1. Villanova Wildcats
They didn’t win the Big East Tournament last season, but Villanova is far and away the class of the Big East as they’re the only top 25 team that exists in this league.
This squad won almost 30 games last season and brings back some key returnees in the two-headed monster of JayVaughn Pinkston and Darrun Hillard who collectively averaged near 29 points of offense. Point guard Ryan Arcidiacono returns along with Daniel Ochefu. This team is well-experienced, but coach Jay Wright did some solid work on the recruiting trail with the acquisitions of recruits Mikael Bridges and Phil Booth. Both players are 4-star players in ranking, but are also in ESPN’s top 100 recruits. These additions should add to what is already one of the best teams in the nation and the class of the Big East.
2 .Xavier Musketeers
The Musketeers move up the food chain as the defending Big-East Champion Providence Friars lose a whole host of players, including Bryce Cotton and his 21.8 points and 5.9 assists per game. As for Xavier, they lose their leading scorer in Semaj Christon to the NBA, but they did a solid job of recruiting and bringing back players such as Matt Stainbrook and Dee Davis.
The Musketeers also landed two of ESPN’s top 100 recruits in Trevon Bluiett (#46) and point guard Edmond Sumner (#78). This conference may be a little more lopsided, but the Musketeers will be near the top of the conference for the entire season.
3. Creighton Bluejays
Goodbye Doug McDermott
When a team loses a player of this caliber in a conference like this, they’re going to take a dramatic drop. McDermott was the Big East’s leading scorer and reigning player of the year and the Bluejays will need to recover as teams like Georgetown and St. John’s are nipping at their heels.
How do you replace a big scorer? You find another scorer in the recruiting class and Creighton picked up the 71st player in the top 100 recruits in small forward Ronnie Harrell. Harrell is slight in frame at 6 foot 7 but can shoot the lights out and that’s just what this ball club needs.
4. Georgetown Hoyas
Recruiting To Victory?
The Georgetown history carries a lot of weight and head coach John Thompson III worked hard in the off-season and landed some big-time recruits in 5-star recruit Isaac Copeland (#16), small forward L.J. Peak (#31), and Paul White (#34).
Playing for Georgetown gives a player a great education and we can’t overlook the fact that some youngsters see it as a status thing from the great teams of the past. Whatever it is, Coach Thompson killed it recruiting-wise. D’Vauntes-Smith Rivera led last season with 17.6 points and 5 rebounds per game.
Even though ranked 4th in the power rankings, this is a team with a great upside that can surpass teams like Creighton and Xavier.
The East Big will be a conference that will take time to regrow and for recruits to want to be a part of with the departure of key teams.