Big East Media Day will take place on Wednesday morning at Madison Square Garden. As such, let’s discuss pre-season all-conference honors, team rankings, and your chance to ask Seton Hall’s contingent at Media Day a question.
You know that feeling in March when you make the mistake of watching Selection Sunday bracket analysis and then you find yourself making the same picks as others?
I felt that way after taking a look at Jerry Carino’s pre-season all-league teams. I couldn’t find many selections I would change based off last year’s performances. I thought about moving Kyron Cartwright to the first team ahead of Foster, but that would cram two point guards into the first team, Bluiett/Martin were way too good last year to move off the list, and Foster did rank second in scoring after all.
What I did change was moving Desi Rodriguez up to the second team, bumping St. John’s Marcus LoVett to the third tier. For sake of consistency, if we want each “team” to resemble a team, I needed to move some of the guards around — I also bumped Donte Divincenzo (Villanova) off the third team in favor of a slightly longer and definitely underrated Khyri Thomas (Creighton).
Jalen Brunson, Villanova (Jr., G)
Marcus Foster, Creighton (Sr., G)
Trevon Bluiett, Xavier (Sr., F)
Kelan Martin, Butler (Sr., F)
Angel Delgado, Seton Hall (Sr., F)
Kyron Cartwright, Providence (Sr., G)
Khadeen Carrington, Seton Hall (Sr., G)
Shamorie Ponds, St. John’s (So., G)
Desi Rodriguez, Seton Hall (Sr., F)
Rodney Bullock, Providence (Sr., F)
Markus Howard, Marquette (So., G)
Marcus LoVett, St. John’s (So, G)
J.P. Macura, Xavier (Sr., G/F)
Khyri Thomas, Creighton (Jr., G/F)
Mikal Bridges, Villanova (Jr., F)
Player of the year: Angel Delgado (Seton Hall) — This race was so close, that I decided to go the biased route. But seriously, taking school affiliation out of the equation, I really feel that any one of Delgado, Jalen Brunson, and Trevon Bluiett can win this award. Kyron Cartwright is my darkhorse pick, while Marcus Foster rounds out the top-five.
Rookie of the year: Omari Spellman (Villanova) — There are some other talented newcomers (Paul Scruggs – Xavier; Makai Ashton-Langford – Providence), but none are more poised to step right in and make a splash than Spellman, who will battle with others to replace Kris Jenkins and Darryl Reynolds on Nova’s front line.
Breakout player: Quentin Goodin (Xavier) — I was very impressed with how Goodin filled in for Edmond Sumner at point guard last season when he went down with his injury and I think he could be this year’s Kyron Cartwright. Goodin averaged 5.3 apg in the games after he accepted the proverbial torch, including nine against Maryland in the opening round of the NCAA tournament and 15 combined against the Hall in two games.
Team power rankings:
3. Seton Hall
6. St. John’s
Above is how I see the teams finishing, it’s not how I think the conference’s coaches will vote come Wednesday morning. Starting from the basement, picking Georgetown over DePaul may actually be the riskier choice despite a ton of historical reasons not to. Many, most notably Hoyas fans, are really down on them for good reasons, but I think a new coaching staff can wring some untapped talent from the remaining players.
Regardless, there will be a distinct gap between those two and the Big East’s middle class. At least half of these four schools can realistically push for the dance with St. John’s being the sexy pick to make it to the next level. Despite that, I think they can only surpass one of Creighton and Butler, both of which are suffering from respective losses (Justin Patton, coach Chris Holtmann).
The cream of the conference crop will surely be Villanova, Xavier, Seton Hall, and Providence. However tempted I was to put Xavier ahead of Villanova, I just couldn’t do it, but I think there will be a lot more competition for the top spot since the conference reformed. Xavier and Creighton have given the Wildcats a threat in recent years, but all three of these schools can do so with the Hall and Providence relying heavily on returning talent from last year’s NCAA bids.
I’m already drooling over seeing these four schools in the same Big East Tournament bracket.
Finally, I wanted to give you all the chance to ask your own personal question to one of Seton Hall’s players on Wednesday. Since I drafted this post, I have realized the Big East is running something similar on Twitter, but I think your odds are better here (haha).
Angel Delgado, Desi Rodriguez, and Khadeen Carrington will represent the Hall again this year.
Please send the following via email (chrismcmanus51 [at] gmail [dot] com; or via Twitter direct message) and I will pick at least one question — or perhaps multiple, time-permitting — to ask each of the three seniors.
- Your question
- The player it is directed at
- Your name & town (ex: Bob from South Orange, NJ)