If the pre-season polls are any indication, no one has any idea what to expect from the Big East in the upcoming season. Andy Katz has Georgetown ranked in the top 20 in the nation whereas Adam Zagoria thinks Georgetown will barely crack the top 10 in the Big East. NBE Basketball Report picks Georgetown as 6th in the Big East while this yahoo picks Duke as #2 in the country (that has nothing to do with Georgetown or the Big East but I felt the need to mention it). So I have decided to join in on the madness.
If you hadn't figured out by my previous posts, I think freshmen are overrated. They get all the hype at the beginning of the season, but by the end it is the upperclassmen that carry the team. And I am not talking about Conference USA or Pac-10 freshmen, where the competition is the equivalent of a badminton team, I am talking about the Big East, real basketball. Freshmen do not lead Big East teams to the top of the standings. Take this nugget as evidence; since the 2005-06 season when the Big East expanded to 16 teams, the highest regular season finish for a team that also had the Big East Rookie of the Year was 6th (Marquette in 2006). The average finish for the team of the Big East Rookie of the Year has been 8th. With this in mind, I offer my Big East rankings for the 2009-10 season.
1. Villanova -returns and will have a breakout year. Nevermind the fact that they have three five-star recruits and All-American transfer Taylor King.
2. West Virginia -and are best combo in Big East.
3. Connecticut - lost a ton, but still have a lot., and keep Uconn near the top.
4. Louisville - they are here because I don't have the stomach to put Georgetown as fourth. Andand are still there.
5. Georgetown - inexperienced bench, talented starting five. People say the season depends on Hollis Thompson, I say it depends on; his ability to take pressure off of will be the key to the season.
6. Pittsburgh - the cockroach of the Big East, never goes away.
7. Syracuse - nothing will make up for the loss of BFF Cheddar Bob in Slovenia., and . Expect to miss a few games while visiting
8. Cincinnati - brings back essentially the same team in a much weaker conference.
9. Seton Hall - see above.
10. St. John's - lost no one. This would be the best finish for Norm Roberts, who was hired at the same time as JT3. How he has kept his job is nothing short of a miracle.
11. Notre Dame - the return ofmeans nothing, the overrated Brey will be on the hot seat after another disappointing finish.
12. Rutgers -has a breakout season.
13. Marquette - lost its three best players, nothing will fill the void.
14. South Florida - lost best player, Jesus Verdejo, who also happens to have the greatest name ever. Nothing hits the spot better than Jesus Wine.
15. Providence - lost five of the eight main players from last year's overachieving team.
16. DePaul - lost the only good player from an 0-18 team. Expect negative wins from this squad this season.