Blogs > The Full-Court Press

Welcome back to the Trentonian's Full-Court Press blog. Yes, we're still alive, and with the 2015-16 season rapidly approaching, it's time to fire up the old blog for another season. Check back here throughout the year for updates on all things Rider and Princeton, including coverage of both the MAAC and Ivy League. Feel free to drop me a line on twitter @kj_franko (https://twitter.com/kj_franko) or email kfranko@trentonian.com.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Ups and downs in the Big East

I didn't make it to the Hockey Hall of Fame, but I did finish all my football stuff. So here, as promised, is a look at the ups and downs so far of teams in the Big East. I'm interested to hear what readers think, so bring on the comments! 

As I did yesterday with the MAAC, below is a list of Big East teams, in order of their place in the preseason conference coaches' poll. Next to their record is where each team's stock has gone. Since the Big East is substantially bigger than the MAAC (16 teams instead of 10), we'll do the top half of the preseason coaches' poll tonight and the bottom half on Sunday night. 

1. Georgetown (10-1, 0-0) -- Stock has gone down. 
I know, I know. The Hoyas have only one loss, and it came against the best team in the country. But if you're a Hoyas fan, you can't be happy with the fact that the loss to Memphis wasn't even close. You also can't be happy with the fact that Roy Hibbert and Co. were losing to a struggling Fairfield team in the second half. Then there's the matter of scoring, and whether the loss of Jeff Green (remember the buzzer-beater against Vandy in last year's NCAA tournament?) could hurt them when they need offense. I don't think they should fall out of the top 10, but I think the AP and Coaches' rankings (both 7) are a tad too high right now. 

1. Louisville (9-4, 0-1) -- stock has gone way down. 
I understand there have been injuries, suspensions and all the havoc that came from playing without two starters. But if you're a Ville fan, you can't be happy with the fact that if your team loses tonight to Kentucky, your team might be the biggest flop in the Bluegrass State. Rick Pitino's crew better turn things around, or it could join the Cardinals football team as teams that started the season in the top 10 but were sitting at home during the biggest posteason games. 

3. Marquette (11-1, 1-0) -- stock has gone up. 
 It's gone up because the Golden Eagles have an impressive record against a respectable schedule, and because in their only conference game, they destroyed Providence. The 30-point win over Oklahoma State is nice, as is the fact that the only loss was by four points to Duke. I was a little concerned at the beginning of the season, when the Tom Crean's team had trouble getting by Utah Valley State and Chaminade, but virtually every win since has been convincing. Another bit of good news for the Eagles is that what figure to be their two toughest conference games -- against Pitt and Georgetown -- are both at home. But watch out for UConn, which Marquette has to play at Gampel Pavilion on Jan. 20. 

4. Pittsburgh (12-1, 0-0) -- stock has stayed the same. 
Actually, it went way up, then back down again. The win over Duke -- especially because of the way they won it, coming back from a double digit deficit to win on a 3 in overtime at Madison Square Garden -- was great. For the time being, it put them on a pretty short list of teams that looked like national title contenders. But the 25-point drubbing at Dayton set them back, and winning without Levance Fields on the court won't be easy. 

5. Syracuse (11-3, 1-0) -- stock has gone down. 
There have been a few red flags, including a loss at home to UMass. And as good as Rhode Island is this year, that's a win Jim Boheim's crew would have liked to have gotten at home. But the biggest reason for concern was the Orange's lackluster performance in its Big East opener, when it barely crept by an awful St. John's team 76-70 at home. 

6. UConn (10-2, 1-0) -- stock has gone up. 
I thought from the beginning that this was an NCAA tournament team and I'm more sure of that now than I was in November. There are still some issues to overcome, such as the lapses in the past two games on defense. And it sure would be nice if Jerome Dyson could be a superstar every game, instead being an on-and-off type scorer. Or if Jeff Adrien would improve the way UConn needs him to. But this team went on the road and got pasted by West Virginia in its Big East opener last year. This year, they handily beat a fairly good Seton Hall team on the road. A win at Notre Dame would all but guarantee a 3-0 league start, since the next Big East game is at Gampel against St. John's. 

7. Villanova (10-2, 0-1) -- stock has stayed the same. 
Are the Cats an NCAA tournament team? Probably. Could they pull off a few upsets and win the Big East tournament? Maybe. But are they as good as their No. 17 national ranking? Clearly not after Thursday's blowout loss to Depaul. 

8. Providence (9-4, 0-1) -- stock has gone down. 
Conventional wisdom dictates that teams finishing in the top half of the Big East, if they have a few quality non-conference wins, should at least garner consideration for the NCAA tournament. So we have to be disappointed with the Friars for getting blown out by Rhode Island and being utterly humiliated by Marquette. If they're going to turn things around, Geoff McDermott needs to score more. 



3 Comments:

Blogger Tom Cleary said...

Cincinnati looked good against Louisville and should finish much higher than last year and actually make the end of season tournament.

Like I said before, UConn is going to be a tough team to beat. They will lose a good amount of games, especially on the road, but they won't go down easily.

January 5, 2008 at 5:36 PM 
Blogger Tom Cleary said...

Cincinnati looked good against Louisville and should finish much higher than last year and actually make the end of season tournament.

Like I said before, UConn is going to be a tough team to beat. They will lose a good amount of games, especially on the road, but they won't go down easily.

January 5, 2008 at 5:36 PM 
Anonymous Wilson Alvarez HOF 2013 said...

Memphis will not lose a game this year. They're that good. They are the Patriots of college basketball. Calipari is just a better-dressed Belichick... The Big East I feel will be controlled by Georgetown. Be careful with DePaul, even though they started off slow they can surprise some teams. They're big, physical and play some tough defense. I may be a little biased with DePaul, being it is my alma mater.

I have seen limited action of the MAAC, some of my colleagues went to Fairfield so I am somewhat informed. I saw Fairfield play on ESPNU; I feel that they need a true shooting guard badly. Evanoich is a pretty good player, but they need someone to complement him. In my opinion, the MAAC is the NL Central of college basketball. The main goal of most teams is to win a couple of MAAC championships and try to upgrade to a better conference, for example, the CAA or the A-10 as Fordham did.

January 5, 2008 at 9:40 PM 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home