Happy Wednesday Nova Nation! Now that we’re a little more than a month into the season, let’s reevaluate the Big East standings. I don’t think anyone would have predicted how this season started. Sure, some teams (like Nova) are about where we thought they might be. But then there are teams that have come out the gate playing much better (or much worse) than we thought they would. So here are our updated Big East Rankings.
1) Villanova (Preseason #2)
Call me biased... because I am. But seriously, Villanova is still the team to beat if you’re going to win the Big East. Their offense is #2 in KenPom, and their only losses are to #3 Ohio State and #11 Baylor. That said, this isn’t like previous years where the Wildcats were heads and shoulders above the pack. They’re now one of a handful of teams that could end up atop the Big East, and really are only getting the top spot because of their recent dominance of the conference.
2) Butler (Preseason #8)
Boy did the conference’s coaches not see the Bulldogs coming. Not only was Butler the last undefeated team in the conference, but their only loss came last night by a single point to a very good Baylor team on the road. They have the best resume of any Big East team, and they have the conference’s highest KenPom ranking at #11 (17th in both Adj. Offense and Defense). This isn’t some flukey start, Butler is the real deal and will challenge for a Big East Title.
3) Seton Hall (Preseason #1)
The Pirates are another team that doesn’t really have a bad loss. They let one slip away against Michigan State, they lost a close one to Oregon, and they lost to Iowa State on the road after beating them on a neutral court. They still have the best player in the conference in Myles Powell, and they’ll be right in the mix at the end of the season. The only reason I’m downgrading them slightly is because they just lost their center to a broken wrist for 2 months. That could cause them to lose a game or two they shouldn’t early in conference play.
4) Xavier (Preseason #3)
Xavier rounds out the top tier of the Big East. Sitting at 9-1 and sporting the conference’s best defensive rating in KenPom (16th), the Musketeers have proven they’re ready for another shot at the title. Also, Travis Steele made a big play for best coach in the conference by buying a round for everyone at the local watering hole after a big win over crosstown rival Cincinnati. Baller move, Jay’s going to need to watch his back.
5) DePaul (Preseason #10)
Do I really think DePaul is going to end the season in the top half of the conference? No. But I’m going to live in the moment and appreciate that the 9-1 Blue Demons beat the team that just beat the #1 team in the country. They’ve got some promising players, some quality road wins, and now people are talking about them in the NCAA Tournament without even a hint of sarcasm. Enjoy this DePaul, reality is going to set in soon enough.
6) Marquette (Preseason T-4th)
The fighting Markus Howards aren’t even pretending anyone else on the team matters offensively. Howard averages an NCAA best 25.1 points per game, and yet their offense ranks just 38th in the country. That’s not bad at all, but last year when it became the Markus Howard show they crashed and burned down the stretch. They’ll need to spread the ball around if they want to avoid a similar fate.
7) Creighton (Preseason 7th)
The Bluejays are going to be one of those teams that can beat anyone on a given night, but also lose to anyone. They have a Top 20 offense paired with a sub-100 defense, so every game is going to be a shoot-out with them. If they’re hot that night, they’ll be tough to beat. If not, it won’t take much to get the win. They need to find more consistency if they want to get back to the top half of the Big East.
8) St. John’s (Preseason 9th)
The Johnnies are doing well under new head coach Mike Anderson, including a big win over West Virginia. But outside of that they really haven’t played anyone, and they’ve also dropped two of those games. It’s going to be a year of laying the foundation for the programs future, so I expect to see a few upsets that show promise. But ultimately this is going to end up being a bottom half team that misses the NCAA Tournament.
9) Providence (Preseason T-4th)
The Friars are easily the biggest disappointment on the court in the entire Big East. The fact that they’ve avoided any off-court issues (knock on wood) is the only reason they’re not dead last. Some experts had them as the favorite to win the conference, but at 5-5 and with some truly horrible losses already, this just looks like a really bad team that may pull off an upset or two in February.
10) Georgetown (Preseason 6th)
Two Words: Dumpster Fire. Scandals, transfers, and losses, oh my! Not only have they lost two of their most important players, there could be more suspensions or transfers on the way. The program that many thought could end the season as most improved, seems to be plummetting in the opposite direction as fast as humanly possible.
In other “news”, Jay Wright has a special relationship with his now Big 5 rival Billy Lange, Dylan Painter will not be able to suit up against Nova on Saturday, and Temple was up by 50 at one point against St. Joe’s last night. Enjoy!
Villanova Men’s Basketball
Lange and Wright’s relationship goes beyond basketball | The Hawk Newspaper
Lange previously served two stints at Villanova as an assistant under Wright from 2001-04, and associate head coach from 2011-13. The impact that Wright has had on Lange’s career was something he couldn’t put into words.
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Loaded high school basketball Tuesday features Rolling Meadows’ Max Christie vs. Schaumburg’s Chris Hodges | Chicago Sun-Times
A preview of the big Mid-Suburban League matchup along with a look at Fenwick’s Trey Pettigrew and Glenbard West’s unknown star.
Seton Hall loses Sandro Mamukelashvili for up to 2 months | ESPN
Seton Hall junior forward Sandro Mamukelashvili will miss up to two months with a fractured right wrist.
College basketball conference rankings: Big week for the Big Ten | Fansided
Things within the college basketball world got a little crazy but Ohio State and the Big Ten conference were big winners of the week.
5 Teams Who Can End Their NCAA Tournament Droughts This Season | The Game Haus
DePaul could be headed to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 16 years.
Temple 108, St. Joseph’s 61: Statistics, highlights and reaction from the Owls’ dominant win | The Inquirer
The Owls scored 100 points for the first time since 2013 in a one-sided Big-5 victory.
A Minute with McCloskey: A one-sided war | The Hawk Newspaper
The first battle of the “Holy War” took place on Jan. 15, 1921. All-time, the Hawks have fallen to the Villanova University Wildcats in 51 of the 76 meetings.
Ryan Daly is the real deal; how they’re trying to stop Villanova; and other City 6 observations | The Inquirer
The St. Joseph's junior, a transfer from Delaware, is a big-time scorer because he is so difficult to guard.
Villanova Basketball Alumni
NCAA Won't Let A College Hoops Transfer Play On Saturday Because Delaware's Semester Ends At 10pm And The Game Is At 2pm | Barstool Sports
Thank God for the NCAA, just always out here patrolling the streets and making sure everything is safe. Could you imagine the anarchy that would occur if they actually let Dylan Painter suit up for...
Milwaukee Bucks: Donte DiVincenzo making strides in year 2 | Hoops Habit
Second-year guard Donte DiVincenzo of the Milwaukee Bucks is slowly but surely finding his footing and making an impact on both ends of the court.
Villanova Women’s Basketball
Women’s City Six: Temple beats ’Nova behind Alexander’s, Davis’ double-doubles | The Inquirer
The Owls had four of their five starters score in the double digits in Tuesday's Big 5 victory.
VILLANOVA FALLS IN TOUGH BIG FIVE BATTLE AT TEMPLE | Villanova University Athletics
PHILADELPHIA, PA. -- In women's basketball action on Tuesday evening, the Villanova Wildcats gave a valiant effort, but came up just short in a 74-69 loss to the
Villanova's Late Push Not Enough Versus Temple | The Villanovan
A furious fourth quarter rally fell just short for the Wildcats on Tuesday as the team dropped a competitive matchup with Temple, 74-69, at McGonigle Hall in Philadelphia.
2019 was the year of the dual-threat quarterback in Southeastern Pennsylvania | The Inquirer
Seniors such as Coatesville's Ricky Ortega, Downingtown West's Will Howard, Episcopal Academy's Maurcus McDaniel and Haverford High's Trey Blair, among others, led their teams as both passers and runners.
Baseball Announces 2020 Schedule | Villanova University Athletics
Villanova, Pa. – Villanova baseball has announced its 2020 schedule. The Wildcats will play a 52-game regular season that features 18 home games at Villanova Ballpark
Olsonoski Named AVCA All-Region Honorable Mention | Villanova University Athletics
Villanova, Pa. - Senior middle blocker Allie Olsonoski was named an honorable mention for the AVCA All-Region team for the east coast region. Olsonoski is the first
Kristin Barbour Named to 2019 Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area Team | Villanova University Athletics
Philadelphia, Pa. – Kristin Barbour (Superior, Colo.) has been named to the 2019 Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area Women's Soccer Team. The winners of this
Villanova unveils baseball schedule for 2020 season | Philadelphia Baseball Review
Looking to bounce back after a tough 2019 season, the Villanova Wildcats unveiled their 2020 baseball schedule on Tuesday.
Bill Self to Spurs? Who Would Kansas Hire if Self Left for NBA? | HERO Sports
Jeff Long would carry one of the most sought-after jobs in American sports. They already know what Jay Wright's answer would be, but would Kansas really call on Kevin Willard?
Louisville vs. Texas Tech score, takeaways: No. 1 Cardinals upset by Red Raiders, take first loss of season | CBSSports.com
Top-ranked Louisville losr 70-57 to unranked Texas Tech at Madison Square Garden
J.J. Culver, brother of Timberwolves' rookie Jarrett Culver, scores 100 points for NAIA Wayland Baptist | CBSSports.com
Culver becomes just the second NAIA player ever to score 100 points in a game