The 2019-2020 season of college basketball is just a few months away. Schedules have been released, rosters are almost finalized and fall is upon us. There truly isn’t a better time of the year. Now, I introduce to you my rankings for the upcoming season in the Big East conference. These rankings include lists for many different categories. Without further ado, here we go.
Team Power Rankings
- Seton Hall – Myles Powell returning was the deal breaker for the number one spot. The Pirates over achieved last season, a credit to head coach Kevin Willard. He returns most of his starting rotation.
- Villanova – The Wildcats lost important leaders Eric Paschall and Phil Booth, but head coach Jay Wright brought in the fifth-ranked recruiting class in the country this offseason, according to 247sports.com.
- Xavier – A slow start last season didn’t stop the Musketeers from finishing third in the Big East thanks to a 9-9 record in league play. Now second-year coach Travis Steele and Xavier surprised us last season. This season, there’s no surprises. They’re good.
- Marquette – It’s well known the Golden Eagles lost the Hauser brothers, but last I checked, they still have prolific scorer Markus Howard. Transfer Koby McEwen will provide more pop on offense, and they return good size in center Theo John.
- Providence – Never doubt head coach Ed Cooley. In a rare down year last season for the Friars, they boast one of the more complete rosters on paper. Sophomore guards David Duke and AJ Reeves will continue to progress, and the backcourt added transfer Luwane Pipkins from UMass, where he averaged 16 PPG. Oh yeah, and we almost forgot about Alpha Diallo and Nate Watson.
- Creighton – Head coach Greg McDermott coached the Bluejays to an impressive 20 wins last season, as he know will oversee the most loaded backcourt in the Big East. Guards Ty-Shon Alexander and Marcus Zegarowski lead an offense to be reckoned with.
- Georgetown – The Hoyas are way to good to be ranked seventh, but that speaks to how good the talent level is in the Big East this year. Head coach Patrick Ewing returns key pieces like James Akinjo, Mac McClung and Josh LeBlanc. Even though they lost star big Jessie Govan, he’ll be replaced by transfer 6-foot-10 center Omer Yurtseven, a transfer from NC State.
- St. John’s – This is coach Mike Anderson’s first year as new head coach of the Red Storm, in what will be a rebuilding year for the program. However, the team still has one of the better one-two punches in the conference with LJ Figueroa and Mustapha Heron who will fit brilliantly in Anderson’s system.
- Butler – Senior guard Kamar Baldwin leads the Bulldogs, who will be aided by wing Jordan Tucker, who showed his scoring ability last season. A Top 100 recruit in guard Khalif Battle is also a great addition to their strong backcourt. Nine feels too low, but let’s see if they have the depth to climb higher.
- DePaul – DePaul is always at the bottom of the standings, but this year, it’s not so much a guarantee. Yes, they lost star guard Max Strus, but they return forward Paul Reed and have a strong freshman class headlined by power forward Romeo Weems. While impressive, I just have to see it to believe it with the Blue Demons.
Comments: I genuinely think the top seven teams can all make the tournament. I’m not saying they will, but I’d expect at least five. I’d say outside of the bottom three teams, the rest is up for grabs.
Coach Power Rankings
- Jay Wright (570-260)
- Ed Cooley (254-179)
- Greg McDermott (356-240)
- Mike Anderson (369-200)
- Kevin Willard (215-177)
- Steve Wojciechowski (97-69)
- LaVall Jordan (48-55)
- Patrick Ewing (34-29)
- Travis Steele (19-16)
- David Leitao (191-211)
Comments: The record to the right indicates career coaching records. This was really tough. There was barely anything separating spots two through five. I also think Steele will eventually climb these rankings, but I couldn’t put him any higher based on one season. It’s hard to compare when many coaches are at their respective program long-term, compared to coaches who just got there.
Anderson has a very high career win percentage, but hasn’t coached in the Big East yet. Although, coaching in the SEC and Big-12 previously isn’t too shabby.
Jay Wright is Jay Wright. a two-time national champion. The argument could be made that he’s the best college basketball coach in the country.
LaVall Jordan got a bit of a boost for a tournament appearance back in 2017, but not much else separates seven through 10.
Top 10 Players in the Conference
- Myles Powell, Seton Hall, G
- Markus Howard, Marquette, G
- Alpha Diallo, Providence, G
- Ty-Shon Alexander, Creighton, G
- Kamar Baldwin, Butler, G
- Naji Marshall, Xavier, G
- Mustapha Heron, St. John’s, G
- LJ Figueroa, St. John’s, F
- Paul Reed, DePaul, F
- Omer Yurtseven, Georgetown, C
Comments: It’s very tough to compare so many players with all different skillsets. I’d say the only spots that aren’t debatable are one and two. The rest gets tricky.
Notably, there’s no one from Villanova on this list. While they have a fantastic recruiting class, they simply have too many freshman. People sleep on the 1-2 punch of Figueroa and Heron, who will keep the Johnnies afloat.
Rankings are so highly debated, and a lot of fun. Before you crucify me, be sure to make your opinion known in the comments section, or tweet us @BEB_Breakdown.