Analyzing The Big East Conference For 2017-18 Season

By Ryan Touhey,

The Big East Conference is one of, if not the toughest conference in college basketball. With the likes of Villanova, Seton Hall, Providence, Creighton and Xavier competing against one another, anything is possible.

Villanova will look to continue their supremacy at the top of the Big East landscape this season, as they aim to win their third Big East title in four years. They also hope to make it back to the NCAA Tournament and redeem themselves from last year’s unexpected early exit. With the departure of Kris Jenkins, who had graduated from Nova last year, the Wildcats will be without any senior leadership. The oldest players will be juniors Phil Booth, Tom Leibig and Matt Kennedy.

The Seton Hall Pirates on the other hand, who won the tournament in between the Wildcats titles, will be led by seniors Khadeen Carrington, Angel Delgado, Ismael Sanogo and Desi Rodriguez. Their experience and familiarity with the Wildcats and the rest of the Big East may play a major role for the talented Pirates.

Sacred Heart transfer Quincy McKnight, will also be able to study the play of the Pirates from the sideline this season and that may come into play when he takes the court next season with the talents of Michael Nzei, Eron Gordon and Myles Powell.

The Providence Friars, like Villanova, are also without a senior this season. They’ve been consistent in the Big East and in college basketball for the past few seasons and they look to continue that trend moving forward. Since Ed Cooley became the head of the program in 2011, the Friars have finished with a winning record in five out of his six seasons at the helm.

Xavier, Butler and Creighton are three other big threats in the East as well. Ever since the new Big East formed, these three teams have made a major impact on the scene. Butler handed Villanova one of only three conferences losses they suffered during last year’s season and one of only four losses in general.

Marquette also upset the then-defending national champions last year as well. Although they may not be expected to do as well as other teams, don’t be surprised if they put a fight throughout the course of the season. The Golden Eagles did make the NCAA Tournament last year, but in the end lost to South Carolina in the first round.

They do have one of the youngest rosters in the Big East, as they only have two juniors and no seniors. Duane Wilson and Andrew Rosey will be those juniors as they look to guide the team to another successful seasons.

St. John’s and DePaul are still fighting their way to the top as they continue to recruit young talents. The Red Storm did show that they can shoot last year but they did struggle when it came to rebounding and defense. The Blue Demons on the other hand struggled mightily last season, falling to 9-23 overall with a dismal .281 winning percentage. They will play their first season at the Wintrust Arena this season. Their first game will be against Notre Dame on November 11.

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