Player of the Week:
Jared Rhoden (Seton Hall)
Another solid week for the Pirates inside the Big East with Rhoden leading the charge. He now sits at fourth in the conference averaging 16.1 points per game. In their last game against Butler, Rhoden scored career high 30 points in the big win over Xavier. He played efficiently going 9-for-14 from the field and 12-for-13 from the free throw line. Earlier in the week he contributed 17 points making three triples to get the win over Butler. Playing like this he has the chance to catch the eyes of NBA scouts being a taller and physically gifted guard. He’ll need to improve upon his consistency from beyond the arc. Will he have the chance to join up with former teammate Sandro Mamukelashvili in the league? The odds continue to grow with every great game he plays.
What a crazy start to the week for the Friars with a crazy overtime thriller against Xavier. Three overtimes’ later they were able to secure the victory over the Musketeers. Providence then handled business easily against Creighton winning by 21 points. Now on a three game winning streak, they will face off against Villanova February 28th which will be an opportunity for them to get revenge from earlier this season. This game, however has no impact for the Big East tournament as Providence secured the regular season Big East title with the win over Creighton, their first ever in program history.
Seton Hall Pirates
Thanks to the aforementioned Player of the Week, the Pirates secured two much needed wins putting them now at 6th in the conference. Alongside Rhoden, his teammates Tray Jackson and Kadary Richmond stepped up big to help give them the win over Xavier. Bryce Aiken is still dealing with concussion issues and doesn’t seem like he will be back anytime soon. The Pirates struggled to score when he originally got hurt, but now they have other pieces stepping up to the challenge. One of those being American transfer Jamir Harris who is seeing more time at the point guard position.
After a big win over No. 18 Marquette back on February 12th, Butler has not been able to produce offensively as they did in that matchup. Now on a four-game losing streak, they have fallen to 9th in the Big East, far behind the 8th overall position. Their three recent losses have all been by single digits or less with one being a one-point loss to Providence in overtime. They may have a losing record, but this team can make noise with their veteran roster. Last year’s Big East tournament was wild and Butler could be a team to shock others.
It has been a dismal campaign for Patrick Ewing this year. With only two games left in the season, The Hoyas have yet to win a single Big East basketball game making it a 17-game losing streak. It is hard to believe that a team who won the Big East tournament last year has been unable to even get one single win inside the conference this season. Their last win dates all the way back to December 15 against Howard.
Top Five Big East Games This Year
#5 Creighton at Marquette, January 1st
This was a great way to start the new year with a wild Big East overtime game that featured some big shots from both teams. The biggest being Alex O'Connell who hit a three pointer as time expired in the first overtime to tie it up. This led to the second overtime where Ryan Hawkins responded with a dagger giving Creighton the 75-69 win in double overtime.
#4 UConn at Seton Hall, January 8th
Kadary Richmond was the guy this game finishing with career high 27 points. In the second half he scored 17 straight points for the Pirates and a go-ahead basket in overtime. This was a high scoring, entertaining game for all Big East fans with the final score being 90-87, Seton Hall gets the victory.
#3 Marquette at Villanova, January 19th
Marquette earned their first win ever inside the Finneran Pavilion extending their win streak to five games at the time. The defense displayed by the Golden Eagles was extremely impressive holding the Wildcats to only 54 points, their lowest at home all season. It all came down to the end with rising star Justin Lewis hits a big time three with 10 seconds on the clock. Villanova unable to capitalize on their final possession dropped their only home game this season.
#2 Villanova at UConn, February 22nd
RJ Cole drove to the basket with a tough right-handed finish. Villanova had a chance to come down and score the ball with 5.9 seconds left. Collin Gillespie drove all the way to the other end for a layup when Cole jumps out in front and takes a charge for the Huskies. Too big time plays by a big-time player led to the 71-69 victory over Villanova.
#1 Providence and Xavier February 23rd
This game is number one on the list, and the fact that there were three overtimes is just part of the reason. The game was back and forth the entire time. Providence dominated the second overtime featuring some strong takes to the hoop by [Player: Jared Bynum who finished the game with 27 points. It seemed as if they would win in that second overtime until Paul Scruggs buried a triple at the buzzer to force the third overtime. In the end the home court advantage favored the Friars giving them a thrilling 99-92 victory.