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Big East Preview (Part 2): Georgetown, Marquette, and Providence

A look into some of Villanova’s conference foes.

NCAA Basketball: Big East Conference Tournament-Villanova vs Marquette Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Over the next few days, we will be previewing the other nine Big East schools for the 2018-19 season. We continue with taking a look at the Georgetown Hoyas, the Marquette Golden Eagles, and the Providence Friars.

Georgetown Hoyas

Head Coach: Patrick Ewing (2nd season)
Previous Season Record: 15-15, 5-13 Big East — Lost to St. John’s in the first round of the Big East Tournament as 8-seed|
Key Players: #15 Jessie Govan, 6’10, C, Sr.; #4 Jagan Mosely, 6’3, G, Jr.; #32 Kaleb Johnson, 6’7, G/F, Sr.; #1 Jamorko Pickett, 6’8, G, So.
Key Departures: Marcus Derrickson

Outlook: During this time last year, we were relentlessly mocking the Hoyas’ out of conference schedule filled with regional cupcakes and coming to terms with the fact that the once-great program was in full rebuilding mode. As Patrick Ewing enters his second season, the “hype” is there as he welcomes some of his own recruits but, unfortunately for Georgetown fans, the new faces are unlikely to make a significant impact this year.

Georgetown will welcome Mac McClung, a 6’2” guard from Virginia, known for his viral dunks, James Akinjo, and Josh LeBlanc. However, while Jessie Govan returns to campus and NC State transfer Omer Yurtseven is finally available, the consensus appears to be that the Hoyas just do not have the personnel to make a splash just yet.

The middle of the conference is a mess right now, with a number of teams fielding relative unknown commodities, so the Hoyas aren’t alone in this regard. In that same vein, the Hoyas could feasibly close out the season anywhere between 5th and 10th in the conference (okay, maybe 9th. Sorry, DePaul) without really surprising anyone.

All of that being said, Govan should have another nice season under the tutelage of Ewing and it will be interesting to see how the staff is able to develop “their guys.” While they won’t compete for a Big East title this year, the Hoyas are heading in the right direction.

Marquette Golden Eagles

Head Coach: Steve Wojciechowski (5th season)
Previous Season Record: 21-14, 9-9 Big East — Bounced from the Big East Tournament by Villanova, Lost in the NIT Quarterfinals to Penn State
Key Players: #0 Markus Howard, 5’11, G, So.; #10 Sam Hauser, 6’8, G/F, Jr.
Key Departures: Andrew Rowsey

Outlook: As the college basketball media has been pumping out previews over the past few years, the “sexy” pick to unseat Villanova as the Kings of the Big East appears to be Marquette. Let’s start with what we know: Marquette can shoot. Markus Howard, Sam Hauser, and, new addition Joey Hauser, will be letting it fly all season long. Last year, the team shot 41% from three, good for third in the nation, and ranked 12th in AdjO.

However, we also know they do not, ever, play defense. Marquette paired an elite offense with a defense that ranked 182nd. Read that again. They don’t rebound, they don’t contest, and, at times, you wonder if just not fielding a defense would be better for morale. That being said, Marquette has brought in two new additions that they hope can assist on that end of the floor. Joseph Chartouny, a long and stretchy transfer from Fordham, was added to provide some perimeter resistance while Ed Morrow, a big man transfer from Nebraska, should help the team at the rim and under the basket.

The Golden Eagles will fly as high as their “defense,” or whatever is cobbled together, will take them.

NCAA Basketball: Fordham at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Providence Friars

Head Coach: Ed Cooley (8th season)
Previous Season Record: 21-14, 10-8 Big East — Lost to Villanova in the Championship Game of the Big East Tournament, lost to #7 Texas A&M in the NCAA Tournament as a #10 seed.
Key Players: #3 David Duke, 6’5, G, Fr.; #10 A.J. Reeves, 6’6, #15 Emmitt Holt, 6’7 F, RS Sr., #11 Alpha Diallo, 6’7, G, Jr.
Key Departures: Rodney Bullock, Jalen Lindsey, Kyron Cartwright

Outlook: Just a peek at the above list of departures should make relatively clear that the Providence Friars are in a transition season. They suffered heavy losses in the off-season with the graduation of Rodney Bullock, Jalen Lindsey, and Kyron Cartwright. However, Ed Cooley brings in an extremely talented crop of young guards that should set the stage for an awesome Providence/Villanova rivalry over the next few seasons.

David Duke and AJ Reeves should ring a bell for Nova fans as both were Jay Wright targets early in their recruitment. Ultimately, both Top 50 players elected to stay close to home, with Duke hailing from Providence and Reeves from Chestnut Hill, MA. As you can see above, Reeves took a lot of enjoyment in Duke cancelling his visit to Villanova shortly before committing to the Friars.

There are some early predictions that one of these players could make a run for an All-Big East team but, regardless, they are an awesome one-two punch for a team looking to rebuild. The team will likely end up in the middle of the conference, with an outside chance to compete for an at-large bid if they stay healthy. As you will recall, they were snake bitten with injuries last year, losing Emmitt Holt (who is back healthy) for the season.

Regardless, this team is going to be fun to watch for the next few years and Duke/Reeves vs. Jelly JQ is a match-up to tune in for...