Roundtable: Big East basketball

Every so often the St. John's blogger over at Rumble In the Garden (formerly East Coast Bias) has put together some excellent "roundtable" posts, involving bloggers who cover the various Big East basketball schools. The past week has been one of those times, and now that all five posts are up on his site, I will share them with you.

The point of the round table is that every school is represented and their answers will fill you in on where the other schools' stand. I won't reproduce the answers in full, just ours, but please click on over to read the full stories.

I. Which player is your team's biggest loss?

Without a doubt it is Corey Stokes. He really emerged as a go-to option on the perimeter last season and he was a great pure shooter that will be tough to replace.

II. Which player needs to step up their game?

Dominic Cheek will have to become a lot more consistent from deep or one of the freshmen will have to step up to help keep defenses honest. He will get the starts and the shots that Stokes left behind and will need to make the most of those opportunities. He had a couple big games in Europe though, so hopefully he is on the right track.

III. Who will be this season's surprise player?

Probably Cheek, but I think Pinkston or Bell may also emerge this season. Cheek did work in Europe, and I fully suspect that he will break out some offensively this season. The departure of Isaiah Armwood, however, also opens up some frontcourt minutes. It sounds like James Bell (who played the 2 for the U19 national team) might get the starts in Armwood's place at the 4, but Pinkston's bulkier frame may be better suited to succeed in that role. Both are very talented players who have the potential to go on a tear this season.

IV. Who are you most excited to see play?

I believe Kennedy is without a doubt one of the best "character guys" on this team. He is also a big body that can spell Mouph a lot more believably than Mo Sutton. He has some room to get better as a player, but he has great size and instincts as well as great court-vision. He seems to make good decisions on the floor.

V. Who is the future of your program?

I absolutely hate this question. I really don't want to predict the future when the present isn't so bad. There are no seniors on this team, and this 2011-12 roster has two seasons to figure out how to play together and win games. The last time that happened, Villanova went to the 2009 Final Four. If you press me, however, the answer is Ty Johnson and Ryan Arcidiacono — one of whom will run point after Maalik Wayns leaves school.

Now, click on over to Rumble in the Garden and check out the answers the other bloggers gave. There were even two other Villanova blogs included (though, we agreed more often than not).


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