Thursday, November 13, 2008

Danny Breslauer's 2008-2009 Big East Picks

1. Connecticut: One of the best frontcourts in the nation with Jeff Adrien and Hasheem Thabeet. The Huskies are dominant.
2. Louisville: The best player in the conference (Terrence Williams) and the best freshman in the conference (Samardo Samuels) make for a dangerous formula.
3. Notre Dame: Luke Harangody is highly-touted in the post and Mike Brey always has a great shooter on his squad (Kyle McAlarney).
4. Pittsburgh: I’m curious to see how Levance Fields’ foot heals, but this is still a dangerous team with a bruiser like DeJuan Blair underneath.
5. Villanova: Jay Wright has more choices at guard than any coach should ever have. Corey Fisher and Corey Stokes with Scottie Reynolds and some talented freshmen… how does he get them to that town?
6. Syracuse: Jonny Flynn gets to be the main target with the early defection of Donte Greene. The Orange could do damage.
7. Georgetown: Despite the loss of Roy Hibbert and Patrick Ewing Jr., I can’t bring myself to moving a JTIII squad into the bottom half of the Big East.
8. West Virginia: Other than McAlarney, nobody in the Big East can shoot it like Alex Ruoff. Bob Huggins has the pieces to make it happen.
9. Marquette: I love the backcourt—Dominic James, Wesley Matthews and Jerel McNeal are legit. However, I can’t see a team without a frontcourt to speak of getting into the top-half.
10. Cincinnati: Deonta Vaughn is a second-team player and that’s saying a lot for Mick Cronin’s Bearcats program.
11. Providence: The return of Sharaud Curry is big for Keno Davis at his new school and Geoff McDermott is a legitimate presence on the boards.
12. Rutgers: The year all 16 teams make it to MSG, RU probably would have anyway. With Hamady N’Diaye and Gregory Echenique anchoring the post and a trio of guards who can fill it up (Anthony Farmer, Corey Chandler and Mike Rosario), there will be improvement at the RAC.
13. St. John’s: Anthony Mason Jr. will have a big year and Justin Burrell is the most underrated post player in the conference. Norm Roberts must produce now or look for a new job.
14. DePaul: I don’t know what to make of Jerry Wainwright’s team. Dar Tucker is an athlete, but they’re far from flashy.
15. Seton Hall: Eight scholarship players. Bobby Gonzalez may be racking up the technical fouls again this season if his very talented backcourt (Eugene Harvey and Jeremy Hazell) doesn’t rack up a ton of points.
16. USF: The rebuilding job continues for Stan Heath in Tampa. Dominique Jones is a special player, but that may not be enough to pull them out of the cellar.

Terrence Williams, Louisville

Samardo Samuels, Louisville

Dominic James, Marquette
Sam Young, Pittsburgh
Terrence Williams, Louisville
Jeff Adrien, UConn
Jonny Flynn, Syracuse
Luke Harangody, Notre Dame

Dominique Jones, USF

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