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

Our look at Villanova’s conference foes continues

Over the next few days, we will be previewing the other ten Big East schools for the 2020-2021 season. We continue with a look at the Georgetown Hoyas, the Marquette Golden Eagles, and the Providence Friars.

Georgetown Hoyas

2019-2020 Record: 15-17 (5-13)

Head coach: Patrick Ewing (4th season)

Key Players: Jahvon Blair, JaMorko Pickett, Qudus Wahab

Key Departures: Mac McClung, Terrell Allen, Jagan Mosely, Omer Yurtseven,

Georgetown had a rocky season last year personnel-wise losing James Akinjo (transfer) and Josh LeBlanc (removed from the team) within a few days of each other. Hoya fans were faced with more bad news this off-season when Mac McClung elected to bolt for Texas Tech, where he was declared immediately eligible. Put simply: ouch.

Ewing returns two seniors, Jahvon Blair and JaMorko Pickett, but, with the loss of McClung, the Hoyas desperately need someone to step up and be the focal point of the offense. Arkansas transfer Jalen Harris will be tasked with point guard duties this season but it’s hard to see him becoming much of a threat on offense in his own right.

Georgetown projects to likely be fighting with DePaul to avoid the Big East basement. The Hoyas are a team essentially in the midst of a rebuild given the attrition of the past year. However, the Hoyas have played tough this year - going toe to toe with West Virginia this past weekend. Despite their weaknesses, the Hoyas will not be easy out.

Marquette Golden Eagles

2019-2020 Record: 18-12 (8-10)

Head coach: Steve Wojciechowski (7th season)

Key Players: Koby McEwen, Jamal Cain, Theo John, Greg Elliott, Symir Torrence

Key Departures: Markus Howard, Sacar Anim, Brendan Bailey, Ed Morrow, Jayce Johnson

Villanova fans have become accustomed to shoot outs with Marquette given the play of Markus Howard and the complete lack of any Golden Eagle defense. Well, with Howard off to the Denver Nuggets, Wojo’s offense is going to look much different this season.

DJ Carton, the Ohio State transfer, received a waiver to play immediately and, so far, has been playing great for Marquette. Carton shot 40% from deep last year, an aspect of Marquette’s offense that will need a boost with the loss of Howard, and is a great facilitator.

It seems like Wojo has been on the hot seat since he arrived in Milwaukee and has had mediocre finishes the past few seasons. However, despite the loss of Howard, the Golden Eagles will likely find themselves fighting for a 3rd-5th place finish in the Big East.

Providence Friars

2019-2020 Record: 19-12 (12-6)

Head coach: Ed Cooley (10th season)

Key Players: David Duke, AJ Reeves, Nate Watson, Greg Gantt

Key Departures: Alpha Diallo, Luwane Pipkins, Emmitt Holt

Providence finished last season strong with wins over Seton Hall, Marquette, and Villanova within a span of two weeks. However, Friars fans will recall that the season began with some head-scratching losses to the likes of Penn (who loses to Penn, amirite?), Long Beach State, and Charleston.

This season, the Friars are off to a similarly uninspiring start with blow out losses to Indiana and Alabama and a near-loss to Davidson. The Friars’ offense looks terrible and the team just plays an ugly brand of basketball. The Friars will rely on junior guards David Duke and AJ Reeves to initiate the offense with senior Nate Watson down low.

Much like years past, I expect Villanova’s games against Providence to be pretty harsh on the eyes. Without an effective offense, the Friars will likely be leaning on their defense to keep games close - something they have struggled with thus far this season.

Ed Cooley is a great guy - well liked around these parts - but he’s struggled to get Providence over the hump of mediocrity in the Big East. The Friars will be in the hunt for third place finish behind Villanova and Creighton but it would not be surprising to see Cooley’s squad finish anywhere between 3-7.