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Who is the Big East’s 2nd best coach?

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Jay Wright sits atop the Big East, but who’s the next best coach in the conference?

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Happy Monday Nova Nation! Yours truly is back from a relaxing week on the beach and ready to hit the ground running! Unfortunately, the news wasn’t so ready, so it’s slim pickings with the links this morning.

One article I did find interesting is on the whirlwind summer that Ed Cooley is having. Cooley is my 2nd favorite coach in the conference after Jay Wright, but it got me wondering if he’s 2nd best? So let’s take a quick look at the resume’s of the Big East Coaches:

Active Big East Coaching Records

Coach School Seasons Win % BE Reg Season Titles BE Tourney Titles NCAA Tourney's NCAA Titles
Coach School Seasons Win % BE Reg Season Titles BE Tourney Titles NCAA Tourney's NCAA Titles
Jay Wright Villanova 18 71.9% 6 4 14 2
Kevin Willard Seton Hall 9 57.0% 0 1 4 0
Ed Cooley Providence 8 59.6% 0 1 5 0
Greg McDermott Creighton 6 61.6% 0 0 3 0
Steve Wojciechowski Marquette 5 58.4% 0 0 2 0
David Leito DePaul 4 36.9% 0 0 0 0
LeVall Jordan Butler 2 54.4% 0 0 1 0
Patrick Ewing Georgetown 2 54.0% 0 0 0 0
Travis Steele Xavier 1 54.3% 0 0 0 0
Mike Anderson St. John's 0 N/A 0 0 0 0

Mike Anderson gets a pass for now as he has yet to coach a game as the head of a Big East program. Let’s just say he has his work cut out for him. Leito at DePaul may have 4 years under his belt, but he’s the only Big East coach with a losing record so he’s out.

Next up is the “future” group of Jordan, Ewing, and Steele. These guys have shown promise in limited time with their teams, and should all be in for a better year this season than last. Ewing seems to be at the forefront of this group, but he’ll have to win something before he can take a step up to the next tier.

Here we have the four main contenders for the #2 spot in the Big East. Woj is the first one we can knock off. His team completely collapsed last year, he only has 2 NCAA tournament appearances in his 5 years at Marquette, and he’s yet to win any Big East Titles.

Greg McDermott is certainly in consideration as the program with the next best winning % next to Jay’s and he’s made the NCAA Tournament in 3 of his 6 years as a BE coach. But again, no BE titles is going to be a factor that knocks him down a peg.

That leaves us with the two choices we all knew we’d get to: Ed Cooley at Providence and Kevin Willard at Seton Hall. Both coaches flirted with leaving the conference this offseason, but at the end of the day they both stayed put. Both coaches have a Big East Tournament Title to their name, the only active BE two coaches outside of Wright that have won any BE titles.

But when it comes to who’s the conferences’ #2 Cooley has the edge in two key areas. First, he’s got a slightly better win% at 59.6%. But the big one is that in just 8 seasons he’s been to 5 NCAA Tournaments. Willard’s been to just 4 in his 9 Big East seasons. Call me biased, but I’m giving the league’s 2nd best coach to Ed Cooley.

And no, he didn’t bribe me when I met him in a Boston bar at the 2019 NCAA Regional Finals where he was totally awesome to talk to.

In other “news” Dante Cunningham is one of the best free agents on the market, an update from the recruiting trail, and Villanova is teaching students how to play with space dirt. Enjoy!

Villanova Basketball

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Recruiting

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Big East

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PROVIDENCE — Ed Cooley may be the busiest college basketball coach in the country these days. Instead of kicking back at his favorite beach (Narragansett) or fine-tuning his golf game, Cooley is juggling all sorts of hoop duties. With his players on campus, recruiting trips to check off and the start of training camp for the Pan Am Games team up this weekend, the Providence College coach owns a full plate.

NBA Wildcats

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Villanova Football

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Villanova University

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Students at Villanova University are trading moon rocks for "Martian" soil to see what it would be like to try and grow crops on Mars.