College Basketball Preview Part 6 – The Big East

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My Preseason All-Big East Team

G: Jalen Brunson, Villanova
G: Marcus Foster, Creighton
F: Trevon Bluiett, Xavier
F: Kelan Martin, Butler
C: Angel Delgad0, Seton Hall

Projected Standings

1. Villanova

My pick for the national championship last year went 32-4 and received the #1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, but the ‘Cats were upset by Wisconsin in that tournament. Jay Wright only loses two players, but they are two big ones, Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins. ‘Nova isn’t quite on the national radar as a national title contender, and I think people are undervaluing the ‘Cats sans Josh Hart. Even if this is a down year (Which would be a top 15 year by Nova’s standards), there isn’t a single senior on the roster, and assuming Jalen Brunson (14.7 ppg, 4.1 apg) stays another year, consider Nova my way-too-early 2018-19 Championship pick.

2.  Xavier

Edmond Sumner, who averaged 15 points per game last year is a big loss, but Xavier returns a couple key players from last season’s 24-14 team. The senior duo of Trevon Bluiett (18.5 ppg, 5.7 rpg) and JP Macura (14.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg) will lead this team to an NCAA Tournament bid, and while the Musketeers may take some hits due to the crowded middle of the Big East, I look at Xavier as a sleeper team to make the second weekend in the tournament. Grad transfer Kerem Kanter (brother of Enes Janter) averaged 11 points and six reboounds at Green Bay (Horizon League) last season.

3.  Seton Hall

Between third and seventh, any order is acceptable, and for that reason I only see the Big East getting three or four teams into the tournament. The middle of the conference is so crowded that these teams might just beat up on eachother and ruin the Big East’s chances of having a big year of tournament berths. I picked Seton Hall as my team to emerge. In a conference with Jalen Brunson and Trevon Bluiett, Angel Delgado (15.2 ppg, 13.1 rpg) might actually be the best player in the Big East, and Seton Hall actually returns three additional double-digit scorers in Khadeen Carrington (17.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg), Myles Powell (10.7 ppg, 2.2 rpg), and Desi Rodreiguez (15.7 ppg, 5.2 rpg).

4.  Providence

5.  Creighton

6.  Butler

7.  Marquette

8.  St. Johns

9.  DePaul

10.  Georgetown

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