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The Big East Conference is looking once again very good in the early weeks of the college basketball season. Here is a look at the teams so far:
1. #5 Villanova Wildcats
Villanova is off to a great start once again this year currently at 5-0. The Wildcats haven’t necessarily had any “tough” opponents yet, but have beat teams like Lafayette and Nicholls by thirty plus points. Junior guards Mikal Bridges and Jalen Brunson have led the Wildcats so far in the scoring column with 18 points per game. Nova’s first game against a ranked opponent is set on December 5th when they host #17 Gonzaga.
2. #15 Xavier Musketeers
I am excited to watch this Musketeer team this season. Currently, at 5-0, Xavier is set to give Villanova a run for its money in the Big East. Their schedule hasn’t been too hard so far but beat a tough Wisconsin team in Madison, 80-70. Senior Trevon Bluiett has looked very promising so far this year for Xavier. Averaging 24.3 points per game after coming off a 20 point game against George Washington. The Musketeers have two ranked opponents coming up soon with #22 Baylor on November 28th and #12 Cincinnati on December 2nd.
3. #20 Seton Hall Pirates
Next up is good ole Seton Hall. They should be undefeated but lost a crucial one to Rhode Island in the Preseason NIT, 75-74. Besides that loss, they have beating teams including Indiana with no problem. Desi Rodriguez (17 ppg) and big man Angel Delgado (8.5 rpg) are players to watch out for. Also, can’t forget the quick Khadeen Carrington that averages 12 points per game and 5.2 assists per game. They travel to Louisville to take on the #19 Cardinals.
4. St. John’s Red Storm
So far the Red Storm are undefeated at 5-0 and are atop the Big East. Their wins have included Nebraska and Oregon State. They took on Oregon State in the first round of the AdvoCare Invitational Thursday. They managed to come back from a double-digit deficit to beat the Beavers. Shamorie Ponds scored 26 points while Marcus LoVett added 18 in the Red Storm’s rally. They next take on a tough Missouri Tigers (4-1) team Friday in the second round of the Invitational.
5. Creighton Bluejays
Greg McDermott’s Bluejays are off to a great start. In my opinion, Creighton has one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the NCAA, and that’s why I have them ahead of Georgetown. So far, they have faced three very tough ranked teams including a win at #20 Northwestern, 92-88, a win at home verse #23 UCLA, 100-89, and their only loss against #22 Baylor, 65-59. Pretty impressive, isn’t it? And that’s not it… they have to travel to Spokane to take on #17 Gonzaga on December 1st. Marcus Foster has been a key contributor with 18.6 points per game.
6. Georgetown Hoyas
Georgetown is looking to be yet another great team in the conference. So far 3-0 and in their first three games have looked very dominant. Hoya’s center Jessie Govan is someone to keep your eye on. He is averaging 21 points per game while picking up about 14 boards per game. He is honestly one of my favorite players to watch and is in my opinion, one of the best in the Big East. The Hoyas have an easier non-conference schedule with no ranked opponents scheduled. They are also not in any preseason tournaments. The Hoyas play Richmond on Friday.
7. Providence Friars
At number seven… the Friars. What even is a Friar? (A member of any of certain religious orders of men, especially the four mendicant orders (Augustinians, Carmelites, Dominicans, and Franciscans). So far at 4-1 has had a pretty good season with the exception to the loss against a talented Minnesota team. The 6’8′ senior, Rodney Bullock (12.8 ppg and 6.4 rpg) needs to continue what he is doing and I think the Providence will be in good shape. They next play Boston College on Saturday.
8. Butler Bulldogs
Currently sitting at 3-2, the Bulldogs near the bottom of the conference. So far this season, they have lost to Maryland and Texas. As a team, they are at the bottom of the NCAA for points, rebounds, and assists per game. Right now, the leading scorer is senior Kelan Martin with 15 ppg. The Bulldogs next host Portland State (4-1).
9. Marquette Golden Eagles
The Golden Eagles are tied with Butler for second last in the conference at 3-2. They still are about .500 and the bright side is, their only two losses were against ranked teams: #19 Purdue and #5 Wichita State. Marquette has the conferences leading scorer, Andrew Rowsey, averaging about 25 points per game. The Golden Eagles recently claimed third in the Maui Invitational. Their next game is Monday against Eastern Illinois for their home opener at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
10. DePaul Blue Demons
No, I did not forget about DePaul. Currently 1-2 with losses against #14 Notre Dame and Illinois. Currently, while I am writing this, they are loosing to Michigan State by 20… so they will soon be 1-3. Being more positive, they take on an easier Youngstown State on December 2nd.