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Big East Media Day Thoughts

Big East Media Day

Today marked Big East Media Day, the sign that College Basketball is almost back. As always, we were able to see some quotes from coaches as well as the highly anticipated Preseason Coaches’ Poll, Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year, and All-League selections. Take a look at the teams and awards below and I will add some thoughts and quotes as well.

2020-21 Preseason Poll

  1. Villanova (9) 99
  2. Creighton (2) 91
  3. Providence 79
  4. UConn 69
  5. Seton Hall 67
  6. Marquette 50
  7. Xavier 47
  8. Butler 37
  9. St. John’s 33
  10. DePaul 20
  11. Georgetown 13

All-Big East First-Team

Charlie Moore – DePaul
David Duke – Providence
Sandro Mamukelashvili – Seton Hall
Colin Gillespie – Villanova
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl – Villanova

All-Big East Second-Team

Paul Scruggs – Xavier
Bryce Nze – Butler
James Bouknight – UConn
Mitch Ballock – Creighton
Nate Watson – Providence
Justin Moore – Villanova

Freshman of the Year

Dawson Garcia – Marquette

Player of the Year

Marcus Zegarowski – Creighton

Thoughts

Clear Top Two Teams

We pretty much all knew coming into the season it would be Villanova and Creighton followed by the field. The Ty-Shon Alexander news kept this from being a true race between the two for the top, but there still are a pair of coaches who clearly think very highly of Creighton. Personally, I’ve got Villanova at the top and think they are a Top 3 nationally. Creighton should slot in somewhere in the low teens and be extremely tough to beat. Nova just returns too much and has arguably the best coach in the sport at the helm. It will be these two at the end of the year battling it out for the Big East Title and their matchups will be appointment television.

St. John’s is underrated

I feel like I am one of the very few in the country that believe this, but I think the Johnnies are primed for a breakout season. On paper, it doesn’t make a ton of sense since they lose Mustapha Heron and LJ Figueroa, but last season Heron struggled with injury and Figueroa was down nearly 14% on his season shooting percentage.

We saw Mike Anderson’s style start to settle in late in the season last year as the Johnnies played some tight games and won a few big ones. This year, I expect that to rise to the next level. They return Rasheem Dunn, Julian Champagnie, Josh Roberts, Greg Williams, Marcellus Earlington, and add Freshman guard Posh Alexander. This team is built for tempo and Champagnie feels like a star in the making.

James Bouknight 

One of the biggest surprises was seeing UConn’s star guard on the All-League 2nd team and not the 1st. I do think this says more about David Duke or at least the Big East coaches’ view of him than it does Bouknight. Duke is a guy they’ve seen mature over the past two seasons while Bouknight is more of an unknown. That said, the UConn guard averaged 13 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists on 46% shooting his Freshman season. A lot has been said on Twitter about the adjustment from the AAC to the Big East and how Bouknight and the Huskies will handle that, but simply based on what we’ve seen I find it hard to believe he isn’t a 1st-teamer.

Marcus Zegarowski

The Big East had some superstars last year and towards the end of the season, not a single one was playing better than Marcus Zegarowski. The Creighton guard averaged 16.1 points, 3.8 rebounds and 5 assists a night. Sensational numbers overall, but especially considering he was only a Sophomore off an injury-plagued Freshman year. He did hurt his knee against Seton Hall to close the year, so yet again, working off of an injury. I think he is poised for a monster season and an All-American campaign. He will pace what should be another high-powered Creighton offense and he gets after it defensively as well. There are plenty of excellent players in the Big East this season, but if I’m building a program I’m taking Zegarowski first.

My Preseason Poll

  1. Villanova
  2. Creighton
  3. Providence
  4. Seton Hall
  5. UConn
  6. Marquette
  7. St. John’s
  8. Xavier
  9. Butler
  10. DePaul
  11. Georgetown

I really think teams 3-8 are pretty tight with a slight gap between them and the bottom. Marquette always seems like a questions especially losing Markus Howard and Xavier brings back some interesting pieces but loses Naji Marshall.

Key Quotes

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