BIG EAST Basketball Preview: Week 15

Jim McIsaac

Only one off day so you'll see plenty of action, and it will conclude with the rematch of Creighton-Villanova

Two weeks ago, we saw a wide array of inconsistency from our Big East family. Last week eased some of those troubles. Other than St. John's stealing one on the road at Providence, no true upsets occurred last week. This puts me at ease. Here's to another week that doesn't make us scratch our heads TOO much.

Villanova Wildcats

Wednesday 8:00pm @ DePaul Blue Demons

Fox Sports 1

Cleveland Melvin has yet to play since January 20th, being cited for breaking a team rule. He had just 10 points in the last meeting against Villanova, however Daniel Ochefu has been hot lately so his defense will be needed. If he stay out until then, DePaul is in even deeper trouble in this one.

Sunday 5:00pm @ Creighton Bluejays

Fox Sports 1

Ahhhhh, yes. The Rematch.

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On Sunday, St. John's played great perimeter defense to limit Creighton to 23.8%, and JaKaar Sampson forced McDermott to take most of his shots in the paint, getting him frustrated and tired towards the end. If Ochefu can step up here, and if JayVaughn Pinkston can improve from his poor defensive effort versus Seton Hall, and if Ethan Wragge can just not, Villanova can split the series this year.

Creighton Bluejays

Thursday 7:00pm @ Butler Bulldogs

CBS Sports Network

Butler played yet another close Big East game- surprise, surprise- against Georgetown. Andrew Chrabascz, a forward who averaged 6.1 PPG, exploded for 24 in that game. Also, the Hoyas only converted 1-13 on threes. Even with this, Butler couldn't take on on the road. I'm sure Creighton will make more than 10% of their threes, so their usual grind should suffice.

Sunday 5:00pm vs. Villanova Wildcats

Fox Sports 1

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Must find every possible window to display this.

Well if Ethan Wragge repeats his impressive performance, Villanova may have an issue. However, Villanova is definitely a better team than a few weeks ago. They have to create a flow on offense- utilize your 2nd place APG ranking- to sweep the series.

Xavier Musketeers

Tuesday 9:00pm @ Butler Bulldogs

Fox Sports 1

Butler has done well with front courts (Marquette, Georgetown) but back courts give them struggles. Semaj Christon and Justin Martin should show up in order to take down this team. However, Butler struggles more at home so Xavier has that on their side also.

Saturday 4:00pm @ Marquette Golden Eagles

Fox Sports 1

Matt Stainbrook vs. Davante Gardner. Need I say more? This is a battle of teams who were supposed to be good but lately we're really not sure what to expect.

Providence Friars

Monday 7:00pm @ Georgetown Friars

Fox Sports 1

D`Vauntes Smith-Rivera and Markel Starks have brought this team back to strength. Jabril Trawick is also coming into form again. But remember that Providence is the king of inconsistency this season. Bryce Cotton better tame the back court or else Providence will again be on the bubble-watch.

Saturday 2:00pm vs. DePaul Blue Demons

FOX

Providence is 1-3 in their last 4 games as of Sunday. Their only win was a close one at DePaul. Again, I'm not sure if Cleveland will be back for this one, however if he is this will spell big problems for the Friars. Looking at the St. John's loss, good front courts give them issues.

Marquette Golden Eagles

Tuesday 7:00pm @ Seton Hall Pirates

Fox Sports 1

Davante Gardner will have his hands full with Gene Teague and Patrik Auda. Derrick Wilson will need to take Fuquan Edwin and Brian Oliver, too. However, this SHU team can go cold at any point, so as long as Marquette can hang around, there is no reason they can't steal one in NJ. Butler did, so why not Marquette?

Saturday 4:00pm vs. Xavier Musketeers

Fox Sports 1

Did I mention Matt Stainbrook vs. Davante Gardner? That's gonna be really fun. Plus the Golden Eagles will transition from Edwin to Christon. Not an easy week for Marquette, however Xavier is 1-3 in their last 4, and free throws have been an issue in the losses.

Georgetown Hoyas

Monday 7:00pm vs. Providence Friars

Fox Sports 1

The Hoyas need that back court to go big here. With Christon outside the perimeter, Starks, Trawick and Smith-Rivera should neutralize him easily. That leaves Stainbrook, but he'll be too busy studying the hardwood floors and requesting blueprints or whatever woodshop people do.

Sunday 7:00pm @ St. John's Red Storm

Fox Sports 1

Remember when playing St. John's was an easy win? Pepperidge Farm remembers. Pepperidge Farm also remembers that Joshua Smith is suspended for the season for eligibility issues. Good luck to Mikael Hopkins to have to deal with Chris Obekpa and Sampson. This doesn't look good for the Hoyas.

St. John's Red Storm

Thursday 9:00pm @ Seton Hall Pirates

Fox Sports 1

I cannot get over Obekpa and Sampson. Teague and Brandon Mobley will have to tag up on these two. D`Angelo Harrison reminds me a lot of Fuquan, so seeing these two will be a treat. Seton Hall handed St. John's its first conference win 3 weeks ago, and they've won 4 of their next 5 after that. St. John's just took down Creighton so I don't see much they can't do.

Sunday 7:00pm vs. Georgetown Hoyas

Fox Sports 1

Get in the paint. Make Georgetown remember that Joshua Smith is out, and make Smith feel ashamed for what he may or may not have did. Then, kick it out to Harrison for the dagger. Wow I love this team now.

Seton Hall Pirates (I also love this team)

Tuesday 7:00pm vs. Marquette Golden Eagles

Fox Sports 1

The struggles that the Pirates had with Ochefu make me think Jamil Wilson and Gardner will have a fine time in the Prudential Center. However, if Fuquan Edwin gets in his grove like against Georgetown, SHU can go places. Their success rests with him.

Thursday 9:00pm vs. St. John's Red Storm

Fox Sports 1

Between the 48 hour layover and the fact that it's St. John's I'm not expecting much in this one. Plus, for what it's worth, SHU has been alternating win-loss since the loss at Marquette on January 11th, so continuing that pattern would result in a loss here.

Butler Bulldogs

Tuesday 9:00pm vs. Xavier Musketeers

Fox Sports 1

This team is like what I thought of St. John's back at the beginning of the season. I don't see many weaknesses, however they lose all the time. Maybe it's a new coach/chemistry thing, however the season is more than over. Against Georgetown, Khyle Marshall and Kellen Dunham combined for 25 points. Luckily, no-name Chrabascz came through with 24 of his own, however that is never expected again. More than 25 points from the other two is the least of Butler's concerns here.

Thursday 7:00pm vs. Creighton Bluejays

CBS Sports Network

This game is on CBSSN so that less people can view the ugly scene that will ensue here. Creighton will be coming off their disappointing offensive effort against the Red Storm, so they'll be coming out firing. Creighton's weakness is rebounding, and Butler doesn't even beat them in that.

DePaul Blue Demons

Wednesday 8:00pm vs. Villanova Wildcats

Fox Sports 1

Charles McKinney has played great defense in the back court. However, for the 16th time, Cleveland Melvin will be big. I would imagine he would return by this game, as that would be over 2 weeks from the team. Without him, Brandon Young and Billy Garrett Jr. are the keys for Villanova, but together they can only supply 25 PPG. Melvin's defense is needed.

Saturday 2:00pm @ Providence Friars

FOX

If you want to play Providence somewhere, it's on the road. Providence has dropped two at home to St. John's and Seton Hall, who both at the time were not proven. Kadeem Batts has filled in well defensively, but Young and Garrett Jr. need to keep all four eyes on Bryce Cotton. He controls that team, and he is the answer.

Answer my random poll question because I'm just curious!

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