Marquette & Bullies of Big East
Marquette Golden Eagles get going tonight for their Big East opener. Let’s have a look at the teams in their conference. People are saying this is the best conference in basketball, and it’s hard to argue that point. The top four features four teams who can make it to the Final Four and no one would be surprised one bit.
Villanova Wildcats – What can be said about Villanova that hasn’t already been said? They’re the favorites of this conference, and the NCAA right now. Josh Hart is a Player of the Year nominee, and Cats can beat you in so many ways. I don’t think they go undefeated for the full year, but if they don’t have a lost by February, I wouldn’t be shocked.
Butler Bulldogs – In what was supposed to be a down year, Butler is kicking everyone’s asses to start the year. They have wins over Arizona, Indiana, Utah and Cincinnati to start the year. Kelan Martin is somehow still in school and a stud at that with averaging 18 points per game. He’s their leader and can really fill up the tin.
Creighton Blue Jays – People thought Creighton had a chance to be good this year, but I imagine no one thought they’d be unbeaten come the Big East season. Jays had a good non-conference including a win against Wisconsin. They can beat in so many ways. Maurice Watson Jr. is a headliner, but he’s getting outshined this year by transfer Marcus Foster. Creighton will run out of the gym if given the opportunity.
Xavier Musketeers – Even without Myles Davis, Xavier is one of the best teams in the conference. They have a scary three-headed monster led by Trevon Bluett and his associates, J.P. Macura and Edmond Sumner. They’re lethal. The scary part about Bluett is he’s averaging nearly 20 points per game and only shooting 35 percent from three. That means there’s room for more, and that’s terrifying as a Marquette fan.
Tourney to Bubble teams
Seton Hall Pirates – People believed Seton Hall would fall off a bit when Isaiah Whitehead went pro, but that hasn’t been the case. Pirates are of to a fast start thinks to Khadeem Carrington averaging 19 points per game along with three other players in double-figures. My one Hall quibble is they’ve played no one. The best win they have currently is South Carolina.
Providence Friars – Like Seton Hall, people believed Kris Dunn’s departure would mean a down year for Providence. It hasn’t happened yet. Friars got off to decent start to begin the year to put themselves in tourney contention. Rodney Bullock and Emmett Holt carried the water for this offense. We’ll know about Providence right away, they play three of the top four teams in their first four games
Marquette Golden Eagles – Could this be the year that Golden Eagles return to Big Dance? They had a decent non-conference with no real flubs unless you count the Michigan blowout. Marquette’s offense is one of the best in the country and can overwhelm teams at times. While their offense has been good, their defense is a trainwreck. Golden Eagles fix their defense, they might be one of the surprises in Big East.
Can’t Put a Finger On Them
Georgetown Hoyas – Georgetown began the year 2-4 and people began to wonder if this could be a really long year for John Thompson. They recovered nicely with six straight wins including a road win against rival Syracuse, but the question remains what Hoyas are this season. The team goes as Rodney Pryor and L.J. Peak go, they both score over 15 points per game.
DePaul Blue Demons – Another year, another trip to the doldrums for DePaul. Eli Cain has been a bright spot for this team averaging 18 points a game. DePaul always wins a couple dumb games against opponents they shouldn’t beat at home so watch for that.
St. John’s Red Storm – People got all excited about the possibility of St. John’s returning to prominence. They lost their starting center to a transfer and seven losses in the non-conference. But somehow recently, they beat Syracuse on the road by 33 points. It could be Syracuse sucks, and we don’t know it yet, but still, Johnnies remain confusing.