Georgetown and Marquette, who tied with departed Louisville for the title last year, will have to battle Missouri Valley champion Creighton and a Villanova team that has already defeated No. 2 Kansas. Georgetown won at No. 10 VCU 84-80 for a second top-10 win for the conference. Butler has looked strong, but losing Roosevelt Jones for the season may have cost them the upset of Oklahoma State and a two-point loss to LSU.
Statistically Bryce Cotton has a slight edge over Doug McDermott of Creighton, but McDermott is the National Player of the Year candidate and will host Marquette’s All-Conference Davante Gardner in their first Big East game.
Villanova’s win over then No. 23 Iowa 88-83 was solid, but occurred at home, making the 63-59 win over No. 2 Kansas on a neutral court even more impressive. Creighton had the new look conference’s first big road win at St. Joseph’s of the Atlantic 10, and they looked dominant until they lost back-to-back tournament games this weekend to San Diego State and George Washington. Marquette’s point guard Duane Wilson will make them tough if he comes back from a stress fracture, but their other point guard Derrick Wilson seems to have found his game on a West Coast trip in which they won a big game against George Washington and had losses against Arizona State and San Diego State come down to the final minute.
The conference lacks the national contender that UConn, Louisville, and Syracuse often provided, but they could easily have five to seven of their ten teams in the tournament with the potential to add St. Louis and VCU next year to form a powerful 12-team conference.
The PROJECTED Value Add projections below for Conference teams and players are meant to give a GENERAL idea of how good each could be. They are by no means an exact science like the ACTUAL www.valueaddbasketball.com figures: Rnk, Big East, Value Add
23, Georgetown, 29.85
26, Creighton, 24.52
27, Villanova, 24.6
28, Marquette, 29.93
37, Providence, 29.59
48, St. John’s, 28.15
55, Butler, 22.49
65, Xavier, 17.84
70, Seton Hall, 19.85
123, DePaul, 15.91
Preseason All-Conference/Projected Value Add Rank (based purely on average progression from stats prior to this season)
16, Cotton, Bryce, Providence-
19, McDermott, Doug, Creighton-PF NBA
50, Gardner, Davante, Marquette-
64, Dunham, Kellen, Butler-
70, Edwin, Fuquan, Seton Hall-NBA Pros
96, Smith-Rivera, D’Vauntes, Georgetown-
110, Harrison, D’Angelo, St. John’s-SG NBA
124, Pointer, Sir’Dominic, St. John’s-
133, Starks, Markel, Georgetown-
137, Arcidiacono, Ryan, Villanova-
317, Sampson, Jakarr, St. John’s-SF NBA
332, Obekpa, Chris, St. John’s-NBA Pros
546, Christon, Semaj, Xavier-PG NBA
966, Dunn, Kris, Providence-NBA Pros
About these rankings: The player rankings references are the projections (2014 Proj) at www.valueaddbasketball.com. During the season the updated Value Add for each player, which represents how much he has improved his team’s offense and defense, will appear on under the “2014 Act” search no www.valueaddbasketball.com. The team rankings are based 51% of the sum of each players’ projected Value Add rankings and 49% on the team rankings at www.kenpom.com as of November 29. You can follow the inventor of Value Add on twitter @jpudner.