The 2016 and 2018 national champions, Villanova, will always be the team to beat in the Big East. With the talent that Villanova has this team shouldn’t have any problems holding the top spot in the Big East.
Can Coach Steve Wojciechowski finally get his team to play defense? If so, Marquette could be one of the best teams in the Big East next season.
Coach Patrick Ewing has done an impressive job with this team. Georgetown has a good mixture of returning players and incoming players on the roster. If Georgetown improves defensively we can look forward to this team going to the NCAA Tournament.
St. John’s record doesn’t reflect how well they’d played last season. This may be the season where St. John’s starts their upward rise towards the top of the Big East. Next season could just be the icing on the cake.
Seton Hall pushes the reset button due to several players graduating or either transferring. And Xavier loses one of the best coaches in the game to Louisville.
With that said, here is how d1coachcorner.com predicts the Big East Standings could look like at the end of the 2018-2019 season:
1. Villanova Basketball
Coach: Jay Wright
Possibly Turned Pro: Mikal Bridges, Jalen Brunson, Donte DiVincenzo, and Omari Spellman
Graduated: Denny Grace, Matt Kennedy, and Tom Leibig
Key Players Possibly Returning: Phil Booth (SG), Eric Paschall (PF), Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree (C ), Collin Gillespie (PG), Jermaine Samuels (SF), and Tim Delaney (PF)
Key Transfer(s) added: Joe Cremo (SG, Albany)
Key Freshmen added: Jahvon Quinerly (PG), Cole Swider(SF), and Brandon Slater (SG)
Villanova loses Mikal Bridges, Jalen Brunson, Donte DiVincenzo, and Omari Spellman to the Pros, but fortunately Villanova still has a lot of great pieces remaining to make another run deep into the NCAA Tournament.
Starters Phil Booth and Eric Paschall will bring experience to the team. Booth is a two (2) time championship and will serve as a great mentor to the younger players.
The #1 offense in the country in 2017-2018 will probably remain in the top 10 come 2018-2019. Villanova still has a lot of firing power on the roster. Graduate transfer, Joe Cremo, was the top scorer for Albany in 2017-2018. Cremo averaged 17.8 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game in his final season at Albany.
Villanova has also added three (3) top 0 freshman recruit, Jahvon Quinerly, Cole Swider, and Brandon Slater, who will all fit well into Jay Wright’s system.
Coach Jay Wright is a five (5) star General Coach. Winning is in his DNA. Another run deep into the NCAA Tournament is very likely for this team.
2017-2018 Record: 36-4 (14-4) NCAA Tournament
Projected Conference Wins 2018-2019: 15+
Projected Post Season Finish 2018-2019: NCAA Tournament Elite Eight or greater
2. Marquette Basketball
Coach: Steve Wojciechowski
Possibly Turned Pro: Harry Froling
Graduated: Andrew Rowsey
Key Players Possibly Returning: Markus Howard (PG), Sam Hauser (SF), Sacar Anim (SG), Matt Heldt (C ), Greg Elliott (SG), Jamal Cain (SF), Theo John (PF), and Ikechukwu Eke (PF)
Key Transfer(s) added: Ed Morrow (PF, Nebraska) and Joseph Chartouny (PG, Fordham)
Key Freshmen added: Brendan Bailey (SF, Ranked #80)
Lack of size kept this team from advancing further in the Big Ten and in the NCAA Tournament. Marquette was one of the worst defensive and rebounding team’s in the nation. To solve that problem, Coach Wojo has added Ed Morrow, a 6’7” transfer from Nebraska. Morrow is a little undersized for his position but he plays bigger than his size. Morrow led Nebraska in rebounds per game in 2016-2017, averaging 7.5 rebounds per game.
To improve on defense and to maintain its scoring dominance, Marquette has also added a 6’ 3” all around point guard, Joseph Chartouny, to the roster. Chartouny is a graduate transfer from Fordham who can do it all. He’s a floor general, a scorer, and is a pretty good rebounder to be a guard. Chartouny also had 97 steals in his final season at Fordman.
Look for defense to improve and Marquette to move up in the Big East.
2017-2018 Record: 21-14 (9-9) NIT Quarter
Projected Conference Wins 2018-2019: 13-
Projected Post Season Finish 2018-2019: NCAA Tournament Appearance First Round Exit or Greater
3. Georgetown Basketball
Coach: Patrick Ewing
Possibly Turned Pro: Marcus Derrickson
Graduated: Trey Dickerson, Ra'Mond Hines, and Jonathan Mulmore
Key Players Possibly Returning: Jamorko Pickett (SF), Jessie Govan (C), Kaleb Johnson (SG), Jahvon Blair (PG), Jagan Mosely (SG), and Antwan Walker (SF)
Key Freshmen added: Josh LeBlanc (SF), James Akinjo (PG), Mac McClung (PG), and Grayson Carter (SF)
Like all other teams in the Big East, Georgetown was great offensively and poor defensively. Defense is what’s going to separate these teams from each other.
Freshman Point guard James Akinjo could be the one player to help Georgetown push towards the top of the Big East Conference. . He’s a very quick guard who can defend, create his own shot and he is not afraid to go one-on-one with anybody. His growth can make a difference for this team.
With players like Jamorko Pickett, Jessie Govan, and Kaleb Johnson returning, Georgetown should be very competitive in the Big East.
2017-2018 Record: 15-15 (5-13) No appearance
Projected Conference Wins 2018-2019: 11+
Projected Post Season Finish 2018-2019: NCAA Tournament 2nd Round Exit or Less
4. St. John's Basketball
Coach: Chris Mullin
Transferred: Tariq Owens (Texas Tech) and Kassoum Yakwe (Connecticut)
Graduated: Bashir Ahmed and Amar Alibegovic
Key Players Possibly Returning: Shamorie Ponds (PG), Marvin Clark II (SF), Justin Simon (SG), and Bryan Trimble Jr. (SG)
Key Transfer(s): Sedee Keita (PF, South Carolina), Mikey Dixon (PG, Quinnipiac) and Lionel 'L.J.' Figueroa (SG, Odessa)
Key Freshmen added: Josh Roberts (PF), Marcellus Earlington (PF), and Greg Williams (SG)
One of St. John’s problems, last season, was offense. This team ranked last in the Big East in assist per game and next to last in scoring offense.
St. John’s looks to solve its scoring problems by adding a couple of high scoring guards. JUCO transfer Lionel 'L.J.' Figueroa and Quinnipiac transfer Mikey Dixon can score in bunches. Dixon, who averaged 16.5 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game last season, was Quinnipiac top scorer. Figueroa, the 4th best scorer in the National Junior College Athletic Association in 2017-2018, averaged 21.4 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game in his final season at Odessa Community College.
This team seems to improve each year.
2017-2018 Record: 16-17 (4-14) No Appearance
Projected Conference Wins 2018-2019: 11-
Projected Post Season Finish 2018-2019: NCAA Tournament First Round Exit or Less
5. Creighton Basketball
Coach: Greg McDermott
Possibly Turned Pro: Khyri Thomas
Graduated: Tyler Clement, Marcus Foster, Manny Suarez and Toby Hegner
Transferred: Ronnie Harrell Jr. (Denver)
Key Players Possibly Returning: Martin Krampelj (PF), Davion Mintz (PG), Mitch Ballock (SG), Damien Jefferson (SF), Ty-Shon Alexander (SG), Kaleb Joseph (PG), and Jacob Epperson (C )
Key Transfer(s) added: Connor Cashaw (SG, Rice)
Key Freshmen added: Sam Froling (C ), Christian Bishop (SF), Marcus Zegarowski (PG)
Creighton will be missing several pieces from the 2017-2018 season. Khyri Thomas turned pro. Marcus Foster and Toby Hegner have graduated and Ronnie Harrell Jr. has transferred to Denver.
To build on the success from the 2017-2018 season, Creighton has added graduate transfer Connor Cashaw and will look for shooting guards, Mitch Ballock and Ty-Shon Alexander to play bigger roles.
Cashaw averaged 15.5 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 3.2 assists
per game in his final season at Rice. Both Ballock and Alexander played limited
minutes last season and averaged under 10 points per game.
2017-2018 Record: 21-12 (10-8) NCAA Tournament 1st Round Exit
Projected Conference Wins 2018-2019: 10+
Projected Post Season Finish 2018-2019: NCAA Tournament Appearance or Less
6. Providence Basketball
Coach: Ed Cooley
Graduated: Rodney Bullock, Kyron Cartwright, and Jalen Lindsey
Key Players Possibly Returning: Alpha Diallo (SF), Kalif Young (PF), Makai Ashton-Langford (PG), Isaiah Jackson (SG), Drew Edwards (SG), Maliek White (PG) Maliek White (PG), and Nate Watson (C)
Key Freshmen added: David Duke (SG), A.J. Reeves (SG), and Jimmy Nichols, Jr. (PF)
Starters Alpha Diallo and Kalif Young are returning. Diallo was Providence’s 2nd highest scorer, best rebounder and 2nd best ball handler last season. Young started in twenty-five (25) games last season but only averaged sixteen (16) minutes per game. His production should increase with increased playing time.
Point guard Makai Ashton-Langford, shooting guard Isaiah Jackson, and center Nate Watson didn’t start many games in 2017-2018 but they were all big time contributors to Providences successful season. With increased playing minute, each of them should fill in the gaps left by departing starters Rodney Bullock, Kyron Cartwright, and Jalen Lindsey.
Top 100 freshmen and AAU teammates, A.J. Reeves and David Duke should blend in well with all of the returning pieces and help Providence stay competitive in the Big East.
2017-2018 Record: 21-12 (10-8) NCAA Tournament
1st Round Exit
Projected Conference Wins 2018-2019: 10-
Projected Post Season Finish 2018-2019: NCAA Tournament Appearance First Round Exit or Less
7. Butler Basketball
Coach: LaVall Jordan
Graduated: Kelan Martin and Tyler Wideman
Key Players Possibly Returning: Paul Jorgensen (PG), Kamar Baldwin (SG), Aaron Thompson (PG), Nate Fowler (C), Henry Baddley (SF), Sean McDermott (SG), Christian David (SG), Joey Brunk (C), and Jerald Gillens-Butler (SG)
Key Freshmen added: Bryce Golden (PF) and Markeese Hastings (SF)
Butler has several players returning from the 2017-2018 season, which includes their top two (2) point producers, Paul Jorgensen and Kamar Baldwin. This was a good scoring team last season, putting up on average, 78.9 points per game. However, Butler’s top scorer and the Big East’s 2nd best scorer, Kelan Martin, won’t be on the bench in 2018-2019. Martin averaged 21.2 points per game in his final season.
Butler will need for players like, Nate Fowler and Sean McDermott to play bigger roles in order to compete for the top spot in the Big East.
2017-2018 Record: 21-14 (9-9)) NCAA Tournament
2nd Round Exit
Projected Conference Wins 2018-2019: 9-
Projected Post Season Finish 2018-2019: NIT Appearance or Greater
8. DePaul Basketball
Coach: Dave Leitao
Transferred: Brandon Cyrus (UC Santa Barbara), Justin Roberts,
Graduated: Tre'Darius McCallum, Marin Maric, Tobias Dwumaah, and Joe Hanel
Key Players Possibly Returning: Eli Cain (SG), Max Strus (SG), Devin Gage (PG), Jaylen Butz (PF), Paul Reed (SF) Paul Reed (SF), Flynn Cameron (PG), and Austin Grandstaff (SG)
Key Transfer(s): Femi Olujobi (PF, North Carolina A&T) and Jalen Coleman-Lands (SG, Ilinois)
Key Freshmen added: George Maslennikov (PF) and John Diener (SG)
Depaul will have the luxury of having two (2) very good point guards on the roster, Devin Gage and Flynn Cameron.
Gage only played and started in eight (8) games early in the 2017-2018 season before suffering a ruptured Achilles against Central Connecticut State early in the season.. He ended the season averaging 5.9 points, 2 rebounds, and 2.8 assist per game. If Gage is healthy DePaul could be very dangerous team in the Big East.
There is a lot of talk about Flynn Cameron, the redshirt from New Zeland. Cameron is an aggressive point guard who can see the floor well and has the ability to score in bunches.
Look for scoring to improve for DePaul with the additions of North Carolina A&T’s graduate transfer Femi Olujobi and Illinois transfer Jalen Coleman-Lands.
2017-2018 Record: 11-20 (4-14) No Appearance
Projected Conference Wins 2018-2019: 7-
Projected Post Season Finish 2018-2019: No Appearance
9. Xavier Basketball
Coach: Travis Steele
Possibly Turned Pro: Kaiser Gates
Graduated: Trevon Bluiett, Kerem Kanter, J.P. Macura, and Sean O'Mara,
Key Players Possibly Returning: Quentin Goodin (PG), Naji Marshall (SF), Tyrique Jones (PF), Paul Scruggs (SG), and Elias Harden (SG)
Key Transfer(s) added: Kyle Castlin (SG, Columbia), Zach Hankins (C, Ferris State), and Ryan Welage (PF, San Jose State)
Key Freshmen added: Jake Walter (C ) and Dontarius James (SF)
Xavier will start the 2018-2019 season with a new head coach and several new faces. Five (5) players from the 2017-2018 season, Trevon Bluiett, Kerem Kanter, J.P. Macura, Kaiser Gates and Sean O'Mara, who were instrumental in this team having one of the best offenses in the country, are gone. However, Xavier will still have players like Quentin Goodin, Naji Marshall, and Tyrique Jones to depend on. Goodin started in all 35 games last season and Marshall and Jones both started in eighteen (18) or more games.
Coach Steele has added three (3) very good graduate transfers, Kyle Castlin, Zach Hankins, and Ryan Welage, to help compete for the top of the Big East. All three (3) transfers have the ability to average double digits in scoring per game.
The addition of graduate transfers Zach Hankins and Ryan Welage should help address Xavier’s rebounding and defensive problems from last season. Hankins averaged 15.1 point and 9.7 rebounds per game in his final season at Ferris State, a division II School located in Big Rapids, Michigan. Welage averaged 18.1 points and 55.4 rebounds per game in his final season at San Jose State.
2017-2018 Record: 29-6 (15-3) NCAA Tournament
2nd Round Exit
Projected Conference Wins 2018-2019: 6+
Projected Post Season Finish 2018-2019: No Appearance
10. Seton Hall Basketball
Coach: Kevin Willard
Graduated: Khadeen Carrington, Angel Delgado, Desi Rodriguez, and Ismael Sanogo
Transferred: Eron Gordon (Valparaiso) and Philip Flory (Albany)
Key Players Possibly Returning: Myles Powell (SG), Michael Nzei (PF), Myles Cale (SG), and Sandro Mamukelashvili (PF)
Key Transfer(s) added: Quincy McKnight (PG, Sacred Heart), Taurean Thompson (C, Syracuse), and Romaro Gill (C, Vincennes)
Key Freshmen added: Jared Rhoden (SG), Valdir Manuel (C), Anthony Nelson (PG), and Darnell Brodie (C)
Seton Hall will be without three (3) of their top four (4) scorers from 2017-2018, Desi Rodriguez, Angel Delgado and Khadeen Carrington.
Can division 1 transfers, Quincy McKnight and Taurean Thompson help replace some of the 46.7 points per game that will be missing with the three starters gone from the roster? McKnight, who averaged 18.9 points and 4.9 rebounds per game in his final season, was the top scoring player at Sacred Heart. He also led Sacred Heart in steals that season. With limited minutes, Thompson averaged 9.2 points and 3.8 rebounds per game and had a total of 33 blocked shots in his final season at Syracuse.
Without having a player on the roster that has averaged over 6 rebounds per game, will Seton Hall be as dominant on the boards as they were in 2017-2018? Only time will tell.
2017-2018 Record: 22-12 (10-8) NCAA Tournament
2nd round exit
Projected Conference Wins 2018-2019: 5+
Projected Post Season Finish 2018-2019: No Appearance
*This prediction is the sole view of d1coachcorner.com and should be seen as for entertainment purposes only. As for stats, all stats were taken from NCAA statistics via ncaa.com and from the National Junior College Athletic Association statistic via NJCAA.com.
The D1CoachCorner.com website is property of Rock House Publishing and Web Designs Inc. D1CoachCorner.com is for news and educational purposes only. D1CoachCorner.com is not affiliated in any way with any NCAA sanctioned sports programs. All University and College logos are properties of their perspective institutions and are used for identification purposes only. The Coach Rankings are the sole views of D1Coach Corner.com and is used strictly for research, educational and entertainment purposes only.
Jack Williams is the Owner and Operator of D1Coachcorner.com, a graduate of Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, and a member of the USBWA. Twitter: @d1coachcorner