After the first few weeks of the 2012-13 basketball season a few things are starting to jump out. It seems like the conference is still fairly strong at the top but the bottom third is not showing the strength it had in previous years. Let’s look at some early observations.
Louisville has had the usual early season success but a tough loss to Duke is a blemish on the record. The Cards are going to have to swim through some tough waters with Memphis and Kentucky on the horizon and Gorgui Dieng out indefinitely with a broken wrist. Chris Behanan will have to step up his game to make up for the loss of Dieng who is averaging 8 rebounds per game.
Syracuse still has the jury out as they have beaten up on the usual patsies at home and only have a small test in Arkansas this week.
Notre Dame had a stinging loss to St. Joseph’s early and haven’t been tested since. A meeting with Kentucky this week shoould show us if Cooley, Grant and company are legit.
Cincinnati had a couple nice wins against Iowa St. and Oregon. The big rematch vs. Xavier comes on December 19th.Kilpatrick has been outsanding in the early going.
Georgetown had a great win against UCLA and took #1 Indiana to overtime. Otto Porter is a stud and the Hoyas having been the most tested team early has passed with flying colors.
Pitt is back. After some early easy victories they disposed of a good Lehigh team and went downto the wire with #4 Michigan before losing close. Talib Zanna has been a force both scoring and rebounding. Trey Woodall and Lamar Patterson are solid and J.J. Moore has had some real good outings.
Marquette lsot close to Butler in the only game against good competition. Wins over Mississippi St. and USC were satisfying. Vander Blue and Junior Cadougan form a strong backcourt and Davante Gardner has played well.
USF has been disappointing so far. Losses to UCF and Western Michigan hurt. They are not getting scoring from anyone with only Fitzpatrick in double figures.
UConn is in trouble. No frontcourt prescence and they have been outrebounded by inferior teams constantly. After impressive wins against Michigan St. and Wake they have escaped Quinnipiac in overtime and Stony Brook while losing to New Mexico. Guards are strong but no transition game if they can’t control the boards.
St. John’s lost their only test to Baylor and have won four games against weak opponents. D’Angelo Harrison is playing well and Freshman Jakaar Sampson has been good down low. Only one test left before the conference starts against South Carolina this week.
None of the rest has done anything to raise eyebrows. In fact Villanova has been uncharacteristically woeful losing three straight to Alabama, Columbia, and LaSalle.
In a year when we are seeing the last of Syracuse, Pitt, Notre Dame and possibly either Louisville or UConn the prospects of many Big East teams making a run in the NCAA’s is not bright.