Player of the Week:

Souley Boum (Xavier)

Leader of the best team and the highest scorer in the Big East, Boum is playing like one of the top guards in the nation. Transferring in from UTEP, Boum has the extra spark that Xavier needed. Their starting five is now compiled of five talented players who can all score at a high level. This week he averaged 21 points in two games with an impressive 26-point performance over Creighton. Not only is he a big-time scorer, but he does a great job at getting teammates open. Boum is averaging just under 8 assists a game in his last three. This proves that even when he is having an off night, he can have a different role by creating for Xavier’s offense

Who’s Hot

Seton Hall Pirates

The Pirates had two easy challenges this week and picked up two much needed wins. The biggest problem for Seton Hall is their consistency. For example, they only lost by three points on the road at Xavier, but then they lost to Creighton by 22 points. They need a guy who can consistently score for them and be a threat on the offensive end. It could be seen as a positive that they have four guys averaging between 9 and 12 points but going back to the consistency piece it’s hard to predict what they will get from these guys. Now on a three-game winning streak, they have a huge week ahead playing at home against a hungry UConn team and Marquette.

Saint John’s Red Storm

This was a perfect 2-0 week for Mike Anderson, and they needed it badly. After losing five straight games in the Big East, the Red Storm has been brewing. First, they won by 16 points over Butler and then they went on the road and beat No. 6 UConn handing the huskies their first home loss of the season. It was an all-around valiant team effort for Saint John’s with six different players scoring in double figures. Their defensive pressure got to the Huskies forcing 21 turnovers and scoring 23 points off them. Joel Soriano is a double-double machine and might be the best big man in the conference outperforming Adama Sanogo.

Who’s Not

Villanova Wildcats

It is sad to say this, but Villanova is trending in the wrong direction right now and it will be weird to not have them playing in March Madness this year. The Wildcats sit ninth in the Big East just ahead of DePaul and Georgetown. Thankfully for Villanova they were able to get back in the win column at home against Georgetown. In this game they won by just four points, which was the closest Big East game the Hoyas have played in all year. In their three-game losing streak before playing Georgetown they shot just 29% from three.

UConn Huskies

Welcome to Big East basketball. UConn looked to be the top dog in the conference and now have lost some close games to Marquette and Saint John’s. There are no games off because doing so will result in a team like Saint John’s going into the Huskies house showing them that they can compete. UConn’s key contributors played well in this matchup, but it was their bench that struggled. They were outplayed in so many categories and didn’t look like the UConn team from a few weeks ago. Defense needs to be improved and Dan Hurley needs to spark a fire in his team or else they might drop another shocking loss.

Top Five Guards

#5 Primo Spears) (Georgetown)

Even though Georgetown hasn’t won a Big East game this year, Spears is an elite talent. He’s the reason they have been somewhat competitive this season. He hasn’t been playing the best recently but is averaging 15.5 points a game and leads his team in assists with 5.1 a game. He also leads the Big East in minutes a game so he’s playing hard every single night doing anything he can to help his team win.

#4 [Player: Tyler Kolek (Marquette)

Kolek may not be known for scoring, but he’s such a talented passer. Marquette’s offensive success comes from his abilities to draw defenders and work the ball around to the right positions. While he averages just 9.8 points per game, opposing teams need to respect him. Last game vs Xavier he dropped 25 points.

#3 Caleb Daniels (Villanova)

Villanova has a weaker backcourt than normal, but Daniels has done a great job in filling the void of Justin Moore. He’s a physical guard who will take you in the post. Daniels might be one of the best drivers in the Big East as he gets a lot of points coming from tough takes to the rim. He isn’t shooting the best from three this season at just 34.1% but makes up for it with other strengths in his game.

#2 Souley Boum (Xavier)

Boum got consideration for one, and easy to put the player of the week this high. He has exceeded expectations coming into the Big East and making a case as the best player in the conference. His numbers all around are outstanding. 17.6 points, 4.8 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game while shooting 46.1% from the three. This kid is a gamer.

#1 Jordan Hawkins (UConn)

Coming off a career high 31 points in the loss to Saint John’s, Hawkins has a lot of buzz as an NBA prospect. He works well moving off the ball and has a pure jumper. Dan Hurley believes he will be drafted in the first round of the NBA being a top wing option for his offense. Hawkins athleticism is also underrated making his movement and jumper hard to defend.

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