The Big East may just be the deepest conference in all of college basketball and this season looks to be one of the most competitive in years. While it is true that there is not a true national championship contender yet, I think over the next month or two a couple of teams will emerge as one.
10) Providence Friars – Ed Cooley is the head coach for the Friars and even with some early injuries much more was expected of them. Coach Cooley should be able to get this team straightened out.
9) St. John’s Redstorm – Offensively the Redstorm play at a fast pace and early on this season they have shown promise. Saint John’s is 6-2 so far, but they have lost to the better teams they have played.
8) Georgetown Hoyas – The Hoyas are 4-3 but own a nice win over Texas and they played Duke tough. A loss to Penn State is not looking so bad at this moment because the Nittany Lions are proving to be a solid team.
7) Creighton Blue Jays – The Blue Jays are 5-2 and just had a nice win over Texas Tech. Injuries at the center position have hurt them but they have a strong backcourt to rely on offensively. The big killer right now for Creighton is on the defensive side of the floor. If they want to play into March they will have to get it figured out.
6) Marquette Golden Eagles – Marquette is also 5-2 and are coming off a beat-down at the hands of a very good Maryland team. The Eagles are destined to be a middle of the pack team this season in the Big East.
5) Depaul Blue Demons – 8-0? Is Ray Meyer back coaching? The Blue Demons may finally be relevant again in the college basketball landscape. They have quality wins over Iowa, Boston College, and Minnesota. I am still not totally convinced but I am slowly starting to become a believer.
4) Seton Hall Pirates – At 6-2 they have a nice record on paper, but the wins have not been over real good competition. The losses have been close losses to a couple of the best teams in the country in Michigan State and Oregon. Still, you got to get quality wins to move up these rankings.
3) Villanova Wildcats – Much like the Pirates the Wildcats, they have not beaten a quality team as of yet and Ohio State thoroughly dominated them.
2) Xavier Musketeers – 7-1 is not bad with the one loss being to a very good Florida team. The concern has to be perimeter shooting when Xavier is discussed. The Muskies are one of the best defensive teams in the country and the best defensive team in the Big East. Head Coach Travis Steele is one of the best young coaches in the country. If they can hit shots from the outside consistently this team will quickly shoot into the top-10 nationally.
1) Butler Bulldogs – The Bulldogs were picked to finish towards the bottom of the conference standings, but nobody told the Bulldogs, who have played as well as anybody early in this season. Wins over Stanford, Minnesota, and Missouri show this team might just be a tournament team once again.
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