Week 4 of the power rankings is here and some notable performances have tightened up the race to the point that it’s challenging the wild race for seeding in the Big East itself. This has certainly turned into the most competitive race in the history of the new Big East for the conference player of the year so let’s look back on another wild week in the hunt.
5) Max Strus, DePaul Blue Demons
Last week: NR
Max Strus is back!
To be honest, Strus had a relatively mediocre week as he scored 13 points and had seven rebounds in a win over Providence after having 13 points, five rebounds and four assists in a loss to Villanova.
It was more what Georgetown’s Jessie Govan didn’t do than what Strus did.
Govan, in a loss to Villanova on Sunday, had 0 points on 0-9 shooting and fouled out after 13 minutes. It was probably the worst performance he has had in his career and it knocked him from a spot in the rankings.
Don’t worry folks! There are certainly others knocking at the door of this list, but for now Strus returns to the top five with the spot being very much up for grabs in the coming weeks.
Remember, for that final vote for the site’s choice for Big East Player of the Year you just have to be in the rankings to have a shot. Multiple players are in the mix for this spot right now, but for now it belongs to Strus.
T-3) Myles Powell, Seton Hall Pirates
Last week: 4
After dropping to fourth last week, Powell responded in a big way this past week as the Pirates got a big win against Providence and then almost came back to beat Butler.
Powell had 31 points, four rebounds and four steals in a win over Providence that ended Seton Hall’s losing streak. He made many of the big plays that led the Pirates to the win and that counts big in these rankings.
The Pirates followed that up by playing in the All-Access game on FS1 against Butler on Saturday. After trailing by as many as 17 points in the second half, Seton Hall came back to tie the game in the last minute behind 21 points from Powell including the game tying three pointer.
However, Seton Hall would lose on a controversial goaltending call that allowed Butler to take the lead followed by a three from Powell who just missed it off the back rim.
Powell’s week was much better and has him right back in the race. If he keeps this up he could possibly leapfrog back into the conversation for the top spot.
T-3) Shamorie Ponds, St. John’s Redstorm
Last week: 3
It was another up and down week for Ponds and the Red Storm in a make or break period for the Johnnies. They started the week with a huge win at Creighton behind 26 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and six steals from Ponds.
One of the best performances of the season in the Big East.
However, it was followed by a 30-point loss to Duke in Durham that saw Ponds score just 11 points and commit five turnovers by himself. That came after he committed six in the win at Creighton.
Those performances pretty much cancel each other out it seems and moves Ponds back into a tie for third place. However, performances like the one against Creighton could lead to Ponds challenging for the top spot in weeks to come.
2) Phil Booth, Villanova Wildcats
Last week: 2
Villanova keeps winning so Booth stays at the two spot this week thanks to solid performances in the wins over DePaul and Georgetown.
Booth had 19 points and eight assists in the win over the Blue Demons in Chicago and 14 points in the win over Georgetown.
The Wildcats are now 9-0 and have Creighton and Marquette coming up this week. It will be a big chance for Booth to move into the one spot if he keeps this great run going for Villanova.
We have the cape on standby for Phil “Out of the phone” Booth if that happens and he ascends to the top of the rankings.
1) Markus Howard, Marquette Golden Eagles
Last week: 1
Howard’s run continues at number one after one really good performance in a win at Butler where he had 32 points, five rebounds and two steals in the win.
The most impressive part is the fact that Howard only made two threes in the win. Howard is showing more and more that he is an all-around great offensive player. Not just a shooter. He is going to be tough to beat out, but it is worth noting that players behind him are gaining on him.
Certainly the game against Villanova this week can help Howard build on his lead, but the likes of Booth, Powell and Ponds are right there ready to pounce as we get closer to the Big East Tournament.
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!