Sunday, January 01, 2006

Big East Rewind

UConn With Marcus Williams this is probably the best team, the team that rolls over competition, blows out NCAA-bound teams, etc, etc. This season may look like a two horse race, a Duke-UConn NCAA final rematch perhaps. But the last time we had this, both Kentucky and Arizona didn't make it past the Elite 8. If Marcus Williams comes back and re-integrated smoothly, I am not sure who can beat this team.

Syrcause Eating cupcakes in the cold frozen weather of Syracuse is good idea calorie-wise, and a recipe for a Hall of Fame induction. But we don't know how good this team is until they are forced to play road games in the Big East.

Louisville Once a super-star coach, Rick Pitino has to reclaim his status the hard-way. Getting to the Final Four prematurely last year helped. This year's team was severely overrated because of the silly way polls operate (and the silly people who vote in them). This team has a lot of potential, but as of this moment, they are an average team. If all the pieces fall in place, an Elite 8 is not unreasonable.

Villanova Another team that is a bit overrated. Yes they have four great, sensational, aggressive guards, but what's inside? Without Sumpter I don't see them having a chance to the Final Four. Jay Wright enjoy your 15 minutes :-)

West Virginia A team with a "weird" offense and a 1-3-1 defense. Can be confusing during the NCAAs and that helps in getting the Ws and moving on. But now that they are famous, they are probably being scouted and analyzed by just about every coach who has NCAA-run aspirations. They won't sneak on anybody this year, but an NCAA bid and one NCAA win are to be expected.

Georgetown The rebuilding continues with this assortment of players. Hibbert may be too good for his own right and bolt for the NBA prematurely, derailing the Hoyas rebuilding. For now they remain a mystery until the Big East season gets well underway.

DePaul This team has a lot of potential. Potential to lose to a Divison 3 team, and potential to win big on the road. An NIT bid is almost guaranteed after three big OOC road wins, and an NCAA bid is not far-fetched with a decent Big East schedule.

Marquette Just like DePaul this is a young team. This trio of guards is the foundation for the future for Crean. They may struggle this year to get to the post season but the future is bright for 2006-2007 and beyond.

Notre Dame This is the 3rd Big East team laying the foundation for the future, along with DePaul and Marquette. This class of freshmen is laying the foundation for the future. This year they may struggle, they may go to the NIT again, but there is promise for 2006-07 and beyond.

Pitt Lots and lots of cupcakes. Winning at South Carolina is not really a big deal since Odom's team hasn't beaten anyone of note. Pitt has to have a really good Big East season otherwise NIT they go.

Cincy With Huggins gone, "Adam" Kennedy has a difficult task ahead as the local fans are very local and appreciative of Huggie-Bear. In a surpring twist, Dr Nancy D gets dethroned and a pro-HuggieBear administration is installed at the University of Cincinatti this summer, Huggins is rehired, and two days later OJ Mayo and Billy Walker commit to Cincinatti. But this team has talented seniors and an NCAA run is possible, although the selection cmte may take a pro-Huggins stand and leave them out if they are on the bubble :-)

St Johns Long rebuilding project here, but lots of potential for this storied program, and a coach that has the patience to go along. With time, they could be competitive again.

Rutgers Making the Big East conference tournament would be a success. Need I say more?

Seton Hall Another coach on the Hot Seat perhaps, but didn't they beat Arizona two years ago in the NCAAs? Making the Big East conference tournament would be a success.

Providence Making the Big East conference tournament would be a success. And that's not just for this year I'm afraid. Too many powerhouses are in the Big East now, and Providence is just too small to compete.

South Florida Yes, they are here for football. Lucky are the Big East teams who play them once or twice a year. They should definately storm the court if they make it to the NIT once in the next four years. That was harsh, but that's not far-fetched I'm afraid.


Anonymous said...

A number of newspaper accounts mention Marcus Williams of UConn playing yesterday with the first-team for the first time since his suspension ended on December 17. Every one of the accounts stated that as well as the first team was playing with Craig Austrie, it was noticeably better with Williams playing the point guard position. Calhoun acknowledged as much in the post practice interview. While he won't start Tuesday against Marquette, it appears that he will be starting soon, possibly Saturday against LSU.

ncaahoops said...

This is definately good news for UConn. It was amazing how good this team played in Maui with two true freshmen running the point, Marcus Williams out, and sharp-shooter Anderson slowly getting back to form.

I saw a couple of their recent games against cupcakes and they have been running all over them. Not many of the other top 25 teams have been able to consistently dominate cupcakes like UConn. I wonder if their 2nd best five players are beating the starters in practice.

They are loaded and versatile, this team can be scary good.

It would be interesting to see how the four UConn bigs handle LSU's Glen Davis. I may be able to see it if CBS choses that game as the regional :-) I think it would be a great idea if CSTV picks up the alternate regional games of CBS - once the CSTV purchase is completed by CBS it is a must - if it hasn't been completed already).

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