Big East Preview – Part 4

This tier of the Big East might as well be called the basement. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like any of these squads have the ability to crack the first three tiers except the Bulls. Rutgers is the definition of rebuilding under new coach Mike Rice. Depaul hired new coach Oliver Purnell, and Providence lost a few players and recruits.

13. South Florida Bulls 20-13 (9-9) – South Florida had a .500 BE season last year. Pretty darn good for their standards. A large part of their success had to do with stand out Dominique Jones (21.4 ppg). Unfortunately for the Bulls, he has moved on to bigger and better things like the NBA. USF also loses Chris Howard (10.3 ppg) and Mike Mercer (9.2 ppg). However, South Florida does return big men Jarrid Famous and Augustus Gilchrist.
USF will need major contributions from JUCO transfers Jawanza Poland and Hugh Robertson to hold their own this season. Famous and Gilchrist will have to do their best job to fill the points lost of Jones. Unfortunately, the losses will be too much. Don’t expect another 9 Big East wins for the Bulls.

14. Providence Friars 12-19 (4-14) – Four of the Friars top 6 scorers are gone, including their top two. Jamine Peterson (19.6), Sharaud Curry (15.5), Bilal Dixon (8.2) and Brian McKenzie (5.8) are all gone. Marshon Brooks and Vincent Council are going to have plenty of playing time and opportunities to try and pick up the slack. ESPNU 100 freshman shooting guard Gerard Coleman will likely see plenty of time early.
Simply put, the Friars won’t be able to replace their losses from an already bottom 4 squad of last year.

15. Rutgers Scarlet Knights 15-17 (5-13) – Rutgers loses just about everyone from last season’s 15 win squad. Leading scorer Mike Rosario (16.7 ppg) transferred to Florida, Gregory Echenique (12.7 ppg) was a midseason transfer to Creighton, Hamady Ndiaye (9.4 ppg, 7.1 rpg) was an NBA draft pick, and reserve Patrick Jackson (2.4 ppg) transferred to Kent State. The Rutgers roster is very thin this season. Only one of Rutgers’ projected starters (Mitchell 11.8) averaged over 10 ppg last season.
This will be a rough, rough year for the Scarlet Knights, but there are brighter skies ahead.

16. DePaul Blue Demons 8-23 (1-17) –Depaul loses their two headed monster Mac Koshwal (16.1 ppg, 10.1 rpg) and Will Walker (16.2 ppg). Together, the tandem accounted for over 50% of the Blue Demons’ scoring last year. New coach Oliver Purnell will have to use a combination of returning role players to try and find some sort of foundation to build a program off of. Perhaps, freshmen Moses Morgan, Brandon Young and Cleveland Melvin could contribute.
Anyway this picture is painted, it’s not a pretty one for DePaul fans. Fortunately, next year’s recruiting class was given a boost with ESPNU100 stud Shane Larkin.

Sorry for the disappointment, but I won’t be having any additional statistics or anything. I had a bunch of point % lost by each team, what players they lost, and which players they gained, but the numbers are slightly off due to late additions and subtractions, so I don’t want to post erroneous numbers.

I will have a B10 preview out before the start of the season (November 8th!), a write up for games to watch during the opening week of college basketball, as well as a recap for the Seton Hall v. William Patterson exhibition game on November 5th.

Thanks for reading again, and I’m still on Twitter @ the_bracket_man (for some reason, the blog won’t let me link this..)

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