After watching quite a few early season games I have some thoughts on Big East teams this season.
Cincinnati – The Bearcats have looked to be much improved this season. Yancy Gates is becoming a polished down low player. Lance Stephenson is probably the best Freshman in the league. Cincy will be a much tougher opponent for the top teams this year. They sit at 5-1 and have a rebound margin of +11 a game.
UConn - The guards are fine but the Huskies have some glaring deficiencies down low. This is a rarity for UConn. They have even been outrebounded by Hofstra at home. Jerome Dyson is playing very well as is Gavin Edwards. In order for the Huskies to be successful they have to rebound and run to make up for having no half court offense.
Georgetown - An impressive win over Butler last night shows that the Hoyas may be one of the top teams in the league. Greg Monroe is dominating down low. Chris Wright is a steadying influence on the outside. A 7-0 start is a good sign for GTown fans.
Marquette - Too much is being thrown on Lazar Hayward. The loss of the three amigos is probably too much to make up for. MU needs something from Acker on the outside to compliment Butler and Hayward inside.
Notre Dame - Luke Harangody is expected to carry this team. He tries to do that but is constantly double teamed and ends up throwing up off balanced forced shots. Tim Abromaitis has been outstanding and Tory Jackson is still driving and creating opportunities. ND still relies way too much on 3 point shooting. This may be a tough year in South Bend.
Pittsburgh - Pitt looks very shaky at this point. They are having trouble scoring points and were outplayed by a young and weak Indiana team last night. The Panthers could only garner 15 points in the first half against New Hampshire! Ashton Gibbs has been steady as has Wanamaker. No big run in the BET this year for Pitt.
Syracuse - The Orange have been really on top of their game so far. A big win against North Carolina at MSG was a major lift for SU. Even though we are used to early season success for the Orange, this year may be different in that they have faced quality foes early.I have been impressed with Wes Johnson, a transfer into the program. Opponents may have to start fouling Onuaku to stay with them in games. Another Triche? The young guys have blended well with veterans and without the Devendorf distractions this may be the year for Syracuse to make a run at the league title.
Villanova - STRONG! The Cats are strong at every position. Of course Scottie Reynolds may lose a few winnable games with trying to do too much, he will also be the reason they win most of their games. Any team that falls behind VU is in real trouble. Only when Nova gets behind does Reynolds throw up some crazy shots. The class of the league.
West Virginia - As long as DaSean Butler and Devin Ebanks stay healthy and on the court the Neers look to be one of the best. WVU is 5-0 and I expect them to roll along and be one of the top teams in the league.
These are the teams I have seen so far. I like Nova, Cuse and WVU to be the top teams in the Big East this year and Pitt and the Irish will struggle.