Big East Basketball Preview – Part 1

The day is upon us, finally. I’m ready to unveil my Big East preview…

The league has a few wild card teams this season in St. Johns, Louisville, Marquette and Seton Hall as well as the perennial powerhouses (Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Villanova) and the basement dwellers (Providence, Rutgers, Depaul).

I will break the 16 teams into several tiers as I see fit. I will give a brief overview of each team as well as include team additions and losses. Today, I will reveal my first tier  of Big East teams. Enjoy!

1. Pittsburgh Panthers 25-9 (13-5) – Pittsburgh is set to build off a very solid 2009-10 campaign. They shouldn’t have too much trouble doing this because the only impact player they lost is guard Jermaine Dixon. Look for the back court of Ashton Gibbs and Brad Wanamaker to continue to rapidly improve. McGhee, Brown and Robinson will remain as the main forwards in Jamie Dixon’s front court rotation. Don’t sleep on Lamar Patterson or Talib Zanna, who were both red shirted last season.

Assuming this closely nit TEAM continues to improve at the same rate as last season, Pittsburgh should have no trouble finishing in the Top 3 and possibly winning the Big East regular season title.

2. Syracuse Orangemen 30-5 (15-3) – ‘Cuse loses some big guns in Andy Rautins, Arinze Onuaku, and Wes Johnson (48% of scoring). However, they replace them with the McDonalds All-American center Fabricio Melo and standout shooting guard Dion Waiters. Syracuse still has solid forwards in Kris Joseph and Rick Jackson as well as emerging guards in Scoop Jardine and Brandon Triche.

Syracuse has to replace some big players, but it looks like they will be able to reload well enough to finish in the Top 3.

3. Villanova Wildcats 25-8 (13-5) – Villanova is looking to bounce back after a disappointing and tumultuous NCAA tournament appearance last season.

Villanova loses star point guard Scottie Reynolds as well as fellow guard Reggie Reynolds. They also lose reserve Taylor King, who decided to leave the program. If Villanova wants to finish in the Top 4 of the Big East again, they will have to will the huge hole left by Reynolds. Last year’s solid freshman class of Maalik Wayns, Dominic Cheek and Mouphtaou Yarou will have to really step up this season.

4. Georgetown Hoyas 23-11 (10-8) – Georgetown has all of its NCAA tournament team back from last season except one key cog, the engine: Greg Monroe. Their being in the Top 4 of the BE all depends on how they replace the NBA lottery pick. Georgetown will have one of the best back courts in the country between Chris Wright, Austin Freeman and Jason Clark. They will have to take the pressure off of Georgetown’s questionable front court consisting of Julian Vaughn, Hollis Thompson and Henry Sims. I can see John Thompson III going with some smaller lineups to hide their apparent weakness upfront.


That concludes the first tier of Big East teams. I will post all team losses, additions, transfers and misc. tidbits after the release of tier 4.

Tier 2 will be released this Monday, October 25th.

I hope this was a worthwhile read, and remember to follow me on Twitter!


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