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Big East Player of the Year Power Rankings Week 1

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We are seeing one of the deepest and most competitive Big East Player of the Year races in the conference’s history. It has sparked debate across the all ten fan bases so we decided to keep track of this historic chase for the conference player of the year crown each week.

NCAA Basketball: Marquette at Creighton Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

It’s Week 1 so let’s dive into the details and criteria.

Each Monday based on performances, value to the team, conference and national recognition we will rank the top five candidates for the Big East Player of the Year. It really is like a normal power ranking, but for the player of the year race.

However, there is a twist.

As we get down to the final week of the regular season, Big East fans will get a chance to be involved.

The last day of the regular season in the Big East is March 9 and all 10 teams are in action. On March 6, the final five candidates for the Big East Player of the Year will be revealed by yours truly in the final top five power rankings.

Here is where you, the fans, come in.

Polls will be placed on the site each day for the rest of that week until the end of the regular season. Fans, you have to vote each day to keep your favorite candidate alive for a chance to be Big East Coast Bias’ fan choice for the Big East Player of Year!

It’s Bachelor style.

You will vote to give a “rose” to your favorite candidate to keep them alive for one more day. Each day whoever gets the least amount of votes will be eliminated. It’s the Bachelor Big East style and, frankly, there is a lot more on the line.

On March 9, the fans will vote for the Big East Coast Bias Big East Player of the Year between the final two candidates!

Excited? We sure are!

Without further ado, here is the first BECB Big East Player of the Year power rankings.

5) Max Strus, DePaul Blue Demons

It’s been a really nice season so far for Strus who taking a leadership role on this team with Eli Cain and to this point, the Blue Demons are turning heads.

Strus is averaging 18.4 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game and is having another great season in Chicago.

Led by Strus, DePaul is 2-2 in Big East play after defeating a ranked St. John’s team in Queens on Saturday. That came off the heels of a home win over Seton Hall. Strus had 14 points and 12 rebounds in the win over the Johnnies and has shown all season his worth to the team.

If DePaul can keep this up, Strus will be a serious contender for Big East honors the rest of the way this season.

4) Phil Booth, Villanova Wildcats

After the Villanova Wildcats lost four players to the NBA Draft last season, Jay Wright needed players to step up. None of them have risen to the occasion more than Phil Booth.

Booth is averaging 17.6 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game after being a role player last year. Booth scored 331 points all of last season. After this week of action, Booth has already scored 282 points and there is a lot more season left.

This week, Booth had 23 points, seven rebounds and four assists in a comeback win over St. John’s at home. Booth made some massive shots to complete the comeback over a ranked team.

Booth also had 28 points, seven assists and four rebounds in Omaha on Sunday in a win over Creighton. At the moment, Booth has the Cats right where they expect to be in Big East play and that is in first place. Certainly worthy of consideration early in conference play for the player of the year.

3) Shamorie Ponds, St. John’s Red Storm

The conference season has been up and down for Ponds so far, but his overall season to this point has been stellar to say the least.

Ponds is the heart and soul of this Red Storm team while putting up 20.6 points, 4.4 rebounds and a career-high 6.0 assists per game.

Certainly this was a tough week for the Red Storm and Ponds specifically as the Johnnies went 0-2 against Villanova and DePaul. Ponds missed the DePaul game with a lower back strain and it looked like a different St. John’s team as many expected.

Hopefully, Ponds can get healthy because when he is right he is a Big East Player of the Year frontrunner.

2) Myles Powell, Seton Hall Pirates

Seton Hall has been probably the biggest surprise in college basketball due to the fact that they lost four of their five starters from last season’s NCAA Tournament team. The one they kept is one of the best players in the conference this season.

Myles Powell is averaging 22.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.8 steals per game this season while taking a big leadership role on the team. He has this Seton Hall team playing as well as anyone at the moment and helped to put the Pirates in the mix for a Big East title.

This week, Powell was fantastic as Seton Hall split their two matchups with Butler and Marquette. Against the Bulldogs, Powell had 31 points, three rebounds and shot 13-15 from the free throw line in a win. At Marquette, he had 21 points and nine rebounds in a hard-fought loss to another Big East contender.

Powell is emerging as one of the Big East Player of the Year frontrunners as he is the driving force for this Seton Hall team that is surprising many around the country.

1) Markus Howard, Marquette Golden Eagles

Howard is the leader right now for the Big East Player of the Year award at the moment after a historic week.

Against Creighton, Howard scored 53 points in an overtime win over the Jays in Omaha. That point total broke his own Big East record for points in one game of 52 points that he scored at Providence a few seasons back. Howard literally scored half of Marquette’s points in the win.

Howard really had to work against Seton Hall’s Quincy McKnight on Saturday, but he still finished with 26 points, six rebounds and six assists.

This season, Howard leads the conference with 25.8 points per game and is continuing to get better on both ends of the floor. At the moment, he has the top spot for the player of the year award.

Did we miss anyone? Make your case in the comments or on Twitter @becb_sbn and @SSaintj7. We will back next Monday to update the rankings!