Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Big East Power Rankings

1. Syracuse. (+1) This is a well rounded Orange team and Kris Joseph is leading the charge with 15.3 points per game which isn’t a lot, but this team is still ranked 2nd behind Marquette in points per game. That means that they are getting offense from a multitude of places and teams can’t scheme against any one player which creates nightmares for opponents. They have also done a great job of handling the news hysteria surrounding their team. They have also adapted to the zone quickly and are using their length to cause havoc.

2. Louisville. (+2) Louisville is winning games on defense end, stifling teams with the Big East’s number one defense. They’ll need more offensive from this team once conference play starts though. Kyle Kuric, Chane Behanan and Gorgui Dieng are having good starts to their year. The scary thing is that this team isn’t healthy yet.

3. Marquette. (+7) Marquette has come out of the gates with a scorching offense, averaging 88 points a game. Led by Darius Johnson-Odom and Jae Crowder, this team is hard to slow down. Match that with the second ranked field goal defense in the Big East and Marquette has made an early statement that they are contenders for the Big East title.

4. UConn. (-3) The Huskies are having their ups and downs with the front court but with the talented backcourt of Napier and Lamb and the addition of Ryan Boatright, this team will be vying for the top spot on the power rankings all season. UConn's arch enemy is itself, landing dead last in turnover margin in the Big East and no one is even close.

5. Pittsburgh. (-2) While Pittsburgh has struggled through their early stretch of games, Travon Woodall is putting up some impressive assist numbers averaging 8.5 a game and Nasir Robinson is knocking down shots. The Panthers known for their tough inside game have been tearing it up from deep, leading the Big East in 3-point efficiency. What is un-Pittsburgh like is their defense which is struggling at the moment.

6. West Virginia. (-1) Kevin Jones is tearing it up. He is near the top of the Big East in points per game at 21.8 and rebounds per game at 12.3. This is a blue collar team. They aren’t going to blow you out of the water with either offense or defense, but they give you 40 minutes of effort.

7. Georgetown. (+4) The Hoyas offensive prowess has been surprising, averaging 82.2 points per game. They are deadly from deep and Jason Clark, Hollis Thompson, and Henry Sims are a great triple threat. They are gelling nicely and might sneak into the top five before it is all said and done.

8. Seton Hall. (+5) Fuquan Edwin has become a defensive force for Pirates and Jordan Theodore is doing a great job of being a facilitator. So far they have taken good care of the basketball but they probably don’t have the fire power to stay in the top 10 once conference play starts.

9. DePaul. (+7) Cleveland Melvin and Brandon Young are leading DePaul up the rankings. They are knocking down threes, getting steals, and sinking free throws. If they don’t rebound and play better defense though then a plummet down the standings will certainly occur.

10. Villanova. (-2) The Wildcats are struggling on defense and haven’t been knocking down shots. You can’t blame Maalik Wayns for that though, averaging 20 points per game. They lead the Big East in free throw percentage and do a good job of getting to the line. This team is finding its way and won’t be in the middle of the pack for long.

11. Cincinnati. (-2) The Bearcats are leaning heavily on their defense until they get their offense on track. Yancy Gates and Sean Kilpatrick need some help and can’t do it alone. This team needs to figure out how to get more efficiency on the offensive end before Big East play or they are in trouble.

12. Providence. (Even) Vincent Council and Gerard Coleman are a good one two punch but they need more help from those around them and they don’t have a solid defense to keep them in ballgames. They need to do a better job on the boards with LaDontae Henton as the only one stepping up and doing the dirty work. It doesn’t look good for the Friars early on.

13. South Florida. (+1) Toarlyn Fitzpatrick and Ron Anderson Jr. are doing all they can for the Bulls. They are playing really good defense but are dead last in offense in the Big East. They need to find more help on the offensive end and keep up the strong effort defensively. If they do that this team might surprise some.

14. Notre Dame. (-7) It doesn’t look good for the Irish. They are average on both ends of the court, are lousy rebounding the ball, and have no one to protect the rim. Jerlan Grant is their leading scorer at 13.4 points per game. That just isn’t going to cut it.

15. Rutgers. (Even) This is an average team. They don’t do anything extremely well or poorly. They are lacking a go-to-scorer and are relying on everyone contributing. Without any star power this team is going to struggle once conference play starts.

16. St. John’s. (-10) The Red Storm are the most disappointing team on the list. They have such a heralded group of young talent but with Lavin’s illness, they haven’t been able to put any type of consistency together. They are near the bottom of both offense and defense in the Big East, can’t hit or defend the 3-point range, and struggle mightily rebounding the basketball. It is a combination that will put you in the cellar of the Power Rankings. The upside is the young players will eventually mature. They have too much talent.

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