Big East Breakdown – Enjoy The League While You Can; Top 5 Storylines, Power Rankings

Enjoy Big East basketball while you can.

Because two months from now — after the Big East Tournament wraps up at Madison Square Garden on the night of March 16 — it will cease to ever be the same.

Syracuse and Pittsburgh will be gone to the ACC next season.

And as many as 10 more schools — the Catholic 7, Rutgers, Louisville and Notre Dame — could well be gone after the 2013-14 season.

The latest news on that front — per ESPN — is that the Catholic 7 are reportedly in negotiations with Fox Sports on a 12-year TV deal worth $500 million. Under such a deal, the seven schools — DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John’s and Villanova — would earn “in the $5 million range” annually, while the three or five new schools would earn “less than half that.”

Ideally, those schools would depart the Big East after next season’s TV deal runs out and start up their new league with a fresh deal.

So enjoy Syracuse, Pitt and the others in the Big East over the last two months, because it will never be the same again.

With that in mind, here are several storylines along with the first edition of our Power Rankings.

FIVE STORYLINES SO FAR:

1. After initially being given a one-year deal that was to expire in early April, UConn coach Kevin Ollie received a well-deserved five-year extension that will enable him to recruit more effectively. Now, what league UConn ends up being in and who their opponents are three years from now, those are other questions entirely.

2. After serving a three-game suspension and being fined $50,000 reportedly for throwing basketballs at his players’ heads at some point during his tenure, Rutgers coach Mike Rice is 1-1 since his return. On Saturday, the Scarlet Knights secured a much-needed 67-62 home victory over then-No. 24 Pitt. Rice will need to continue to win games and make some kind of postseason run in order to keep his job in Piscataway going forward. Next up is a Wednesday date with St. John’s at MSG.

3. Marquette coach Buzz Williams served a one-game suspension during his team’s OT win over UConn on Jan. 1 because of recruiting violations committed by former assistant Scott Monarch. Williams told ESPN’s Andy Katz he didn’t enjoy the suspension one bit. “It was very empty and very depressing,” Williams said. “I’ve never missed a game or practice in my career. I didn’t know what I was supposed to do.” Williams then returned to the bench to lead Marquette over No. 15 Georgetown, 49-48. The Golden Eagles and Syracuse are the only 2-0 teams in the league entering Monday’s action.

4. Louisville big man Gorgui Dieng returned from a broken wrist in time to help the No. 4 Cardinals beat arch-rival Kentucky. The 6-11 junior had 6 points and 7 rebounds in the Dec. 29 win and then added 11 points and 11 boards in Wednesday’s win vs. Providence.

5. St. John’s sophomore D’Angelo Harrison leads the league — and ranks sixth nationally — in scoring at 22.1 ppg. Louisville’s Russ Smith is not far behind at 20 ppg and is probably the early favorite for Big East Player of the Year. Last week’s Player of the Week, Smith has hit for at least 20 point in six games for the No. 4 team in the nation.

BIG EAST WEEKLY HONORS:

BIG EAST Player of the Week

BRANDON TRICHE, Syracuse, G, Jr.

Triche averaged 19.3 points, 4.0 assists and 2.0 steals and shot 60 percent from the field (21-of-35) to lead Syracuse to a 3-0 week, including a pair of BIG EAST victories. He scored 25 points on 8-of-11 shooting in a 78-53 win against Rutgers to open conference play and had 20 points in a 55-44 win at USF.  He added 13 points in 23 minutes in a 96-62 win against Central Connecticut. Triche leads the Orange in scoring this season at 15.0 points per game.

BIG EAST Rookie of the Week

RYAN ARCIDIACONO, Villanova, G, Fr.

Arcidiacono scored a career-high 32 points, tying the record by a freshman in his first BIG EAST game, to lead Villanova to a 98-86 overtime win against St. John’s. Arcidiacono shot 7-of-13 from 3-point range and was 11-of-13 from the free throw line to match Moe Harkless of St. John’s, who scored 32 against Providence in his BIG EAST debut Dec. 27, 2011.

BIG EAST Honor Roll

CASHMERE WRIGHT, Cincinnati, G, Jr.

Averaged 20.5 points and 6.0 rebounds in a 1-1 week. Scored 18 points in a 70-61 win at No. 24/22 Pittsburgh.

DAVANTE GARDNER, Marquette, F, Jr.

Averaged 15.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks and shot 60 percent from the field in a 2-0 week.

SCOTT MARTIN, Notre Dame, F, Sr.

Scored 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting (6-of-7 from 3-point range) with five rebounds in a win against Seton Hall.

ELI CARTER, Rutgers, G, So.

Averaged 21.0 points against a pair of top-25 opponents. Scored 23 in a 67-62 win against No. 24/22 Pittsburgh.

D’ANGELO HARRISON, St. John’s, G, So.

Averaged 25.5 points and 5.0 rebounds in a 1-1 week. Scored 15 points with seven rebounds in a 53-52 win at No. 14/15 Cincinnati

 

POWER RANKINGS:

1. Louisville (13-1, 1-0)

2. Syracuse (14-1, 2-0)

3. Notre Dame (13-1, 1-0)

4. Marquette (11-3, 2-0)

5. Cincinnati (13-2, 1-1)

6. Georgetown (10-2, 0-1)

7. UConn (10-3, 0-1)

8. Pittsburgh (12-3, 0-2)

9. Villanova (10-4, 1-0)

10. St. John’s (9-5, 1-1)

11. Rutgers (10-3, 1-1)

12. Seton Hall (12-3, 1-1)

13. USF (9-4, 0-1)

14. DePaul (10-5, 1-1)

15. Providence (8-6, 0-2)

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74 comments
buckets
buckets

Lol, Brandon Flowers.

Ceifus Hornswoggle
Ceifus Hornswoggle

Asking Namath about Geno is like asking your grandpa to fix your iPad.

BDarc23
BDarc23

i have a feeling Kyle Wilson is going to be the surprise player this year to emerge as an all pro.

tsjc68
tsjc68

From the Post link:


The front office showed a lot of faith in Milliner this offseason when they released Antonio Cromartie and then declined to replace him with an established star. That leaves Milliner as the team’s top cornerback, a scary thought for Jets fans who watched him struggle last year.


That's funny... I'm a Jets fan who watched him struggle last year, and I don't find that thought scary, Mr. Post Writer, because I watched more than just "Milliner struggle".  I also watched him "not struggle".


And since I understand the context in which he struggled and then stopped struggling, I don't find his struggles "scary".  I find them "understandable" and "part of a typical growth curve", and as such, I don't really anticipate seeing very much of the "struggling" Dee Milliner to appear anymore.


"He struggled last year" is not the only relevant datapoint from Dee Milliner's 2013 season, and given the ordering of the datapoints from last year (and the ordering of datapoints from typical rookie CBs in NFL history), it's arguably the LEAST significant datapoint from Dee Milliner's 2013 season.


Of all the things to be scared about, "Dee Milliner is the team's top corner" is pretty low on the list, IMHO.

levi
levi

@buckets I see another twitter feud in Richard Shermans near future.

boomer
boomer

@Hanknaples Did Vernon Gholston suck because Mangini pushed the Jets to draft him 6th or did he suck because he just sucked?

Brendan
Brendan

@Hanknaples People do not care that Rex called him that. Except for you, apparently. 

BDarc23
BDarc23

@bob Clearly the Minnesota coaches haven't read PFF from 2012

tsjc68
tsjc68

@BDarc23

I have a feeling that Kyle WIlson is going to have his snaps cut, just like Vlad Ducasse (and Matt Slauson and Mike DeVito and countless others), as the team phases in the next wave of young CBs to replace WIlson the Offseason Free Agent.


And those snaps will be apportioned to some mixture of Ras-I Dowling and Ellis Lankster and Dex McDougle and Brandon Dixon.


Kyle WIlson probably needs to start playing like an All-Pro (like, immediately) to avoid being swept aside into the dustbin of Jets history.  The writing's on the wall.

Ceifus Hornswoggle
Ceifus Hornswoggle

@tsjc68 

Milliner as the team's top corner scares me.  The guy isn't that good and if he's the ceiling, then everyone below him is really not that good.  Milliner had a few good games toward the end of the season, but there's no guarantee he picks up where he left off.  There's no guarantee that he won't, but that's a big gamble.

jetlife
jetlife

@tsjc68 If Brown Paper Bag isn't in your steady rotation then I don't want to know you

Brendan
Brendan

@a57se  Geno's completion % of 55.8% is higher than any year of Namath's career, as well as his career completion %. Joe is speaking from experience when he criticizes Geno's accuracy, at least. 

tsjc68
tsjc68

@boomer @Hanknaples

Vernon Gholston didn't suck, he was actually totally awesome and would already be enshrined in Canton if the Jets wouldn't have stupidly fired Eric Mangini, Greatest Coach Ever™ and replaced him with that buffoon of a dunderhead Rex Ryan, the man who doesn't even recognize that Quinton Coples should not be dropping into coverage like an OLB.


Sincerely,

Hank and Sons, LLC

levi
levi

@tsjc68 Interesting opinion. I guess we will wait and see but he wont be easy to supplant from the slot.

Brendan
Brendan

@Ceifus Hornswoggle He was really good in the last 4 games, though. Not "oh, hey, he stopped spinning the wrong way and getting torched" good, but "hey, he's imposing his will and not playing scared anymore, and holy crap is he jumping routes on Josh Gordon?" good. Like, actually good. 


If the final four games are an indication, the ceiling hasn't been reached. If those were a fluke (which I think would be hard to pull off against legit players), then we'll quickly find out. But you can't act like the last 1/4 of the year didn't show him flip the proverbial switch. 


I understand the concern that he won't play at that level again consistently (or ever), but you can't act like that isn't what you want from a top CB. His grade those last 4 weeks was +8.1, which by itself would be the 19th best grade. If he played like that over a whole season? That's a grade over +32.4, which is Revis-in-2009 territory. 

tsjc68
tsjc68

@jetlife @tsjc68

I wasn't saying Flowers does not have his moments of success.  He does.


Just saying that DJ Khaled screaming "WE THE BEST" does not in fact mean that he's actually the best.

levi
levi

@a57se I dont know about that. The game has gotten far more complex than when he played. Im not saying Geno has it figured out but some day he might.

Brendan
Brendan

@Hanknaples So Mangini was so scared of a guy who wasn't a part of the Jets' franchise that Mangini let him influence him enough to pick a guy he didn't want? Oh. That's so much better. 

Brendan
Brendan

@Hanknaples Wilson's expectations were to be a starting CB. He's not a starting CB, he's a slot CB. Rex's comment has nothing to do with that, Wilson's play did. 

bob
bob

@Brendan @BDarc23 

Could be all about nothing however when they 1st bought him over he was listed 2nd at left guard.So why the change.lol

BDarc23
BDarc23

@Brendan @BDarc23 Yeah, no doubt that it doesn't count yet. I just like to throw some "Vlad is a good starter according to PFF" jabs in there when I can

Brendan
Brendan

@a57se Rookies improving over the final 1/4 of a season isn't groundbreaking. It's just a coincidence that these three all did it at around the same time. 


And the degree of their improvement also varies. Milliner played like a stud, Geno played above-average, Winters stopped rolling around in the dirt. Not identical, but yes they all improved over the final four games and trying to denigrate that belief as magic because of a mild general coincidence is rubbish. 

Ceifus Hornswoggle
Ceifus Hornswoggle

@Brendan @Ceifus Hornswoggle 

I'll judge him after three years.  At this point, he's a question mark.  Can he stay healthy?  Did he work hard this offseason?  Can he own the defensive scheme?  We'll see.


Geno didn't play too bad over the last few games, but they still brought in a decent insurance policy.  I think it would've been prudent to have a veteran plan in place in case we get the 3/4ths of the season Dee instead of the 1/4th that we came to love.

Brendan
Brendan

@BDarc23 So if he wins a job with the team does that mean you'll stop using it? 

levi
levi

@a57se If its for the right reasons I hope someone does take his job. I want improvement.

Brendan
Brendan

@Ceifus Hornswoggle I think the team is confident in guys like Walls/Lankster in the event that is the case. They also have Wilson, who has started on the outside and isn't a scrub as an on-hand insurance policy already. 

tsjc68
tsjc68

@a57se @levi

Joe called all the plays on the field in an era where having more INTs than TDs and having a completion percentage of 50% were considered not just "acceptable" but "elite".


So, yeah, it's impressive... but it's also not THAT impressive.


The bar of expectations was dramatically different.  Namath played in an era where getting a really bad play while gambling for a really good play was far more tolerable.

boomer
boomer

@a57se @levi That has almost nothing to do with the game knowledge of any of the QBs and the fact that the game has evolved into a game that is tightly controlled by the coaches.

Brendan
Brendan

@Hanknaples And why did he fail to be that? Because Rex said they expected him to be? Or because he wasn't good enough? 

Ceifus Hornswoggle
Ceifus Hornswoggle

@tsjc68 @Ceifus Hornswoggle @Brendan 

Yeah, I forgot about Patterson.  That's a good point.  We do have some backups.  I guess it's kind of hard because we've had an elite corner (or near elite) for quite a while.  Perhaps it's comparison bias in looking at the current roster.

Brendan
Brendan

@Hanknaples I'm not the one comparing a womanizing alcoholic to the son of god. 

Brendan
Brendan

@BDarc23 Well, he's going to get cut so you probably won't have to worry about that. 

levi
levi

@a57se He has bust written all over his DROY award.

Brendan
Brendan

@Hanknaples Don't use my comments out of context to support your insane comments. 


And in the NFL, "failure" has varying degrees. Wilson failed to become an outside starting CB, but he's succeeded in carving out a role as a good slot CB, something in extremely high demand in today's NFL. It's not a pass/fail grade, it's too complicated for that. 

Brendan
Brendan

@Hanknaples Please don't ever call me "Masser Brendan" again, thanks. 


Rex was wrong for saying that (which I don't even think he did, but I'm not going to bother looking it up). But saying that's the reason Wilson failed is idiotic. Mangini thought Anthony Schlegel was an NFL player. Is it Mangini's fault Schlegel wasn't? 

tsjc68
tsjc68

@Brendan @Hanknaples

And expecting him to be the best CB in the draft when Joe Haden went top 10, that was unrealistic.


You could argue that Wilson was the best CB left on the board, though.  Of all the guys taken behind him, only Alterraun Verner and Walter Thurmond are even remotely in Wilson's class.


That 2010 draft produced five legit NFL players at CB (Haden at #7, Devin McCourty at #27, Wilson at #29, Verner at #104, and Thurmond at #111).  And one of those five only stopped being a horrible bust after moving to safety.  (UDFA Sam Shields should be mentioned as well, though; he obviously panned out despite not being selected.)


No matter which way you slice it, we drafted one of the five actually useful CBs from that slate.   For all the hating on Kyle Wilson, at least we didn't waste R1#29 on Patrick Robinson, Chris Cook, Javier Arenas, Jerome Murphy or Amari Spievey.

levi
levi

@a57se I kinda want the new FB to make the team.

Brendan
Brendan

@Hanknaples Very easily, by copying my questions and acting as though they support whatever nonsense it is you are saying. Those questions were posed to try and force you into  speaking coherently and admitting that Rex's words didn't make Kyle Wilson fail to win a starting job. Kyle Wilson's play did that. 


Your never-ending Rex-hate is pathetic, tiresome and boring. "Oh, look, here's a random player that wasn't brought in by SUPER GENIUS ERIC MANGINI, MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE so I'm going act like a giant grey-haired baby and criticize the crap out of him and Rex on a Jets blog wah wah wah." 


Just grow up already, please. Or better yet, go buy a Pennington Dolphins jersey and leave us all alone. 

levi
levi

@tsjc68 Bent has concerns about his size. do you feel the same?

Brendan
Brendan

@Hanknaples Hey dumb-dumb. I'll make this perfectly clear for you: 


The reason Kyle Wilson isn't a starting CB is because he's not good enough to be a starting CB. It is not because Rex called him the best CB drafted (which, again, I don't think was ever stated). 

levi
levi

@Hanknaples  Im sure it is exciting but would be quite a culture shock for most of us.

levi
levi

@Hanknaples I worked in a slaughterhouse for a few months. Most people dont know thats how they kill them. I always thought it was odd that the next cow would just walk right in the pen after watching the one before it get killed.