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Stroman, McCrea Big 4 Preseason Players of The Year

Niagara's Kayla Stroman and the University at Buffalo's Javon McCrea took home preseason player of the 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. She led the Purple Eagles in points per game (10.8) assists (124) and steals (81).

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 with a solid sophomore season 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 Hoohuili (Canisius), Meghan McGuinness (Niagara) and Alaina Walker (St. Bonaventure).

Joining McCrea on the Preseason All-Big Four Men's First Team were Demitrius Congar (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 on Nov. 9 with a Big 4 women's matchup when Canisius hosts Buffalo in the Koessler Center. Also on Nov. 9, the St. Bonaventure men host Benthune 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 while the Buffalo men host Princeton. 

The Canisius men are the last to open the regular season, hosting Boston University on Nov. 12.

--- Amy Moritz 

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About Campus Watch

Bob Dicesare

Bob DiCesare

Western New York native Bob DiCesare covers UB football, Big 4 basketball and writes an occasional column. He still holds a grudge against Chris Ford who, he's convinced, cost St. Bonaventure the 1970 NCAA basketball championship.

@TBNDicesare |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has covered colleges for The Buffalo News since 1999. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |