The college basketball season is still five months away, but who doesn’t like a little reminder that the Big East is set to be a very competitive conference yet again this season?
May 24th was the final day for all players to withdraw their name from NBA Draft consideration, most recruits have committed, and impact graduate transfers have announced their decisions for the most part. Simply put, barring any off-season injuries the rosters are pretty much set in stone from here until the college basketball season.
Top Big East Player of the Year Candidates
Jalen Brunson, Angel Delgado, Trevon Bluiett, Marcus Foster
- Villanova- The Wildcats will remain here until it is proven another team deserves this spot. Jalen Brunson is primed for a BEPOY-caliber season, and the addition of five-star Omari Spellman down low will keep the Wildcats elite. Donte Divincenzo will need to continue to build off of last year’s success, though.
- Xavier- Trevon Bluiett and JP Macura were the Musketeers two most important players from last year’s Elite Eight team and they return. Oh yeah, Chris Mack also has the 11th ranked recruiting class per 247 Sports. Xavier has the ingredients of a team who can make yet another deep run in March, possibly to their first Final Four.
- Seton Hall- The Pirates can easily be in Xavier’s spot right now. The only separation between the teams is that while both teams return key experienced players, Xavier’s returners have lead their team deeper into March. With that being said, Angel Delgado is the top returning center in the nation from last year, and the Pirates top three returning scorers are all 1,000 career point scorers. Seton Hall will add needed depth with a solid incoming recruiting class. Look for Kevin Willard’s squad to be strong contenders to win their second Big East title in three years.
4. Providence- I do not think Providence will be quite good enough to crack the top 3, but I also believe they stand out alone as considerably better than the rest of the teams in the conference. The returning core of Rodney Bullock, Emmitt Holt, Jalen Lindsey and Kyron Cartwright should definitely be enough for the Friars to return to the NCAA Tournament next season.
5. Butler- This is where it gets interesting, the Big East could be a seven-bid conference again come March. Teams five through eight are very interchangeable. Butler gets the top spot in this group because head coach Chris Holtmann has demonstrated he can win, even when his teams are not loaded with talent. Last season’s leading scorer, Kelan Martin, returns for his senior year, along with Tyler Wideman and Kamar Baldwin. Production will need to be made up for as Tyler Lewis and Andrew Chrabascz both are gone.
6. St. John’s- The Johnnies can be a very scary team. Chris Mullin has himself one of the best backcourts in the nation in Shamorie Ponds and Marcus LoVett who combined averaged over 30 points a game last season. Four-star power forward Sidney Wilson signed with the Red Storm recently, giving St. John’s some help down low.
7. Creighton- Marcus Foster deciding to return for his senior year will help big time, having Khyri Thomas returning helps a ton also. Much of this team’s success will be dependent on the impact next season’s freshman will have, and Creighton’s recruiting class is solid.
8. Marquette- Sophomore Markus Howard returns after a very impressive freshman campaign. The Golden Eagles are a heavily guard oriented team who will hope for 6-11 center, Harry Froling to make an immediate impact down low.
Living in The Basement
9. DePaul- I put the Blue Demons here because I am confident in the ability of Eli Cain to lead his team to more wins than Georgetown, who I believe may just be a mess next season. You will be hearing DePaul’s name being called on Selection Sunday 3-4 years from now. Things are turning around in Chicago as DePaul is already looking at a promising 2018 recruiting class and will begin playing games in their brand new Wintrust Arena this upcoming season.
10. Georgetown- Way too many questions to be answered here. Can Patrick Ewing coach at the college level? This team also has way too much roster turnover to predict a successful first year for Coach Ewing.