By: David Kay
1. Villanova: 1-0, 12-1 (LWR: 3)
Scottie Reynolds broke Marquette’s heart on Saturday with one of the most intelligent college basketball plays I have seen in a while. Although Scottie is no stranger to late-game heroics as we all witnessed last year.
Up Next: vs. DePaul (Wed), vs. Marquette (Sat.)
2. Syracuse: 1-1, 13-1 (LWR: 1)
Their loss to Pitt shocked me a little bit. It will be interesting to see how they bounce back this week.
Up Next: vs. Memphis (Wed), vs. South Florida (Sun)
3. West Virginia: 2-0, 11-1 (LWR: 2)
In their last four games, they escaped with a two-point win against Cleveland State. Then blew a ten-point lead in the final minute only to hang on in overtime to beat Seton Hall. A De’Sean Butler final second jumper saved them from being upset by Marquette and then they were smoked by Purdue. In other words, the Mountaineers are not playing near their best basketball right now.
Up Next: vs. Rutgers (Wed), at Notre Dame (Sat)
4. Georgetown: 2-0, 11-1 (LWR: 5)
Wins against Big East bottom feeders St. John’s and DePaul did not tell us a lot about this year’s Hoyas, but they will be put to the test this week.
Up Next: at Marquette (Wed), vs. UConn (Sat)
5. UConn: 1-1, 10-3 (LWR: 4)
Stanley Robinson is looking like a big-time player and despite a two-point loss at Cincy last week, the Huskies have impressively picked up where they left off last season even without Jeff Adrien, A.J. Price, and Hasheem Thabeet.
Up Next: vs. Seton Hall (Wed.), at Georgetown (Sat)
6. Pitt: 3-0, 13-2 (LWR: 11)
I thought for sure the Panthers were going to be a middle of the pack team this season, but Jamie Dixon has done a heck of a job replacing four starters and keeping Pitt a tournament-caliber team.
Up Next: at UConn (Jan. 13)
7. Notre Dame: 1-1, 12-3 (LWR: 7)
I just cannot help but smile when Luke Harangody loses. I hate him more than that damn hockey player who stole Carrie Underwood from me.
Up Next: at South Florida (Tues), vs. West Virginia (Sat)
8. Cincinnati: 2-1, 10-4 (LWR: 9)
This is a tough team to figure out. Mick Cronin needs to get his team to play together because they too often look out of sorts. I love Lance Stephenson’s NBA potential by the way.
Up Next: vs. Cal-State Bakersfield (Wed), at Seton Hall (Sat)
9. Louisville: 1-0, 10-4 (LWR: 8)
Give them credit for showing some signs of life after looking atrocious in the first 15 minutes against Kentucky. Still, their lack of a go-to scorer is going to hurt this team in conference play.
Up Next: at Providence (Wed), vs. St. John’s (Sat)
10. Marquette: 0-2, 9-5 (LWR: 12)
They could easily be 2-0 in conference with wins at West Virginia and home against Villanova. Unfortunately, Marquette cannot hit critical free throws late in the game and suffered back-to-back heart-breaking losses to start Big East play.
Up Next: vs. Georgetown (Wed), at Villanova (Sat)
11. Seton Hall: 0-2, 9-4 (LWR: 6)
After starting the season 8-0, the Pirates have dropped four of their last five games. Jeremy Hazell is averaging 34.3 points in his last three games but has taken 81 shots.
Up Next: at UConn (Wed), vs. Cincinnati (Sat)
12. Providence: 1-1, 9-5 (LWR: 15)
If you haven’t heard of Jamine Peterson, he is averaging 18 and 10 a game for the Friars. Maybe this team isn’t as bad as the 15th place pre-season prediction I had.
Up Next: vs. Louisville (Wed), vs. Rutgers (Sat)
13. St. John’s: 0-2, 10-4 (LWR: 10)
I understand losing at Georgetown by seven. But following that up with a 15-point home loss to Providence is inexcusable for a team trying to prove they are not Big East bottom feeders for another year.
Up Next: at Louisville (Sat.)
14. South Florida: 0-1, 10-3 (LWR: 13)
After a fairly weak non-conference schedule, the Bulls’ weaknesses (poor shooting and a lack of depth) were exposed in a loss at Louisville.
Up Next: vs. Notre Dame (Tues), at Syracuse (Sun)
15. Rutgers: 0-1, 9-4 (LWR: 14)
They were competitive in losses to North Carolina and Cincy which is a moral victory at Rutgers. Unfortunately, moral victories don’t win you games in Big East play.
Up Next: at West Virginia (Wed), at Providence (Sat)
16. DePaul: 0-2, 7-7 (LWR: 16)
Maybe Jerry Wainwright’s constant look of stupidity is rubbing off on the Blue Demons because they have now lost 21 straight Big East conference regular season games.
Up Next: at Villanova (Wed)
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