All Things Big East

new-big-east-cbs

Projected Order of Finish:

  1. Villanova (14-4)
  2. Georgetown (13-5)
  3. Butler (11-6)
  4. Xavier (11-7)
  5. Marquette (10-8)
  6. Providence (9-9)
  7. Creighton (7-11)
  8. Seton Hall (6-12)
  9. DePaul (6-12)
  10. St. John’s (3-13)

Player of the Year:

Kris Dunn

Coach of the Year:

Steve Wojciechowski

Rookie of the Year:

Henry Ellenson

Defensive Player of the Year:

Daniel Ochefu

Most Improved:

Ben Bentil & Kelan Martin

6th Man of the Year:

J.P. Macura

First Team Big East:

G- Kris Dunn

G- D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera

G – Kellen Dunham

F –  Henry Ellenson

C – Daniel Ochefu

Second Team Big East:

G- Jalen Brunson

G- Mo Watson

F – Roosevelt Jones

F – Jalen Reynolds

C – Angel Delgado

Third Team Big East:

G – Duane Wilson

G – Ryan Arcidiacono

F – Josh Hart

F – Isaac Copeland

F – Myke Henry

All Rookie Team: 

G – Traci Carter

G – Jalen Brunson

G – Federico Mussini

F – Justin Patton

C – Jessie Govan

All Defensive Team:

G- Kris Dunn

G – L.J. Peak

F – Josh Hart

F – Roosevelt Jones

C – Daniel Ochefu

Hot Seat Rankings: 

  1. Kevin Willard 5 seasons – 0 winning Big East seasons and 1 NIT berth. After last season’s implosion and the loss of a pair of starting guards to transfer, Willard is relying on his 2014 recruiting class (Whitehead, Delgado, Carrington, Rodriguez) to save his job. Willard is the run away winner here. Any more dysfunction and Seton Hall will have to go in another direction.

That’s it. You could argue Greg McDermott has something to prove without his son or that DePaul may reverse course quickly on the Dave Leitao hire but the other 9 coaches vary from a cool seat to a freezing one. Jay Wright, JTIII and Chris Mack aren’t going anywhere and if they did, it’d be by being hired away (And that only applies to Wright and Mack.) Ed Cooley, Chris Mullin, Wojo and Holtmann have full and total support and would take a handful of years of failing to end up losing their current position.

This is what made the league a success last year and what has it on solid footing moving forward. While they may not be the most charismatic group and there are deep tournament runs missing from most – they are without question solid coaches running solid programs. They also have shown the ability to sell the conference to recruits, which has to be the lifeblood of the conference moving forward. Top end talent (Brunson, Ellenson) needs to be had and groomed into NBA talent.

Black Hat Rankings:

  1. Ryan Arcidiacono – The reigning Co-POY (the biggest voting travesty ever). Likely only Villanova’s 4th best player this year but will made out to only be second fiddle to Dunn in the conference.
  2. J.P. Macura – You would like him if he’s on your team, I guess. Found in multiple squabbles but it’s never his fault.
  3. Roosevelt Jones – Seems like a nice kid. Top competiror in the league. But wow, he is the most awkwardly effective basketball player I’ve seen in sometime. It is excruciating to watch him beat your team off the dribble (he can only go one way) and throw up garbage that goes in.
  4. Luke Fischer – It became apparent of why he chose Indiana. Tom Crean must have sold him on being the second Cody Zeller – turning his 6’10 frame into 6’4 as he flings himself into defenders.
  5. Amar Alibegobic – I’ve yet to encounter anyone with that hair style that I’ve enjoyed being around.
  6. Jalen Reynolds – Mr. Tough Guy. I won’t say more, because he scares me too.
  7. Ben Bentil – A sleeper pick. Anyone who has the shot mechanics of a 40% free throw shooter yet shoots 70% will never not be annoying.
  8. Isiah Whitehead – It was even infuriating as an outside observer to watch him blow up the Seton Hall team last year. I kinda think he figures things out this year, though. If not, the Hall and his attitude could go south in a hurry.
  9. Andrew Chrabascz – Looks like a walk-on. After 40 minutes, he has 13 points and hit two crucial threes.
  10. Myke Henry – A herky jerky game. Too big for your 3 man, too quick for your 4 man. When you give a game away to DePaul or they push into a close one in which your fan-base panics – he’s likely the guy (sneakily) behind it.

Random Stats:

The 30 second shot clock doesn’t appear that it will affect the conference. However, Butler was the slowest offense at 18.8 seconds per possession. Georgetown slowed teams down the best defensively – 12.1% of possessions went 30 seconds or longer. Under their old staff, St. John’s had the quickest offense in the league at 16.8 seconds.

Xavier finished at the rim the best – in non transition attempts at the rim Xavier posted a 60.9 FG%. We’ll see if that maintains with Matt Stainbrook gone.

Who had really good offense that nobody would have guessed? DePaul. Blue Demons had an eFG% of 50.8 in the half court. Good for 3rd in the conference.

The worst in both finishing at the rim and eFG% in the half court? Not surprisingly, Seton Hall. Filled with guards who may have had internal jealousy, the Hall posted an eFG% mark of 45.7%. At the rim? A paltry 51.9%.

Not a surprise that the Top 3 teams at forcing jump shots were two pack-line teams (Xavier and Creighton) and a primary zone team (Marquette). Despite their defensive struggles, only 27.3% of shots against Creighton were attempted at the rim. 30.4 for Marquette and 32.5 for Xavier.

Who protected the rim the best? Two of the top three overall defenses – Georgetown and Villanova. Georgetown only allowed 48.6% at the rim and ‘Nova finished at 51.6%. Villanova with Ochefu likely is at the top this year as Georgetown has to replace Mikael Hopkins and Josh Smith.

Less surprising was DePaul surrendering a 64.3% mark at the rim. A whole 5 percentage points worse than the next team (Xavier).

Random Predictions:

The Big East has two of the Top 8 picks in the 2016 NBA Draft: Kris Dunn and Henry Ellenson.

Kevin Willard is fired after the Big East Tournament. If the administration knows what they’re doing, they hand a blank check to alum Dan Hurley.

The Big East sends 6 teams to the NCAA Tournament again: Villanova, Georgetown, Butler, Xavier, Providence and Marquette. The latter two sweat it out on Selection Sunday.

Georgetown and Villanova both make it out of the first weekend. For Georgetown, the first time since 2007. For ‘Nova, first time since 2009. As the torch-bearers of the league, they need to as well.

College Basketball media will find some reason to give POY awards to people not named Kris Dunn. Even if he carries a terrible team to a post-season berth…and actually plays elite defense.

Wojo proves to really know what he’s doing. Emerges as the front-runner as eventual Coach K replacement.

Fox Sports still can’t get it right digitally. Chromecast capability and archived games – please make it happen. On television, it’s still a good product and the hire of Steve Lavin is an excellent one.

The niceties are over. New rivalries that have had seeds planted continue to grow, notably – Xavier vs well..maybe everyone vs Xavier? Does anyone like them? Wojo is bound to find the hatred of multiple fan-bases, maybe a coach or two as well. In a 10 team league and a round robin – things are bound to get testy sooner than later.

D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera leads the conference in scoring, Angel Delgado in rebounding and Kris Dunn in assists.

The over/under on Kris Dunn triple doubles for the season is 4.5

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