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BIG EAST Basketball Preview: Week 11

DePaul looks to extend their big 1-game winning streak, while newcomers Creighton and Xavier look to improve on their already impressive Big East starts

Michael Hickey

Yo what's up Big East Beasts? I hope you all woke up from your comas, only to realize that DePaul ACTUALLY DID win a conference game, on the ROAD of all places! Villanova's OT win at Butler looks a lot worse now. Well, enough about last week's upset. Let's look at this week's to-do's, and their #KeysToSuccess

Villanova Wildcats

Saturday 4:00pm vs. DePaul Blue Demons

Fox Sports Network

Just show up. Literally just be in attendance. Always have 5 players on the court, do not foul, and BE THERE. There's a reason this team never wins conference games. Emphasize that trait.

Creighton Bluejays

Tuesday 7:00pm vs. Butler Bulldogs

Fox Sports 1

After the Bulldogs' loss to DePaul, I'd argue just show up as well. However, remember this team forced OT vs. Villanova? In the DePaul meeting, guard Elijah Brown finished with only 4 points on 0-4 from 3. It still seems like stopping Brown is the key to stagnating the bench play. It will break the offensive flow.

Saturday 8:00pm @ Providence Friars

Fox Sports 1

Providence got a big home win against Georgetown with Kadeem Batts providing 21 points in 28 minutes. Even with Tyler Harris scoring only 2 minutes in the same amount of playing time, the Friars were able to take an 18-point win. The key stat differential is in assists. The Hoyas were out-assisted 16 to 7, with Bryce Cotton leading with 7 himself. Put an end to their defensive flow to find a way to take down the Friars.

Xavier Musketeers

Wednesday 7:00pm vs. Georgetown Hoyas

CBS Sports Network

Gotta get Matt Stainbrook established in the paint. Georgetown may have other problems, however. This tweet was sent before the game against Providence regarding Joshua Smith's absence.

Add that to this other tweet about Jabril Trawick.

I do not see the Hoyas being able to get in a flow with all these new names hitting the floor. It may take a few games before the Hoyas can clear any communication issues they have.

Georgetown Hoyas

Wednesday 7:00pm vs. Xavier Musketeers

CBS Sports Network

Last week I mentioned that stopping Matt Stainbrook was the key to stopping Xavier, however letting Semaj Christon score 55 the last two games erases any dominance you put on Woodshop man. Is he so tough that any serious threat on Stainbrook means taking attention from any other player? Make sure that forgotten defense is left to the WORST player on the court, at least.

Saturday 12:00pm vs. Seton Hall Pirates

Fox Sports 1

This game will weigh on the Pirates' health issues. If Gene Teague and Fuquan Edwin are back, the Pirates will take this one on the road. Specifically, if Edwin is back, they should win; Teague is just a pleasant surprise.

Marquette Golden Eagles

Saturday 2:00pm @ Butler Bulldogs

CBS Sports Network

Just going to copy my Creighton note. MUST stop Butler's bench play. I compared Elijah Brown to Dylan Ennis in that they are good benchmarks for the team- directly proportional.

Providence Friars

Thursday 7:00pm @ St. John's Red Storm

Fox Sports 1

St. John's will be playing 3 games this week. I think they'll have their hands full preparing for all these games, so pure exhaustion will be the demise of the Red Storm.

Saturday 8:00pm vs. Creighton Bluejays

Fox Sports 1

Uhhhhh..... try your best and think positive.

Seton Hall Pirates

Saturday 12:00pm @ Georgetown Hoyas

Fox Sports 1

Having a full week to rest after the Marquette game will be fantastic for this team to get healthy. Fuquan Edwin, Gene Teague, and Aaron Geramipoor are all out, and Fuquan is the biggest factor. Until we know who comes back, it's hard to make a prediction.

DePaul Blue Demons

Tuesday 7:00pm vs. St. John's Red Storm

Fox Sports 1

DePaul is coming off a major upset-double-OT-road win at Butler. They look to continue the ground-breaking momentum. Last week, I said

If all 3 of these players can get their act together, DePaul will get a conference W, totaling their conference wins from the last 4 years combined!

Billy Garrett Jr., Cleveland Melvin and Brandon Young are the 3 I referred to. At Butler, all 3 scored over 18 points and shot over 45%. Get them on track, and.... wow. Two game win streak.

Saturday 4:00pm @ Villanova Wildcats

Fox Sports Network

As long as you be yourself, everyone will maybe show you some respect. Maybe.

St. John's Red Storm

Get ready for 3 games in 6 days.

Tuesday 7:00pm @ DePaul Blue Demons

Fox Sports 1

DePaul needs all 3 of the Big 3 to be on point to get the win. The decisive word is ALL. Limit one of those and they don't have enough talent to win. That's all it'll take.

Thursday 7:00pm vs. Providence Friars

Fox Sports 1

Another great stat for the Friars is their FT%, standing at 79.7%. When the Friars shoot well below that- at least 10% below- they struggle offensively. That'll happen when your 3-point percentage 33.2%. Not anything St. John's can do, but don't let them get to the line much.

Saturday 6:00pm vs. Dartmouth Big Green

Fox Sports 1

Wow. Next time, don't plan such difficult out-of-conference games RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE of conference play. Dartmouth's main man is junior forward Gabas Maldunas. He averages 11.6 PPG and 8.5 RPG on 54.7% FG%, all in 25.4 minutes per game. His FT% is even worse than his FT%, so the hack-a-shack style that we saw a lot of back in conference play, ya know, back in November and December when we got all the easy games out of the way, should suffice to defeat the Ivy League foe.

Butler Bulldogs

Tuesday 7:00pm @ Creighton Bluejays

Fox Sports 1

Which Butler will show up in Omaha? The one that forced OT against Villanova, or the won who dropped the 2-OT match to DePaul? That's a big difference.

Saturday 2:00pm vs. Marquette Golden Eagles

CBS Sports Network

It's obvious that Chris Otule is not the man I thought he was, so the man to keep your eyes on is Davante Gardner. He had a poor game vs. Seton Hall on Saturday (6 pts on 3-8) and the team blew a 14 point lead and only won by 1. This was the Teague-Edwin-less SHU squad, moreover.

I hope you all have been enjoying this conference. Maybe it's just me, but I think it's much more talented than we all expected coming into the season.