alexander and Xavier’s Colby Jones and Jack Nunge — rounded out the Preseason All-Big East First Team.

Seton Hall’s Kadary Richmond joined Caleb Daniels, Eric Dixon and Justin Moore of Villanova alongside Creighton’s Arthur Kaluma and Ryan Nembhard to round out the second team, which featured six players due to a tie in voting. Butler’s Chuck Harris, Creighton’s Baylor Scheierman and Whitmore were honorable mentions.

The complete list of 2022-23 Big East Men’s Basketball Preseason Honors can be found below.

BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year

Adama Sanogo, Connecticut, F, Jr., 6-9, 245, Bamako, Mali

BIG EAST Preseason Freshman of the Year

Cam Whitmore, Villanova, F, Fr., 6-7, 232, Odenton, Md.

Preseason All-BIG EAST First Team

Ryan Kalkbrenner, Creighton, C, Jr., 7-1, 260, St. Louis, Mo.

Jared Bynum, Providence, G, Gr., 5-10, 180, Largo, Md.

Posh Alexander, St. John’s, G, Jr., 6-0, 200, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Colby Jones, Xavier, G, Jr., 6-6, 207, Birmingham, Ala.

Jack Nunge, Xavier, F, Gr., 7-0, 245, Newburgh, Ind.

Preseason All-BIG EAST Second Team

Arthur Kaluma, Creighton, F, So., 6-7, 225, Glendale, Ariz.

Ryan Nembhard, Creighton, G, So., 6-0, 170, Aurora, Ont.

Kadary Richmond, Seton Hall, G, Jr., 6-6, 210, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Caleb Daniels, Villanova, G, Gr., 6-4, 210, New Orleans, La.

Eric Dixon, Villanova, F, R-Jr., 6-8, 255, Willow Grove, Pa.

Justin Moore, Villanova, G, Sr., 6-4, 215, Fort Washington, Md.

Preseason All-BIG EAST Honorable Mention

Chuck Harris, Butler, G, Jr., 6-2, 200, Ashburn, Va.

Baylor Scheierman, Creighton, F, Sr., 6-7, 205, Aurora, Neb.

Cam Whitmore, Villanova, F, Fr., 6-7, 232, Odenton, Md.