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Summer Shootaround: Big East

As part of ESPN's Summer Shootaround series, Dana O'Neil takes a look at how teams may fare this upcoming year, players to keep an eye on, and offseason headlines. Below are some of the Villanova references in the piece.

  • Offseason Storylines

5. Will order be restored? Even now, a good three months after the season ended, the final Big East standings don't look right. There, near the bottom of the barrel are Pittsburgh and Villanova, tied with identical 5-13 records of misery in the conference.So the important question: Were those failures a blip on the screen or the beginning of something a little more long-term?All signs point to some quick healing for Pitt, which welcomes touted freshman Steven Adams and Central Michigan transfer Trey Zeigler to go with returning players Tray Woodall,Talib Zanna and Dante Taylor. Last year's troubles were hard to decipher, so it's tough to imagine a repeat.Villanova's situation isn't quite so crystal clear. The Wildcats were a debacle all year and from that mess, Maalik Wayns and Dominic Cheek, the team's two leading scorers, left early. That could be addition by subtraction if the two didn't want to be around anymore but those are still mighty shoes to fill.Jay Wright has two top-100 recruits in Ryan Arcidiacono and Daniel Ochefu, plus Wake Forest transfer Tony Chennault, JayVaughn Pinkston and Mouphtaou Yarou. That's a good foundation to build on but whether Rome can be rebuilt in a season remains to be seen.

  • Best/Worse Case Scenario


Best-case scenario: The phrase addition-by-subtraction is a pejorative, and it has never very nice to use, but one can't help but think Villanova could experience that very sensation in 2011-12, now that guard Maalik Wayns has left the school to chase the NBA dream. Replacing him will be Ryan Arcidiacono, the No. 6-ranked point guard in the class of 2012. Some fresh blood handling the ball may be just what the doctor ordered.

Worst-case scenario: Or maybe we're blaming Wayns too much for this team's disappointing 2010 and 2011 seasons, and in fact it just isn't very good. If that's the case, expect another season like the last -- occasionally tantalizing but mostly forgettable.

More after the jump...

  • Five Freshmen to Watch

Ryan Arcidiacono, Villanova: The true point guard will be even more critical for the Wildcats now thatMaalik Wayns bolted college early. Savvy and skilled on both ends of the floor, the only question is his health. Arcidiacono missed much of his senior season after undergoing back surgery.

  • Most Important Player

Villanova: Tony Chennault
The last time a displaced player landed on Jay Wright's doorstep, it turned out pretty well. Scottie Reynolds, orphaned by Kelvin Sampson at Oklahoma, led the Wildcats to the Final Four. Now it's Chennault, the Wake Forest transfer who was granted a hardship waiver to be near his family. The Philadelphia native, who averaged 9.0 points in his sophomore season at Wake, is a much-needed boost for a Villanova team that struggled mightily.