Big East Conference Preview

Top to bottom there is no league will be better this season than the Big East, I think there are eight teams with realistic NCAA Tournament hopes, the league also has seven teams that I think are for sure tournament teams in every preseason Bracketology. Also last but not least, DePaul is actually pretty good at basketball this season as they bring in a really good recruiting class that should compete in this league. All in all, top to bottom the Big East is the best league in the sport next season and while there probably is not a realistic title-contending team, the depth of this league cannot be overstated. Looking at the league projections, three teams should come into this season with realistic hopes of winning the Big East regular season, while I don’t think teams 4-8 are far behind and any number of them could finish the season with 11-12 wins in league play. Without getting into much further discussion about the league as a whole, here are my team previews for each team. 

1.Villanova Wildcats

Villanova comes into this season as the favorites to win the Big East once again, this comes as a shock to no one but I do think this league race is closer than most would consider. The Wildcats lose their top two scorers in Phil Booth and Eric Paschall who ran the show for this team last season as they won the Big East. With those two gone, the Wildcats will be relying upon two Five-Star freshmen in Jeremiah Robinson-Earl and Bryan Antonie, as well as the emergence of pieces like Collin Gillespie, Saddiq Bey and Jermaine Samuels on the offensive end. While Big East title is the expectation this year, there is certainly a world where things go wrong and they don’t win the league title. 

Things will start and end with Five-Star freshman Jeremiah Robinson-Earl who is a versatile forward that can switch defensively and is a really polished scorer on the offensive end. Five-Star freshman guard Bryan Antoine is expected to be out until at least December with a shoulder injury. While missing the first part of the season isn’t a big deal, he will be needed by the start of conference play as his ability to shoot and play as a secondary ball-handler are going to be needed for a team with only Antonie and Collin Gillespie seeming like capable guards for this team. Gillespie will run the point for this team, he’s a pretty good point guard that knows how to run an offense, that mixed with his three-point shooting capabilities and a high IQ makes him maybe the most important piece for this team. 

The strength of this team is on the wing where they will have multiple guys that can score inside and defend at a high-level. Jermaine Samuels showed himself to be a really good option often at times, he’s a good defender and occasionally had games where he went off. Saddiq Bey was the least heralded freshman from last year’s recruiting class but he was by far the best. He’s a long and athletic forward that can switch 3-5 and is a more than capable shooter. Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree is a really good presence down-low, he’s a good shot blocker and rebounds at a high level. Cole Swider had trouble staying on the court last year, that being said he’s certainly proven himself to be a good stretch-4. Four-Star guard Justin Moore will look to provide some help as a shooting guard while Antoine is out of the lineup. Eric Dixon and Brandon Slater will also look to get minutes off the bench as well.

Final Analysis: Villanova is the favorites in the Big East for a reason and that is because they have a really good overall roster in the league and have by far the best coach in the sport. There are certainly holes such as the lack of guard depth on the roster that could be detrimental to this team. While that might be exploited and likely keep them from making a deep run in the NCAA Tournament but in conference play, this team looks poised to have another solid season that could see them end the year on top of the Big East. 

Projected Rotation:

PG: Collin Gillespie Junior 6’3

SG: Bryan Antoine Freshman 6’4” 

SF: Jermaine Samuels Junior 6’7”

PF: Jeremiah Robinson-Earl Freshman 6’9”

C: Saddiq Bey Sophomore 6’8”

Key Reserves: Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree, Justin Moore, Cole Swider, Brandon Slater, Eric Dixon

2.Seton Hall Pirates 

While the Big East as a whole was disappointing last year, one team that didn’t disappoint was the Seton Hall Pirates who went from being picked near the bottom of every league preseason poll to a third-place finish in the league and a fourth straight season where they went to the NCAA Tournament. While the team will revolve around Myles Powell who is one of the best shot makers in College Basketball, there is a good collection of talent around him headlined by Myles Cale and Sandro Mamukelashvili who are both key pieces alongside Powell. Powell and a good rotation will not only allow this team to make a fifth straight NCAA Tournament but many think that this team could unseat Villanova atop the Big East throne. 

Myles Powell was one of the best scorers in College Basketball, last season he averaged 23.1 points per game, which helped him to a First-Team All-Big East selection last season. The thing that was most impressive about that was that it came on an efficient 37 percent shooting from deep. He will continue to get buckets for this team but what he might look to improve on is when it comes to passing, he will get double-teamed, so him being able to find the open man will be valuable. Fellow guard Myles Cale is a pretty important piece for this team, he’s a good secondary scorer and is a good three-point shooter, while at 6’6” he’s able to guard some of the better offensive players on the other side of the ball. Sandro Mamukelashvili provided some good interior scoring and is one of the best rebounders in the Big East, he will be looked upon to play more at the 5 this year with Michael Nzei graduating. 

Quincy McKnight will start at the point for this team, while he doesn’t blow anyone away, he is a good passer and is good at driving to the rim. Junior guard Jared Rhoden could play some 4 this year, he’s a long and athletic guard that can act as a stretch-4. Guards Anthony Nelson and Shavar Reynolds will help provide some bench depth at the guard spot. The same could be said about three-star freshman guards Dimingus Stevens and Jahari Long. Looking at pieces down-low 7’2” Romaro Gill showed himself to be a good player but he did struggle to stay on the court. Also, look for 7’1” Florida State transfer Ike Obiagu to play minutes at the 5 this year, he didn’t really produce offensively at Florida State but has shown himself to be an elite rim protector. Taurean Thompson was expected to make an impact last year for Seton Hall but was benched late in the season because he is simply put, not good at basketball. 

Final Analysis: Seton Hall has proven itself time after time to be a very good Big East team but expectations are high heading into this season. Obviously we know Powell is going to put up huge numbers but in order for this team to have a really good season, they will need to get consistent secondary scoring from the other guys. Maybe most importantly for them though is that Sandro Mamukelashvili must be able to protect the paint at a high-level as he’s really their only trustworthy big now. A good season from him as well as the emergence of maybe a Myles Cale or Jared Rhoden could find this team in contention for the Big East title, otherwise, this team might have to settle for just another NCAA Tournament bid. 

Projected rotation:

PG: Quincy McKnight Senior 6’4”

SG: Myles Powell Senior 6’3”

SF: Myles Cale Junior 6’6”

PF: Sandro Mamukelashvili Junior 6’10”

C: Ike Obiagu Sophomore 7’1”

Key Reserves: Jared Rhoden, Shavar Reynolds, Romaro Gill, Dimingus Stevens, Jahari Long

3.Xavier Musketeers 

Year one of the Travis Steele era didn’t go as smoothly as most had hoped but a late-season surge gave this team some momentum heading into this season. In order for this team to make a big jump from last year into this year, players like Naji Marshall and Paul Scruggs will need to continue to carry much of the load offensively. Quentin Goodin and Tyrique Jones will also look to start and contribute for this team, while a really good freshman class could be the thing that makes this a Top-25 team. The pieces are there for this team to not only be a top-tier team in Big East but this could be a team capable of finishing the season atop the league standings. 

The Musketeers will be led by Naji Marshall who is a 6’7” combo forward who is great with the ball in his hands. Marshall averaged over 14 points and 7 rebounds per game last season, while also being a good passing big man with over 3 assists per game. The only thing holding him back from being a potential First Team  All-Big East player is his lack of a consistent three-point jumper. Paul Scruggs showed late last season that he was a force to be reckoned with in the Big East. Scruggs became the team’s best shooting guard and acted well as a secondary ball-handler. Senior point guard Quentin Goodin has pretty clearly shown himself to be the primary initiator of offense for this team. Goodin is somewhat of a non-scorer, however, his passing abilities and defensive tenacity are important for this team. 

Big man Tyrique Jones will continue to protect the paint for this team, he’s an efficient scorer from inside the arc and is an elite rebounder. Western Michigan transfer Bryce Moore was one of the best defenders in the MAC and should bring that to the Musketeers. Ohio transfer Jason Carter will bring some scoring, he’s a stretch-4 that can also score on the interior. Four-Star combo guard Kyky Tandy is a big and physical guard that can get to his spot on the court, he could start for Xavier. Dhamir Bishop is regarded as a high-level shooter, he will almost certainly make an impact on the offensive end. Three-Star Freshmen bigs Zach Freemantle and Daniel Ramsey will look to get some minutes off the bench. 

Final Analysis: This Xavier team has a really good four-person tandem with Goodin, Scruggs, Marshall, and Jones. There will obviously be questions as to who will be the other starter for this team and that will obviously be a wait and see but there are plenty of quality options. I think Xavier is one of three teams good enough to win the Big East outright, especially if they play as they did late last year. 

Projected rotation:

PG: Quentin Goodin Senior 6’4”

SG: Paul Scruggs Junior 6’3”

SF: Dhamir Bishop Freshman 6’4”

PF: Naji Marshall Junior 6’7”

C: Tyrique Jones Senior 6’9”

Key Reserves: Kyky Tandy, Bryce Moore, Jason Carter, Zach Freemantle, Daniel Ramsey

4.Marquette Golden Eagles

Things were looking up for Marquette with the expectations being that Markus Howard, along with both Joey and Sam Hauser all would come back, however, the program saw both Hauser brothers transfer, meaning that the offense will now run strictly through Markus Howard. Howard is one of the best players in the sport and he will be able to keep this team relevant, however, for them to be a contender in the Big East, players like Koby McEwen, Sacar Anim, and Brendan Bailey will need to produce offensively. If they get the necessary offense from those guys this could be a Big East title-contending team, if not they could be fighting for an at-large bid late into the season. 

This team will be led by guard Markus Howard who filled it up last season, averaging 25 points per game. Howard is one of the best shooters College Basketball has ever seen and will continue to put up big numbers for this team. Depending upon how the other players contribute, Markus Howard could end the season leading all of College Basketball in scoring. The team will need Utah State transfer Koby McEwen to step in and be a secondary option behind Howard, he’s a good shooter and scorer in general that has the length needed to defend some of the better players in the league. Sacar Anim is a guard that plays high-level defense for this team, offensively he can spot up and shoot it from three but is not really that much of a threat offensively.

Defensively, Theo John emerged as one of the best rim-protectors in the sport last season, he will continue to anchor this defense and unlike last year will be able to play more aggressively thanks to having a quality backup in Jayce Johnson. Johnson is a high-level interior scorer and rebounder, he is a little bit longer and more athletic big which will help from a style perspective. The team will look for Brendan Bailey to take a step forward, he is a sophomore combo forward that showed himself to be a good defender last year if he develops more of an offensive game he will be very dangerous for this Marquette team. Ed Morrow will get minutes off the bench due to his ability to be a tough-minded physical defensive piece for this Marquette team.

Symir Torrence will look to get minutes playing on the ball off the bench, he’s a Top-75 recruit that will probably be asked to take over as the starting point guard when Markus Howard graduates. Greg Elliot and Jamal Cain will also look to get minutes for this team playing in reserve roles. 

Final Analysis: We know Markus Howard is going to be special this season, he might win National Player of the year if things go smoothly for this team, that being said the team cannot rely upon Markus Howard dropping 40 a night to make this team win games. Whether it is McEwen, Anim, Bailey or someone else, this team needs a consistent secondary scoring piece to take the pressure off of Howard. If they can get that then this is a team that can contend for a Big East title, if not this Marquette team could see themselves struggling to get into the field of 68. 

Projected rotation:

PG: Markus Howard Senior 5’11”

SG: Koby McEwen Junior 6’4”

SF: Sacar Anim Senior 6’5”

PF: Brendan Bailey Sophomore 6’8”

C: Theo John Junior 6’9”

Key Reserves: Jayce Johnson, Greg Elliot, Symir Torrence, Ed Morrow, Jamal Cain

5.Creighton Blue Jays

After missing the NCAA Tournament last year Creighton is looking for a rebound season thanks to the return of their entire backcourt. This team has all you could want in the backcourt as there are four really good shooters that can all handle the ball and make plays offensively. Tyshon Alexander is obviously the headline player for this team, however, with players like Mitch Ballock and Marcus Zegarowski in the backcourt, he can afford to not be great this season. While the team is loaded at the guard spot there are questions down-low which is why it is somewhat hard to think of this team is one that can win the league. I would look for this team to have a solid season where they finish near the top of the league standings and get back to the NCAA Tournament. 

Junior guard TyShon Alexander will look to continue to lead this team offensively. He’s a really good scorer that can drive to the rim and is a good shooter from beyond the arc which makes him a valuable piece. Sophomore guard Marcus Zagarowski is the team’s primary ball-handler. He’s a really good passing guard that plays good on-ball defense and shoots it over 40 percent from three. Junior Mitch Ballock has a bigger frame which will likely make him play the 4 for this team. He’s also a really good passing guard and has an ability to find the open shooter. Senior guard Davion Mintz is another ball handler that can make shots and plays defense at a high-level. 

The main concern I have with this team is the lack of frontcourt depth, as only Jacob Epperson is good enough to play big minutes for this team. He’s a solid interior scorer and rebounder that can block shots but also only played nine games due to injuries. Christian Bishop is a smaller forward that probably backs up Epperson. He’s a decent low-post scorer although he’s undersized compared to most bigs. Creighton will look for big reserve minutes out of Damien Jefferson, who is a really good shooter that is big and physical enough to play at the modern-day 4. Southeast Missouri State transfer Denzel Mahoney will provide some more outside shooting which is always a good thing to have. 

Final Analysis: Offensively there are a lot of things to like about this team as there are four really good playmakers on the offensive side of the basket and a lot of really good shooters. The problem is that there really isn’t enough frontcourt depth and depending on the matchup this team could get eaten alive inside. If this had Martin Krampelj I would even consider this team maybe Top-10 in the country but with him gone this team is a most likely middle of the pack Big East team that makes the NCAA Tournament and is out before the Sweet 16. 

Projected rotation:

PG: Marcus Zegarowski Sophomore 6’2”

SG: Davion Mintz Senior 6’3”

SF: TyShon Alexander Junior 6’4”

PF: Mitch Ballock Junior 6’5”

C: Jacob Epperson Junior 6’11”

Key Reserves: Damien Jefferson, Christian Bishop, Denzel Mahoney

6.Georgetown Hoyas

The first two years of the Patrick Ewing era have been kind of a wait and see as the talent hasn’t been there just yet and expectations still were relatively low. Now in year three for Patrick Ewing, it will be time to finally get a reading as to just how good of a coach he actually is. The team has a good duo of now Sophomores in James Akinjo and Mac McClung to pair with former NC State star Omer Yurtseven who has been an elite level offensive threat at the ACC level. This team is going to score the ball at a high level this season and will likely be the highest-scoring team in the league if they can get improvements defensively this team will be able to get an at-large bid and maybe contend near the top of the Big East. 

Georgetown will look for big contributions from lead guard James Akinjo who is an excellent passer and a capable shooter. If he can limit the number of turnovers and get better defensively he can be a First-Team All-Big East player. Mac McClung will look to continue to be an option offensively. He’s a great athlete, an improved shot would make him one of the toughest guards in the league. NC State transfer Omer Yurtseven will bring in some NCAA Tournament experience from his time at NC State, he’s a good scorer, rebounder and is a good shooter for a big man. 

While those three will provide the majority of the scoring offensively the team will need others to play a factor as well. Among those is UCF transfer Terrell Allen, who will bring in some NCAA Tournament experience. He’s a good shooter which will help this team stretch the floor and a capable defender. Josh LeBlanc is an athletic combo forward, he’s a really efficient scorer inside and is a decent rim protector. Junior Jamorko Pickett is another good stretch-4, he’s a 35 percent shooter from deep and is very athletic. Jagan Mosley is someone that can handle the ball off the bench, he isn’t a real threat scoring-wise but is a really good passer. Elsewhere, Jahvon Blair acts as a good floor-spacing guard, he mostly just shoots it from beyond the arc and is s good ball-handler. 

Final Analysis: This Georgetown team certainly has the offensive pieces to make their first NCAA Tournament under Head Coach. Yurtseven certainly opens the offense up due to his ability to score from anywhere on the court which will only help this team offensively. If this team can get the necessary improvements from James Akinjo and Mac McClung when it comes to turnovers and shooting than this team not only will get back to the Tournament but they could also compete near the top of the league standings. 

Projected rotation:

PG: James Akinjo Sophomore 6’0”

SG: Mac McClung Sophomore 6’2”

SF: Terrell Allen Senior 6’3”

PF: Josh LeBlanc Sophomore 6’7”

C: Omer Yurtseven Junior 7’0”

Key Reserves: Jamorko Pickett, Jagan Mosley, Jahvon Blair, Galen Alexander

7.Providence Friars

The Friars come into this season as my seventh-best team in the league which is a testament to how good the league is because I think Providence could potentially make a second weekend run in the NCAA Tournament. Alpha Diallo is an absolute stud playing as a small-ball 4 which is one thing to like about this team. Obviously they will need big improvements from AJ Reeves and David Duke in order to make this team capable of competing not only for a Conference title. Also, this team will be looking for Luwane Pipkins to make an impact playing at the point. With that core-four along with a good rotation, Providence should be on their way to another NCAA Tournament appearance. 

Alpha Diallo is the team’s do-everything player. He’s an elite scorer, a high-level rebounder and plays with a high motor. Diallo will lead the team in scoring production this season playing at the 4 and is a potential First-Team All-Big East player. AJ Reeves showed out early in the season. He’s an elite-level shooter and scorer If healthy he will be the team’s second-leading scorer. David Duke will look to improve a little bit offensively. He struggled shooting it last season and had way too many turnovers but an offseason to get better likely will make him one of the better point guards in the country. 

Umass grad transfer Luwane Pipkins will bring in some experience from running the point. He certainly will help this team score but one thing I like with him is the fact he can move David Duke off the ball. Big man Nate Watson is a load inside. He has a really good touch around the basket, although does struggle to stay on the court for an extended period of time. Kalif Young will likely split minutes with Watson at the 5, he’s not much of a scorer but does provide this team with a high-motor athlete down low. Maliek White acts as another option off the bench, he’s a decent shooter and can handle the ball. Freshman forward Greg Gantt will look to provide some help in the frontcourt. He’s a versatile forward that could maybe play at the 4 or the 5 for this team. Emmitt Holt has struggled to stay on the court with a multitude of injuries over the course of his career but could play a role for this team in maybe a bench role. 

Final Analysis: Providence is one of those teams that could go multiple ways depending upon the overall improvement of David Duke and AJ Reeves, as well as the impact of Luwane Pipkins. If Duke takes a step forward in terms of handling the ball, while Reeves becomes an elite level scorer alongside Alpha Diallo, this team has the potential to contend near the top of the Big East standings. If they are unable to get that though I still think Providence will be going back to the NCAA Tournament after missing out last season. 

Projected rotation:

PG: Luwane Pipkins Senior 5’11”

SG: David Duke Sophomore 6’4”

SF: AJ Reeves Sophomore 6’6”

PF: Alpha Diallo Senior 6’7”

C: Nate Watson Junior 6’10”

Key Reserves: Maliek White, Greg Gantt, Kalif Young, Emmitt Holt

8.Butler Bulldogs

Year two of the LaVall Jordan was not ideal as the team fell back into a 3-way tie for 8th place in the league standings at 7-11. While the team did finish last in the league this team was not all that far off of some of the other teams within the league like Seton Hall and St. John’s who made the NCAA Tournament. The problem was that the team really struggled to replace Kelan Martin while Kamar Baldwin took steps backward in terms of efficiency. If this team can get a rebound year from Baldwin as well as good play from Jordan Tucker, Aaron Thompson, Sean McDermott, and Khalif Battle. This team is more than capable of making the NCAA Tournament this season but a lot will depend upon the improvements from those players mentioned earlier. 

Kamar Baldwin was kind of forced into playing a bigger role last season and he failed to really step up as his shooting numbers went way down. Baldwin has shown an elite scoring and shooting ability in the past, so while last year wasn’t good he could easily rebound and be one of the top guards in the league. Jordan Tucker looks poised for a big season after struggling through the midyear transfer. Tucker is a really good scorer from the small-ball 4 spot, he looks to continue to stretch the floor as one of the team’s best shooters. Senior Sean McDermott fulfills the role as a 3 and D guy very well, he’s a really good and physical defender that shot 75 percent of his shots from deep and made it at a 41 percent clip. Junior Aaron Thompson looks to start alongside Kamar Baldwin in the backcourt, he is very limited from a scoring perspective but is a good passer and defender for this team. 

With Nate Fowler and Joey Brunk, both gone this team will look for Valpo grad transfer Derrik Smits to step in and play the role as the 5 for this team. He’s a solid interior scorer that can produce for this team. Milwaukee transfer Bryce Nze is an undersized big but is a high-level rebounder for this team. Khalif Battle is a Top-100 recruit that can play both on and off the ball for this team, he is a score-first guard that will be at his best driving to the basket. Senior guard Henry Baddley will look to some help off the bench as a shooter and defender for this team off the bench. 

Final Analysis: Let me start this off by stating that I don’t think this Butler team will make the NCAA Tournament which is in large part because of the fact that the Big East will be an absolute gauntlet this season. This team should probably be able to finish above .500 on the season just based on roster construction alone. That being said, for an at-large bid Kamar Baldwin will need to get back to shooting around 40 percent from three and 50 percent from the floor, while Jordan Tucker will need to be a consistent secondary option behind Baldwin. If this Butler team gets those improvements they could maybe crack the Top-25 this season while also making the NCAA Tournament. 

Projected rotation:

PG: Kamar Baldwin Senior 6’1”

SG: Aaron Thompson Junior 6’2”

SF: Sean McDermott Senior 6’6”

PF: Jordan Tucker Junior 6’7”

C: Derrik Smits Senior 7’1”

Key Reserves: Khalif Battle, Henry Baddley, Bryce Nze

9.DePaul Blue Demons

I’d imagine most people are aware of DePaul’s reputation of being an absolute dumpster fire this decade and that is certainly reasonable, that being said DePaul is starting to look not actually that bad. They finished with a 19-17 record last season and brought in a number of talented players that should help this team finish with a similar record this year. The team will look for improvements from Devin Gage and Paul Reed offensively this season, while newcomers Charlie Moore, Romeo Weems, and Markese Jacobs will try to make an impact in their first year at DePaul. This team will still likely be a bottom feeder in the Big East but improvements will definitely be in order for this team. 

The team will look for Paul Reed to take a big step forward, he’s an efficient scorer inside, good rebounder and a good shot blocker. Reed will be able to step out and hit shots from deep and is looking to improve and play a huge role for this team. Guard Devin Gage will be looking to play an impact after being not really looked for production in the past, he will be looking to take a step forward and become more of an option offensively. Charlie Moore looked really good on the team’s foreign trip over the offseason, he really wasn’t all that good for Kansas but with a little bit less pressure on him, he will look to getting back to being a good scoring point guard. 

Four-Star Freshman and Mr. Basketball in Michigan Romeo Weems headlines a really good recruiting class. Weems is a long and athletic big man that is really versatile that can play multiple positions and is really good around the basket. Markese Jacobs is coming off an injury but is coming back to play this season, he is a really athletic guard that can stuff stat sheets. Jalen Coleman-Lands is a really good shooter and defender that has battled through injuries throughout his career but could make an impact going forward. Darious Hall really didn’t get enough minutes at Arkansas but is a capable shooter and scorer for this team. Jaylen Butz will look to take a step forward offensively for this team, he was decent at driving to the rim and is a good rebounder. 

Final Analysis: I think it is reasonable to argue that DePaul will be pretty good this season compared to teams of old but still don’t expect this team to contend for an at-large bid. The team is capable of putting up a really good non-conference record thanks in part to a manageable schedule where they will be able to out talent teams on a nightly basis but once Big East play comes around they will be a little bit outclassed. This DePaul team should rate very highly in the final metrics like KenPom and Haslametrics but might not have a fantastic record, especially in Big East play.

Projected rotation:

PG: Charlie Moore Junior 5’11” 

SG: Devin Gage Junior 6’2”

SF: Jalen Coleman-Lands Senior 6’4” 

PF: Romeo Weems Freshman 6’7”

C: Paul Reed Junior 6’9”

Key Reserves: Markese Jacobs, Jaylen Butz, Darious Hall

10.St. John’s Red Storm

The program had been building for a big season last year but things turned south as it appears Chris Mullen lost his passion for coaching and in his own words the team needed time away from each other. Mullen resigned and after one of the most disastrous coach searches, Mike Anderson takes over as the Head Coach. Anderson has done a really good job thus far as he has kept LJ Figueroa and Mustapha Heron around while he’s added a good recruiting class for the 2020 season. While I think Anderson and St. John’s, in general, will be on the up going forward, this season could be tough as the team will be looking like a bottom feeder in the league. 

The team will look for senior guard Mustapha Heron to take the biggest step forward, he’s a really good scorer in general and will look to lead the team in scoring. LJ Figueroa will be an excellent small-ball four for this team, Figueroa is a really physical guard that is a good shooter while being versatile enough to guard fives in a small-ball lineup. Ian Steere only played one game for NC State before transferring but does look to step in and play at the five for this team. Transfers Nick Rutherford and David Caraher will look to get minutes at the point for this team, both produced at a lower level and will hope to do similar things in the Big East.  Greg Williams Jr. will look to take a huge step forward for this team, he barley produced last season but could make some improvements offensively. 

Final Analysis: This St. John’s team will struggle in the Big East this season as they really don’t have the talent beyond Figueroa and Heron. Maybe Rutherford and Caraher make a big impact and they are in contention for eighth place in this league but unless that happens this team will be in a battle with DePaul for 9th place in the league. 

Projected rotation:

PG: Greg Williams Jr. Sophomore 6’3”

SG: Nick Rutherford Senior 6’4”

SF: Mustapha Heron Senior 6’5”

PF: LJ Figueroa Junior 6’6”

C: Ian Steere Sophomore 6’9”

Key Reserves: David Caraher, Damien Sears, Rasheem Dunn

Big East Awards:

Big East Player of the year: Myles Powell

Big East Freshman of the year: Jeremiah Robinson-Earl

Big East Newcomer of the year: Luwane Pipkins

Big East 6th Man of the year: Kyky Tandy

Big East Breakout Player of the year: James Akinjo

All-Big East teams

1st Team All-Big East

Markus Howard

Myles Powell

Tyshon Alexander

Naji Marshall

Alpha Diallo

2nd Team All-Big East

James Akinjo

Kamar Baldwin

Mustapha Heron

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl

Omer Yurtseven

3rd Team All-Big East

Collin Gillespie

Mitch Ballock

LJ Figueroa

Saddiq Bey

Paul Reed

1st Team All-Freshman 

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl

Bryan Antoine 

Khalif Battle

Romeo Weems

Dhamir Bishop

Tiering of Teams:

Tier 1: Villanova, Seton Hall, and Xavier

Tier 2: Marquette, Creighton, Georgetown, Providence, and Butler

Tier 3: DePaul and St. John’s

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