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Very Early Big East Projections 11-12

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Very Early Big East Projections 11-12

Here are my projections on the upcoming NCAA season for Big East teams. I will add one with player stats on a different post, this one is strictly teams. I feel that these are pretty good since I followed the Big East intensely all last year and I saw each team play at least 2 or 3 times.

Standings:

1.*UCONN- Key Losses: Kemba Walker, Jamaal Coombs-McDaniel, Donnell Beverly, Charles Okwandu.

Key additions: Ryan Boatwright, Deandre Daniels.

Key Returners: Jeremy Lamb, Alex Oriakhi, Shabazz Napier, Roscoe Smith.

Even though this team loses the best player in the Big East I feel that Lamb and the other returners will pick up the slack and lead UCONN to compete for another national championship. Jeremy Lamb emerged as a great second scorer as a freshman averaging 11ppg and that number should increase significantly next year. By the way they return 4 of 5 starters and their sixth man.

2. *Syracuse- Key losses: Rick Jackson, Dion Waiters(Maybe?)

Key additions: Rakeem Christmas, Micheal Carter-Williams, Trevor Cooney

Key returners: Scoop Jardine, Kris Joseph, Brandon Triche, Dion Waiters(Maybe?), Fab Melo

Syracuse should battle with Connecticut for the top spot all season and compete for the title as well. Like UCONN they lose only one starter, but may lose sixth man Waiters to a transfer. Either way this is a team to be reckoned with. Fab Melo also started to turn it around toward the end of last season making the Orange even more dangerous, not to mention their number 10 recruiting class(ESPN.com) in the country.

3. *Louisville- Key Losses: Preston Knowles, Terrence Jennings, George Goode

Key additions- Wayne Backshear, Chase Behanan, Zack Price, Kevin Ware (8th ranked class)

Key returners: Peyton Siva, Gorgui Dieng, Kyle Kuric, Jared Swopshire

Another very talented Big East team is the Louisville Cardinals. They are solid and should be ranked between 10-20 for the season. Lville lacks the level of talent of Cuse and Conn, but they return top tier PG Peyton Siva who is one of the best in the country, defensive force Gorgui Dieng, and sniper Kyle Kuric. This team was plagued by injuries all last year including Swopshire who missed the entire season and received a redshirt. Bottom line Louisville is a very very good team.

4. *Pittsburgh- Key losses: Gilbert Brown, Brad Wannamaker, Gary Mcghee, JJ Richardson

Key additions- Khem Birch, Malcolm Gilbert, Durand Johnson

Key returners- Ashton Gibbs, Travon Woodal, Nasir Robinson

After a devastating loss in the tourney and the loss of three great players Pittsburgh fans are probably feeling pretty low, but I’m relatively optimistic for 11-12. Those losses hurt but they return Ashton Gibbs who I think will have a huge year scoring to help soften the load. A huge addition is big man Khem Birch who has unbelievable defense and athletic skills and can help their defense right away. My fourth place finish might be misleading because IMO after the top 3 you have a bunch of bubble teams. Overall probably around a 6 or 7 seed in the NCAA tourney.

5. *Cinnci- Key losses- Ibrahima Thomas, Darnell Wilks, Rashad Bishop

Key additions- Shaq Thomas, Jermaine Sanders, Ge’Lawn Guyn

Key returners- Yancy Gates, Dion Dixon, Cashmere Wright, Sean Kilpatrick

Another interesting team with sleeper potential is the Cincinnati Bearcats. Their most talented players are returning so there is reason for optimism. I’m not saying their losses don’t hurt, all three guys were rotation players, but they will be overcome. Cincinnati will improve their record in 11-12, no doubt. Look for Dion Dixon as a potential breakout candidate this year; he is a terrific shooter and will get more scoring looks without Wilks and Bishop.

6. *Marquette- Key losses- Jimmy Butler, Dwight Buycks, Joe Fulce

Key additions- Juan Anderson, Todd Mayo, Derrick Wilson

Key returners- Darius Johnson-Odom, Jae Crowder, Chris Otule, Vander Blue

Marquette was one of my sleeper teams from last year and rewarded me by making a run in the tourney. Now with the losses of two starters, Butler and Buycks, Marquette will need someone to emerge as another scorer. One guy who could do that is Vander Blue who had a rocky freshman year but should turn it around. They could take advantage of a weaker Big East and possibly win 11 or 12 games as long as Odom and Crowder play up to their potential.

7. *Notre Dame- Key losses- Ben Hansbrough, Carleton Scott, Tyrone Nash

Key additions- Pat Connaughton, Eric Katenda

Key returners- Tim Abromitis, Scott Martin, Eric Atkins, Jack Cooley

Notre Dame is another team with a disappointing postseason finish from the Big East. Another recurring theme so far is that all these teams are losing a lot, in ND’s case Ben Hansbrough, Carleton Scott and Tyrone Nash. Those three were essential to the success of this team and will be sorely missed. I’m sure they also weren’t expecting the departure of Scott who took everyone by surprise when he declared for the NBA. I’ll predict a tourney birth for the Fighting Irish since Abromitis and Martin are back for a 5th year.

8. *Nova- Key losses- Corey Stokes, Corey Fisher, Antonio Pena

Key additions- Tyrone Johnson, Achraf Yacoubou, Markus Kennedy

Key returners- Maalik Wayns, Mouphtaou Yarou, Dominic Cheek, Isaiah Armwood

After a disappointing year Villanova will need Wayns and Yarou to play well and lead the team if they are to go anywhere. Losing three starters hurts but Wayns is the highlight of their solid returners including Cheek, Armwood, and Bell who will look to step up with larger roles. In the end of the day Nova will probably make the tourney but they are probably a year away from contention.

9. *Georgetown- Key losses- Austin Freeman, Chris Wright, Julian Vaughn, Vee Sanford

Key additions- Otto Porter, Michael Hopkins, Jabril Tarwick

Key returners- Jason Clark, Hollis Thompson, Henry Sims, Nate Lubick

The last team I have sneaking into the dance from the BE is Georgetown simply because I think Jason Clark is one of the most underrated players in the conference. Clark averaged 12ppg last year with Freeman and Wright scoring a good amount. Now that they are gone I can see him getting around 17ppg. Thompson, Lubick, and Sims will all need to step up as frontcourt players, which I think they can, for Georgetown to thrive.

10. West Virginia- Key losses- Casey Mitchell, Joe Mazzula, John Flowers, Dalton Pepper

Key additions- Jabarie Hinds, Aaron Brown, Gary Browne

Key returners- Kevin Jones, Truck Bryant, Deniz Kilici

West Virginia will need Kevin Jones to return to level he played at during his sophomore season and big contributions from some of the younger guys to compete in the Big East. Yes, I am not buying the Mountaineers this season. They are losing pieces that I don’t think they can recover from for this year. Flowers and Pepper were two of their best defenders, Mitchell was a knock down shooter, and Mazzula was a solid PG who had some huge games. I think this team will be relying too much on Jones and will lack enough firepower to compete.

11. St. Johns- Key losses- Everyone

Key additions- Everyone

Key returners- No one

Experience kills in the Big East and that is something that the Johnnies are lacking. This team pretty much lost everyone of importantance and even though they have a stellar recruiting class they are a year or two away from prominence. Some potential stars of this 3rd rated class are Jakarr Sampson, Maurice Harkless, Dom Pointer, and D’Angelo Harrison.

12 USF- Key losses- Jarrid Famous, Anthony Crater

Key additions- Jordan Omogbehin, Anthony Collins

Key returners- Augustus Gilchrist, Jawanza Poland, Shaun Norieaga, Ron Anderson Jr

A lot of returning pieces for the Bulls but they are still missing that bonafide scorer, a role that Dominic Jones played two years ago. Last year they were last in the Big East in scoring and will probably have similar problems this year. Someone needs to step up and score 17ish ppg and I think that guy could be Jawanza Poland who is the most well rounded offensively of the Bulls. Augustus Gilchrist will be their main threat down low and should have a pretty good season. The late loss of PG Anthony Crater is huge since they really have no experienced back up at that position. I’m thinking NIT.

13 Providence- Key losses- Marshon Brooks, Duke Mondy, Ray Hall

Key additions- Kiwi Gardner, Brice Kofane(redshirted 10-11), LaDontae Henton

Key returners- Vincent Council, Gerard Coleman, Kadeem Batts

Ahhh the Friars. So frustrating, but I’m optimistic about next year to some extent. While they may be lacking talent, they have a new coach who is committed to playing DEFENSE. This should bring their win total up a win or two for this year, but their future is certainty brighter. Batts, Coleman, and Council have potential to be studs as long as they address the major flaws in their game.

14. Depaul- Key losses- Jimmy Drew, Mike Stovall

Key additions- Shane Larkin, Charles McKinney, Macari Brooks

Key returners- Cleveland Melvin, Brandon Young, Jerimiah Kelly, Krys Faber, Tony Freeland

A lot of guys returning but DePaul is probably a year or two away. Cleveland Melvin and Brandon Young are the two best players on this team and this will only be their sophomore season. Melvin is one of the most underrated players in the nation, is very versatile, and will establish himself as a NBA prospect soon. But DePaul fans… maybe next year.

15. Seton Hall- Key losses- Jeremy Hazell, Eniel Polynice, Jeff Robinson

Key additions- Isaiah Hill, Aaron Cosby, Kevin Johnson

Key returners- Herb Pope, Jordan Theodore, Fuquan Edwin

Herb Pope better revert to his play from two years ago when he was an absolute beast on the boards if Seton Hall wants to go any where. Jordan Theodore solidifies the one spot for the Pirates but they lose a ton of scoring with Hazell and Robinson. Fuquan Edwin played well of the bench last year and should do well as their top wing player this season. I see Seton Hall challenging Rutgers for last and that’s about it.

16. Rutgers- Key losses- Jonathan Mitchell, James Beaty, Mike Coburn

Key additions- Myles Mack, Kadeem Jack, Jerome Seagears

Key returners- Gilvydas Biruta, Dane Miller

I definitely sound like a broken record by now but here is another team that lost a lot of talent. In this case too much talent to really do anything next year. They lost their best all-around player, Jonathan Mitchell, and their two best perimeter guys in Beaty and Coburn. Big Gil IMO is an eventual NBA player but he will need to have a hell of a season for Rutgers which I don’t think he is ready for. Look for him to have around 15ppg. Myles Mack and Kadeem Jack should have immediate impacts as well.

*means I think they will be a tourney team, note WVU just missed my cut.


Mr. 19134
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Not a bad list tho I

Not a bad list tho I respectfully disagree about a few teams.

One quick note is i think Depaul will breakthrough this year, they had a very impressive year last year considering their youth and I think Cleveland Melvin is the real deal and will emerge as a great Big East player.

But Syracuse is no doubt the best team in the Big East right now. They got ridiculous size and depth. They loose Rick Jackson but will replace him with Rakeem Christmas, and a more mature Fab Melo. Michael Carter Williams is another great pickup who won't even have to contribute right away with Kris Joseph returning. And Scoop Jardine and Brandon Triche might be the best backcourt in the Big East.

This is a very hard list to to do tho I will give you that because as a fellow Big East fan we all know this conferance can go all over the place. Their was hardly as consensus after the year was over in the Big East it's such a crazy conferance.

But Nova should be way higher. Regardless of how they finished last year, Jay Wright always has his team ready to compete for that title. The big difference this year is that Maalik Waynes will finally be in control of the team, something Jay Wright envisioned since he brought Waynes to Nova from Philly High School Roman Catholic.

I truly expect Maalik Waynes to breakout like Kemba did last year only more as a passer. Nobody in the Big East can stop Maalik Waynes one on one with the ball in his hands. Expect Yarou to have a bigger impact, as will Sutton. And incoming big Marcus Kennedy is going to be turning heads all year because he is ready to bang right now. Also last year's Mcdonals All American Javaughn Pinkston who had to sit out last year is ready to go. Pinkston is a strong and agile hybrid forward. He has spent the past year conditioning and looks fantastic. He should make an immediate impact. Cheek and Bell are both ready for breakout seasons. And if anybody saw Tyrone Johnson play in the Rise H.S. Tourney and win it knows he's going to be a big time player custom made for the Big East.

providencefriars1
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I see your point with Nova

I see your point with Nova and in hindsight I should have switched them with ND but I really really like both Marquette and Cincinati as breakthrough teams this year. Also I'll start by saying Uconn, Cuse, and Lville are all terrific but I think Uconn will be the best. Lamb really emerged by the end of the season as did Napier and Oriakhi is always a force defensively. I dont know if Cuse will have that go to scorer because to be honest I dont like Joesph that much at all. They have more pieces but I think Conn has better pieces.

I have been working on player projections for the top 8 in each rotation of the Big East teams as well and Mr. 19134 I have a question for you regarding Jayvaughn Pinkston. What do you think he will do next year? Will he start over Isaiah Armwood at the four? Also would you put Kennedy in the rotation over Sutton and Johnson who hold my last two spots now? Thanks for the input.

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Rutgers will not finish last

Rugters will not finish last in the Big East, no way. They have an abundance of talent coming in, a great coach, and two good players returning in Miller and Biruta. They may not make the dance, but the will not be a doormat team by any means. You will have to play them tough.

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Who will be worse than

Who will be worse than Rutgers, Seton Hall or Providence then since those are the only two other options.

Mr. 19134
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Yeah the Big East is easily

Yeah the Big East is easily the hardest conferance to project but I do think it will be something like Cuse, Pitt, Uconn, Nova, and Louiville will be the top 5 teams probably not in that order.

Pinkston verse Armwood is a great question. Armwood has freakish athleticism but he really needs to add both strength and a consistent shot. Armwood is probably still best suited off the bench until he proves otherwise. Pinkston lacks neither strength or a scoring touch down low. I do think Pinkston can beat out Armwood. But Kennedy is the X-Factor. Kennedy has a very well developed high-low game. He plays like a poor mans Demarcous Cousins because he has a nice mid range game, and is also a very good passer. Kennedy could start at PF is he comes to Nova in the right shape. I'm thinking Nova goes big this year with their pieces and starts Yarou at center and either Sutton, Kennedy, or Pinkston at 4. Pinkston can also play 3.

Tyrone Johnson should make an immediate impact as a strong guard for Nova who will come off the bench and play both guard spots. I am basing Nova's success off of high expectation for Maalik Wayns next year. I think he can put up an 19 and 8 type of year. If Wayns is able to become a better shooter their is no reason he can't average 20 PPG his speed and strength in the open court is scary, but he also has great court vision and will be dropping nice dimes all over the place.

providencefriars1
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I'll consider changing the

I'll consider changing the player projections for Nova

scoutguru
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Yea I kinda agree wit you

Yea I kinda agree wit you NJBaller. With the couple returning guys and the players they have coming in, I see a 10th or 11th finish. Those guys played so hard last year for coach rice and somewhat overachieved despite their brutal record, and this being the 2nd year for him, I can see big improvement for them.

It'll be tough for the Johnnies though man. This is an unforgiving league, and despite the talent it's just going to be some growing pains. Imagine next year when we gotta play 7 out of 9 games, and all the teams are ranked. Not to mention having to go to Duke next yr.

That being said, I can't wait for next yr though, Big East is gonna be crazy, as always, and provide for some great basketball to watch.

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No way West Virginia finishes

No way West Virginia finishes 10th.

That team's more talented than it was last year.

jeff416
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Pretty good list, but I think

Pretty good list, but I think Louisville and Syracuse are going to be the 2 best teams.

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Im not calling the OP out but

Im not calling the OP out but check out this Big East preseason list.. This is what lots of people thought it would look like..

Crazy how things change.

providencefriars1
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If anyone had Pitt in last or

If anyone had Pitt in last or Louisville losing to Providence by 30 they deserve a medal.

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No kidding.. BTW, I wasnt

No kidding.. BTW, I wasnt calling you out.. I thought the Big East would look a little liket his.. WVU higher but thats my team so of course I rate them higher..

providencefriars1
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Ya I know

Ya I know

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