Tag: Big East

2018-2019 Big East Preview

Preseason Player of the Year:

Shamorie Ponds, St. John’s

Preseason All-Conference Team:

Kamar Baldwin, Butler

Jessie Govan, Georgetown

Markus Howard, Marquette

Eric Paschall, Villanova

Shamorie Ponds, St John’s

Preseason Newcomer of the Year:

Mustapha Heron, St. John’s

Projected Order of Finish:

1. Villanova

The defending national champs lost quite a bit from the championship team, but it appears that head coach Jay Wright has reloaded. Senior forward Eric Paschall is an all-American candidate and he’ll be the leader of the squad along with senior guard Phil Booth. To bolster the two seniors is a top-15 recruiting class featuring Jahvon Quinerly, Cole Swider, Brandon Slater and Saddiq Bey as well as Albany grad transfer Joe Cremo. There is plenty here to continue the Wildcats’ dominance of the Big East.

2. Marquette

This will be one of the highest-scoring teams in America. Led by juniors Markus Howard, Sam Hauser and Sacar Anim, the Golden Eagles should make their return to the NCAA tournament this season. They do have to repair their issues on the defensive end, but if they’re at least competent there I don’t see many teams that’ll be able to keep up with them.

3. St. John’s

This has to be the year for the Red Storm. This is by far the most talented team head coach Chris Mullin has had at St. John’s and its quite possibly the best roster in the league. Junior guard Shamorie Ponds is the favorite for Big East Player of the Year, but there will be plenty of talent around him in senior forward Marvin Clark II and junior guards Justin Simon and Mustapha Heron. Chemistry could derail this train, but St. John’s has too much talent to miss the tournament.

4. Providence

Head coach Ed Cooley continues to recruit at a high level and is doing more reloading than rebuilding these days. The Friars will have quality experience in their backcourt with junior Alpha Diallo and senior Isaiah Jackson. Senior forward Emmitt Holt appears to be healthy after missing last season. Freshmen A.J. Reeves, David Duke and Jimmy Nichols along with sophomores Nate Watson and Makai Ashton-Langford will be key piece of Providence’s future.

5. Butler

When speaking about the Bulldogs the “Butler Way” is the phrase that is often used, but it’s a real thing. LaVall Jordan stepped right in and got Butler back to the tournament last season and it would be foolish to think they won’t do it again. Sophomore Big East Player of the Year candidate Kamar Baldwin leads a team that’ll expect Duke transfer Jordan Tucker to be an instant contributor. Senior guard Paul Jorgensen returns as well, but sophomore guard Aaron Thompson’s jumper will be important to how far Butler goes this season.

6. Xavier

The Musketeers lost quite a bit last season from Trevon Bluiett, J.P. Macura and Karem Kanter as players to Chris Mack as head coach. Travis Steele takes over for Mack and has junior guard Quentin Goodin and sophomore forward Naji Marshall to move the program forward. Transfers Ryan Welage, Kyle Castlin and Zach Hankins will have to contribute as well.

7. Georgetown

Patrick Ewing appears to have the program headed in the right direction in his second year, but that progress was slowed a little bit when Marcus Derrickson decided to leave school early. The Hoyas still have senior all-conference candidate Jessie Govan along with sophomores Jamorko Pickett and Jahvon Blair. The backcourt was upgraded with freshmen James Akinjo and Mac McClung. The future is bright, but not enough to compete for the tournament this season.

8. Seton Hall

Seton Hall’s famed class featuring Desi Rodriguez, Khadeen Carrington, Angel Delgado and Ismael Sanogo have all graduated and now junior guard Myles Powell is left to lead the program. Transfers Quincy McKnight and Taurean Thompson will have to be ready help Powell for the Pirates to see if they can continue this run.

9. Creighton

Injuries have dealt the Blue Jays a tough blow the past few seasons, but this year the struggles will be because they’ve lost talents like Marcus Foster, Khyri Thomas and Toby Hegner. Junior forward Martin Krampelj’s health is also a concern. There just isn’t the caliber of players here that coach Greg McDermott has been accustomed to since Creighton moved to the Big East.

10.DePaul

The Blue Demons still are just trying to find their footing in the Big East. This year they’ll have a senior backcourt of Eli Cain and Max Strus to help try to usher them out of the cellar of the Big East. Transfers Jalen Coleman-Lands and Femi Olujobi enter the program to assist with that process. They’re playing in a new arena and have a promising recruiting class coming next season and it appears it’ll be then when we can expect a jump from this program.

Advertisements

SHOCKing Results

Fred VanVleet has led Wichita St to a 19-0 record

Threw almost three months of the season there is one team whose undefeated record is as surprising as its run to the Final Four last season.  Wichita St rolled through its non-conference schedule and with Creighton in the Big East, it looks like the Shockers will face little resistance in the Missouri Valley this season.

Led by one of the best point guards in the country in Fred VanVleet, the Shockers destroyed Indiana St, the only other team in the Valley with real at-large aspirations.  He runs the show and is surrounded by talent that plenty of high majors schools are probably envious of.  Throw in Gregg Marshall, a man who’s legitimately one of the best coaches in the country and this is a team that looks like a national title contender.

Stock Up: Tyler Ennis.  The Syracuse freshman has taken this team to another level.  Any thoughts of a drop off after Michael Carter-Williams have been erased as Ennis has made the Orange the favorite to win the ACC.

Stock Down: Big East favorites.  Both Georgetown and Marquette are sputtering to find themselves as injuries, suspensions and early departures have crushed their respective rosters.  Both squads thought they’d perform much better this season but neither have been close to upholding the standard the each program has set.

Stock Up: Kansas.  The Jayhawks are putting it together and its going to get scary for everyone else.  It appears that Joel Embiid has taken the reigns as the best player on this team and everyone else has followed.  Kansas already has four losses, but it could be a good while before it losses again…if it losses again.

Stock Down: VCU. The Rams have been figured out.  If you limit VCU’s transition opportunities they can’t score.  This team can get hot from deep, but it’s not consistent when the Rams are off, they’re extremely easy to defend.

On to the bracket:

First one of the year.

Last Four In: North Carolina, Stanford, Providence, SMU

Last Four Out: Saint Mary’s, Boise St, Purdue, Georgetown

 

WEST

1.Arizona16.Robert Morris/Chattanooga               San Diego

8.Baylor9.Florida St

5.Ohio St12.Providence/Stanford             Raleigh

4.Duke13.Mercer

6.Memphis11.Texas       San Antonio

3.Wichita St14.Georgia St

7.Kansas St10.George Washington           Milwaukee

2.Wisconsin15.Vermont

SOUTH

1.Florida16.Radford        Orlando

8.UCLA9.Xavier

5.Pittsburgh12.Toledo   San Diego

4.Cincinnati13.Stephen F. Austin

6.Gonzaga11.Clemson   Spokane

3.Oklahoma St14.Boston

7.Michigan10.Harvard    Buffalo

2.Villanova15.Utah Valley

MIDWEST

1.Michigan St16.Southern            Milwaukee

8.California9.Southern Miss

5.Iowa St12.Missouri      Raleigh

4.Louisville13.Manhattan

6.Oklahoma11.Green Bay            San Antonio

3.UMass14.Northern Colorado

7.Virginia10.Oregon        Spokane

2.San Diego St15.UC Irvine

EAST

1.Syracuse16.South Dakota/Morgan St  Buffalo

8.Minnesota9.Colorado

5.Saint Louis12.SMU/North Carolina        Orlando

4.Kentucky13.Belmont

6.Creighton11.VCU         St. Louis

3.Iowa14.Towson

7.UConn10.New Mexico               St. Louis

2.Kansas15.Old Dominion

The Jimmer Show

It's Jimmer's world and we're just living in it

He’s leading the nation in scoring, his team has the No. 2 rated RPI, but can’t get a sniff of a ESPN broadcast. Jimmer Fredette has his BYU cougar squad rolling so far this season and much of that is due to the fact that he’s proving to be unguardable on the college level.

Fredette is leading the nation in scoring at 26.1 per game right now on 48 percent shooting. It doesn’t get much better than that and doesn’t get much better than the Cougars. At 15-1, the Cougars are looking at a possible top-four seed in the NCAA Tournament and a Mountain West Conference title.

Fredette may be the best player in the country and BYU may be the best team out West. BYU has disposed of much of the 14th rated schedule with ease and there’s no reason why we shouldn’t expect it to continue to play great through conference play.

Stock Up: The Big East. Rebuild…how about Reload. If you look below at the bracket, you’ll see 11 teams from the Big East in the field. Now, I don’t believe the Big East will get 11 teams in come March, but I expect to see nine and 10 won’t surprise me. Once again it’s the best conference in America – appearing to be just as stacked at the top as it’s always been.

Stock Down: Mississippi St. I’m not really sure what Rick Stansbury is doing, but he needs to figure out what kind of program he wants to run. Right now he looks like he has no control as he has a player, who was suspended for all of last season and most of this season, get into a fight with a teammate in practice – gets suspended – gets reinstated – and then gets into a fight with another teammate while watching two other teams play a game. I don’t really know how he’s going to bounce back, but it looks like it’s going to be a long season in Starkville.

Stock Up: Central Florida. The team led by Marcus Jordan, son of Michael, is off to a 13-1 start with wins over in-state rivals Florida and Miami. The Knights will have some serious challenges if they want to win Conference-USA, but it looks like they’re primed for one of the best seasons in program history.

Stock Down: ACC. A few years ago the possibility of a team being good enough to go undefeated through the ACC was laughable. Now…it’s pretty realistic. That’s not because Duke is that great, it’s because the ACC is that bad. With Wake Forest and Georgia Tech at horribly bad levels and NC State and Florida St under-achieving, get ready for a lot of whining on Selection Sunday from our friends on Tobacco Road.

This Week’s Bracket Projections:

Last Four In: Washington St, Virginia Tech, Richmond, Dayton
Last Four Out: New Mexico, USC, Southern Miss, Colorado St

Good for games through 1/10/2011

EAST
1.Duke16.McNeese St/Jackson St Charlotte
8.Vanderbilt9.Michigan St
5.UCF12.Dayton/Washington St Tampa
4.Missouri13.Harvard
6.UNLV11.Utah St Denver
3.Connecticut14.Coastal Carolina
7.Georgia10.St. John’s Chicago
2.Purdue15.Austin Peay
WEST
1.Syracuse16.Florida Atlantic Washington, DC
8.Minnesota9.Old Dominion
5.Washington12.UAB Tucson
4.Texas13.Charleston
6.Louisville11.Wichita St Chicago
3.Illinois14.Akron
7.Kansas St10.Cincinnati Tucson
2.San Diego St15.Long Beach St
SOUTHWEST
1.Kansas16.Northern Colorado Tulsa
8.Tennessee9.Arizona
5.Wisconsin12.Richmond/Virginia Tech Tulsa
4.Notre Dame13.Hofstra
6.Georgetown11.Gonzaga Charlotte
3.Kentucky14.Belmont
7.North Carolina10.Missouri St Cleveland
2.Pittsburgh15.Bucknell
SOUTHEAST
1.Ohio St16.Morgan St/Hartford Cleveland
8.West Virginia9.Boston College
5.Florida12.Marquette Tampa
4.Texas A&M13.Oakland
6.Temple11.Butler Denver
3.BYU14.Fairfield
7.Oklahoma St10.St. Mary’s Washington, DC
2.Villanova15.Wagner

In Graphical Form