Big East media day was held this past Wednesday at Madison Square Garden, with Villanova the consensus top choice among the league's ten coaches, while St. John's was picked at the other end of the pool as new head coach Chris Mullin attempts to rebuild his alma mater from scratch following the graduation of last year's senior core and departure of emerging talents in Rysheed Jordan and Chris Obekpa.
- Brad Dobney, Banners on the Parkway (Twitter: @BannersParkway)
- Andrei Greska, Paint Touches (Twitter: @PaintTouches)
- Patrick Marshall, White and Blue Review (Twitter: @wildjays)
- Brendan Reilly, VUHoops.com (Twitter: @BrendanReilly37)
- Dan Stack, We Are DePaul/Today's U (Twitter: @StacDemon)
Brad Dobney: Still Villanova. They haven't lost enough and everyone else hasn't gained enough to make me think we're looking at a change at the top.
Patrick Marshall: Xavier. Yes, the Big East co-players of the year return for Villanova (Ryan Arcidiacono) and Providence (Kris Dunn), and while Georgetown has D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera back, it will be the Musketeers that will navigate their way to a Big East title due to the sheer number of contributors back this season. The full backcourt returns with Remy Abell and Trevon Bluiett, but it will be Jalen Reynolds who will be the breakout player to help carry this veteran team. Villanova, Georgetown, and Providence will struggle at times while opponents focus on their stars. Xavier will be able to sneak in around them all to get the title at this point.
Brendan Reilly: I'm going to be a homer and stick with Villanova to repeat as conference champion. While they're losing three starters, the depth and talent on this team is enough that they shouldn't miss a beat. Freshman Jalen Brunson will be a stud, Phil Booth should take on a much larger role, and Josh Hart could become the teams new leading scorer. Villanova will be tough on both ends of the court and will again be the favorite going into the season.
Dan Stack: Villanova. It was not a slam dunk selection to pick the Wildcats, as I see Xavier, Georgetown and Butler all with about equal chances of winning the Big East. However, with Villanova's experience, fantastic backcourt (Ryan Arcidiacono, Josh Hart and frosh Jalen Brunson) and Daniel Ochefu as an anchor down low, they still get the edge here.
JD: In your opinion, which teams are the most overrated and underrated?
BD: Overrated: St. John's. There's an awful lot of wishful thinking circling about the Red Storm right now.
Underrated: Georgetown. It seems counterintuitive to put a team everyone has pegged for a top three finish and another NCAA berth as underrated, but the Hoyas strike me as a team that will be top-15 by the end of the year and pushing Villanova for the top spot. Talking D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera off the ledge that was the NBA Draft was the single biggest non-recruiting story for the Big East this spring/summer. Again, I’ll draw on experience because it’s what I know best. If you put Vander Blue back on the 2013-2014 Marquette team that everyone pegged to win the Big East, they would have won the Big East. No one will ever convince me otherwise. Having a proven, experienced scorer who can create and distribute as well as these players can frees up the rest of the team to excel in their roles, making for a much more dangerous unit.
Underrated: I think Providence could surprise some people. They've definitely lost some talent and will need some of the younger guys to step up in a big way. But when you return a player like Kris Dunn who can carry a team on his back, there's reason to be optimistic.
COY: JT3. I’m all in on the Hoyas, can’t you tell?
COY: Jay Wright. He's the face of the conference, and a pretty one at that. If he can repeat again as the conference regular season and tournament champions after losing three starters, this award will be well deserved.
Leitao will be better than Purnell, not that it’s a high bar to clear. Don’t get me wrong, I’m 100% against his hiring and that administration which has proven time and again it has no vision. This is a program that needs a Bruce Pearl type, someone who will cut corners and flirt with danger. I advocated for him before he went to Auburn. Heck, I still think Buzz Williams would thrive there. Leitao will get them to play defense, something unheard of under Purnell, but outside of Garrett, the rest of the roster is nothing special. It starts with recruiting. It doesn’t start this year. It may not for a few more.
Seton Hall: #DeadCoachWalking
St. John’s: #MULLigan
Seton Hall: #Rebuilding
St. John's: #MullinsHomecoming