Niagara’s Kayla Stroman and the University at Buffalo’s Javon McCrea took home preseason player of the year honors Thursday as the inaugural All-Big Four Basketball Teams were announced at media day.
The teams were selected by members of the media and the athletic communications departments of Canisius, Niagara, St. Bonaventure and the University at Buffalo.
Stroman, a redshirt junior guard, returned to Niagara’s lineup last season after missing most of 2010-11 with a knee injury. McCrea, a junior forward, started all 31 games for the Bulls last season. He followed up his 2011 Mid-American Conference Freshman of the Year award by averaging 14.7 points and 6.9 rebounds a game.
Also selected to the Preseason All-Big Four Women’s First Team were Lauren Gatto (Niagara), Nytor Longar (Buffalo), Doris Ortega (St. Bonaventure) and Jamie Ruttle (Canisius).
Nabbing second-team honors were CeCe Dixon (St. Bonaventure), Ashley Durham (Canisius), Kayla Hoohuli (Canisius), Meghan McGuinness (Niagara) and Alaina Walker (St. Bonaventure).
Joining McCrea on the Preseason All-Big Four Men’s First Team were Demitrius Conger (St. Bonaventure), Juan’ya Green (Niagara), Antoine Mason (Niagara) and Harold Washington (Canisius).
Second-team selections were Billy Baron (Canisius), Alshwan Hymes (Canisius), Charlon Kloof (St. Bonaventure), Jarod Oldham (Buffalo) and Will Regan (Buffalo).
The regular season kicks off Nov. 9 with a Big 4 women’s matchup between Canisius and Buffalo at Canisius.
Also on Nov. 9, the St. Bonaventure men play host to Bethune-Cookman, the Niagara men play at Oregon State and the Niagara women open at Robert Morris. The St. Bonaventure women open their season Nov. 10, hosting Binghamton, the same day the Buffalo men host Princeton. The Canisius men are the last to open, hosting Boston University on Nov. 12.