Villanova will have some very good players returning to remain the team to beat in the Big East. With a great mixture of returning and new players Province looks to be even stronger than the year before. Xavier and Seton Hall are also very strong teams in the Big East.

With that said here is a look at what the Big East may look like in 2017-2018:

1. Villanova Basketball

Coach: Jay Wright

Off Roster:
Graduated: Josh Hart, Kris Jenkins, and Darryl Reynolds

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Jalen Brunson (PG), Mikal Bridges (SF), Donte DiVincenzo (SG), Omari Spellman (C, Red Shirt), Eric Paschall (SF), Dylan Painter (C),Phil Booth (SG), and Tim Delaney (PF)
Key Freshmen added: Collin Gillespie (PG), D. Cosby-Roundtree (C), and Jermaine Samuels, Jr. (SF)

Villanova’s top scorer Jalen Brunson will return for another season. Phil Booth should return from an early season injury. Booth was the key in helping Villanova win the 2016 NCAA Championship. If healthy, he will more than likely pop the starting lineup.

Hopefully, Booth will be joined by Omari Spellman, a top 25 Center, who sat out the 2016-2017 season due to academic issues.

With the additions of top 100 freshmen recruits, Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree and Jermaine Samuels, Jr., this team should continue their winning ways as usual.

2016-2017 Record: 32-4 Overall (15-3 Conference) NCAA Tournament 2nd Round Exit
Projected Conference Wins 2017-2018: 15-

2. Providence Basketball

Coach: Ed Cooley

Off Roster:
Transferred: Ryan Fazekas (Valparaiso)

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Kyron Cartwright (PG), Rodney Bullock (PF), Emmitt Holt (PF), Isaiah Jackson (SG), Jalen Lindsey (SF), Alpha Diallo (SF), Kalif Young (PF), and Maliek White (PG)
Key Freshmen added: Makai Ashton-Langford (PG), Nate Watson (PF), and Dajour Dickens (C)

Providence will return all of their starters from their successful 2016-2017 season, which includes one of the best point guards in the nation in Kyron Cartwright, who averaged 11.4 points, 3.5 rebounds, and a whopping 6.7 assist per game last season.

Along with that, Providence had one of the best defenses in the Big East behind Villanova last season. The Fliars held their opponents to an average 66.9 points per game. In contrast, Providence was one of the worst offensive scoring teams in the nation, putting up on average 70.3 points per game.

With the additions of the top 50 combo guard Makai Ashton-Langford and top 100 Nate Watson scoring should improve greatly.

This Providence team is loaded with talent.

2016-2017 Record: 20-13 Overall (10-8 Conference) NCAA Tournament First Round Exit
Projected Conference Wins 2017-2018: 12+

3. Xavier Basketball

Coach: Chris Mack

Off Roster:
Players possibly turning Pro: Edmond Sumner
Graduated: Malcolm Bernard, RaShid Gaston, and Tim Stainbrook

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: J.P. Macura (SG), Trevon Bluiett (SG), Quentin Goodin (PG), Tyrique Jones (PF), Sean O'Mara ( C) and Kaiser Gates (SF)
Key Transfer(s): Kerem Kanter (PF, Green Bay)
Key Freshmen added: Paul Scruggs (SG), Naji Marshall (SG), Elias Harden (SG), Kentrevious Jones (C), and Jared Ridder (SF)

Xavier will return top scorers J.P. Macura and Trevon Bluiett. This team will also add Green Bay’s graduate transfer Kerem Kanter to the the roster. Kanter averaged 11.3 point and 6.3 rebounds per game in his last season at Green Bay.

Xavier should also improve in the scoring category with the addition of three (3) four star shooting guards, Paul Scruggs, Naji Marshall and Elias Harden.

Expect this team to improve on the success of the 2016-2017 season.

2016-2017 Record: 24-14 Overall (9-9 Conference) NCAA Tournament Elite 8
Projected Conference Wins 2017-2018: 10+

4. Seton Hall Basketball

Coach: Kevin Willard

Off Roster:
Graduated: Madison Jones
Transferred: Rashed Anthony (Saint Louis)

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Khadeen Carrington (SG), Desi Rodriguez (SF), Angel Delgado (PF), Ismael Sanogo (PF), Michael Nzei (PF), Myles Powell (SG), and Eron Gordon (SG)
Key Freshmen added: Myles Cale (SG,), Jordan Walker (PG), S. Mamukelashvili, and Darnell Brodie

Seton Hall will return the majority of its starting lineup from the 2016-2017 season, which includes, Angel Delgado, the 2nd best rebounder in the nation. Delgado averaged 15.2 points, 13.1 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game last season. With him on board and the addition of JUCO transfer Romaro Gill, Seton Hall should lead the Big East in rounds this coming season. Gill will also help the team improve on defense with his shot blocking abilities. Gill averaged over two (2) blocks per game in his final season at Vincennes Community College.

Hopefully, freshmen guards Myles Cale and Jordan Walker will help the team improve in the assist category. Seton Hall was one of the worst ball moving teams in the Big East last season and as a result scoring suffered. Seton Hall put up, on average, 74.6 points per game last season, which made them the 3rd worst scoring team in the Big East.

With its new additions, Seton Hall should improve greatly.

2016-2017 Record: 21-12 Overall (10-8 Conference) NCAA Tournament 1st Round Exit
Projected Conference Wins 2017-2018: 10+

5. Creighton Basketball

Coach: Greg McDermott

Off Roster:
Players possibly turning Pro: Justin Patton
Graduated: Cole Huff, Maurice Watson Jr., Isaiah Zierden, and Zach Hanson

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Marcus Foster (SG), Khyri Thomas (SG), Toby Hegner (PF), Tyler Clement (PG), Martin Krampelj (PF), and Ronnie Harrell Jr. (SG)
Key Transfer(s): Manny Suarez (C, Adelphi)
Key Freshmen added: Mitchell Ballock (SG), Jacob Epperson (C), and Ty-Shon Alexander (SG)

Creighton has lost Justin Patton to the pros and Maurice Watson Jr. to graduation. However, their top scorer Marcus Foster is returning for another season. Foster was instrumental in making this team one of the top scoring teams in the nation.

Creighton is bringing in some very good freshmen recruits in Mitchell Ballock, Jacob Epperson, and Ty-Shon Alexander. They will also be joined by division II graduate transfer, Manny Suarez, who averaged 16.9 points and 9.4 rebounds per game in his game at Adelphi.

This team should continue to grow.

2016-2017 Record: 25-10 Overall (10-8 Conference) NCAA Tournament 1st round exit
Projected Conference Wins 2017-2018: 10-

6. Marquette Basketball

Coach: Steve Wojciechowski

Off Roster:
Graduated: Luke Fischer, Jajuan Johnson, and Katin Reinhardt
Transferred: Duane Wilson (Texas A&M) and Traci Carter (La Salle)

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Markus Howard (PG), Andrew Rowsey (PG), Haanif Cheatham (SG), Sam Hauser (SF), Matt Heldt (C), and Sacar Anim (SG, Red shirt)
Key Transfer(s): Harry Froling (PF, SMU)
Key Freshmen added: Jamal Cain (SG), Greg Elliott (SG), Theo John (C), and Ikechukwu Eke (PF)

Marquette will have several players returning from the 2016-2017 season, which includes their top scorer, Markus Howard. Marquette was the best scoring team in the Big East last season. The team put up, on average, 82.2 points per game last season. However, they were one of the worst defensive and rebounding teams in the nation. Marquette gave up, on average 75.5 points per game and ranked 295th in the nation in total rebounds per game.

Marquette has added top 100 freshman Jamal Cain and SMU transfer Harry Froling to the roster. Froling, who averaged 4.3 points and 3.2 rebounds per game in just 10 games played at SMU. There is definitely an upside for him. Froling won’t be eligible to play until the January of 2018.

2016-2017 Record: 19-13 Overall (10-8 Conference) NCAA Tournament 1st round Exit
Projected Conference Wins 2017-2018: 10+

7. Butler Basketball

Coach: LaVall Jordan

Off Roster:
Graduated: Andrew Chrabascz, Tyler Lewis, Avery Woodson, and Kethan Savage

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Kamar Baldwin (SG), Kelan Martin (PF), Tyler Wideman (PF), Nate Fowler (C), Sean McDermott (SG), and Henry Baddley (SF)
Key Transfer(s): Paul Jorgensen (PG, George Washington)
Key Freshmen added: Aaron Thompson (PG), Christian David (SG), Jerald Butler (SF), Cooper Neese (SG), and Connor Fulton (SG)

Butler will start the season with a new coach in LaVall Jordan. Coach Chris Hotlmann has moved on to take the head coaching job at Ohio State. Coach Jordan will inherit some very good pieces to work with this coming season. Both Kamar Baldwin and Kelan Martin will be returning. They were the only two (2) out of three (3) players to average double digits in scoring in 2016-2017.

Butler will also get to see George Washington’s transfer point guard Paul Jorgensen. He played in all 38 games in 2015-2016 prior to transferring. He averaged 4.9 points and 2.1 assists per game in his final season. Jorgensen sat out the 2016-2017 season due to transfer rules.

2016-2017 Record: 25-9 Overall (12-6 Conference) NCAA Tournament Sweet sixteen Finish
Projected Conference Wins 2017-2018: 8-

8. St. John’s Basketball

Coach: Chris Mullin

Off Roster:
Graduated: Darien Williams
Players possibly turning Pro: Federico Mussini and Richard Freudenberg
Transferred: Malik Ellison (Pittsburgh) and Yankuba Sima (Oklahoma State)

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Shamorie Ponds (PG), Marcus LoVett (PG), Bashir Ahmed (SG), Kassoum Yakwe (PF), Tariq Owens (PF), and Amar Alibegovic (PF)
Key Transfer(s): Justin Simon (SG, Arizona) and Marvin Clark Jr. (SF, Michigan State)
Key Freshmen added: Sidney Wilson (SF) and Bryan Trimble (SG)

St. John’s will return four (4) starters from the 2016-2017 season, which includes top three (3) scorers, Shamorie Ponds, Marcus LoVett and Bashir Ahmed. However, St. John’s was one of those very uuneven teams last season where they were very good on offense but terrible on defense.

St. John’s had a -1.9 scoring margin last season, which means that they allowed their opponents to score more points than they put up. St. John’s needs to improve on defense in order to move up in the Big East Standings.

2016-2017 Record: 14-19 Overall (7-11 Conference)
Projected Post Season Finish 2017-2018: 7+

9. Georgetown Basketball

Coach: Patrick Ewing

Off Roster:
Graduated: Rodney Pryor, Bradley Hayes, Reggie Cameron II
Players possibly turning Pro: L.J. Peak,
Transferred: Akoy Agau (SMU), Trey Mourning

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Jessie Govan (C), Jagan Mosely (SG), Marcus Derrickson (PF), Jonathan Mulmore (PG), Kaleb Johnson (SG), and Tre Campbell (PG)
Key Transfer(s): Trey Dickerson (PG, South Dakota)
Key Freshmen added: Jahvon Blair (PG), Chris Sodom (C), and Antwan Walker (SF)

Georgetown will have a new coach at the beginning at the 2017-2018 in Patrick Ewing - other than that, nothing else changes. It may take this team a while to make its way back up to the top of the Big East.

2016-2017 Record: 14-18 Overall (5-13 Conference)
Projected Post Season Finish 2017-2018: 4+

10. DePaul Basketball

Coach: Dave Leitao

Off Roster:
Graduated: Billy Garrett Jr., Chris Harrison-Docks, R.J. Curington, and Darrick Wood

On Roster:
Key Players Possibly Returning: Eli Cain (SG), Brandon Cyrus (SG), Joe Hanel (SF), Tre'Darius McCallum (SF), Devin Gage (PG), Al Eichelberger (SG), and Levi Cook (C)
Key Transfer(s): Marin Maric (C, Northern Illinois),
Key Freshmen added: Jaylen Butz (PF) and Justin Roberts (PG)

DePaul will return several players from the 2016-2017 season. Unfortunately, that team lacked in nearly every category of basketball. DePaul was not a very good scoring or defensive team.

Scoring may increase with the addition of Northern Illinois’ graduate transfer, Marin Maric, who was the leading scorer with his team last season. However, Maric alone may not be enough to boost DePal to the top of the Big East.

2016-2017 Record: 9-23 Overall (2-16 Conference)
Projected Post Season Finish 2017-2018: 4-

 

 

*This projection is the sole view of d1coachcorner.com and should be seen as for entertainment purposes only. As for stats, all stats were taken from NCAA statistics via ncaa.com and the from the National Junior College Athletic Association statistic via NJCAA.com.


 

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Jack Williams, D1CoachCorner.com July 21, 2017, 7:30am
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Big East Basketball: 2017-2018 Very Early Predictions
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