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Big East expert picks 2021-22: Projected order of finish, bold predictions, overrated and underrated teams

The Huge East is coming off, statistically, its weakest season since, nicely, perhaps the Nineties. It isn’t simply the hardly acceptable 4 bids to the NCAA Event (matching lowest the league’s had in three-plus a long time). Past that, in the event you go by KenPom.com’s algorithmic evaluation, the Huge East ranked No. 6 in 2020-21, matching its lowest standing relationship again to the 2001-02 season, when the then-14-team, two-division convention not less than despatched six groups dancing. 

Are we in for one more four-bid run? Historical past suggests no. Since realigning with the Catholic 7 in 2013, the league averages 5.3 NCAA bids, and it has been the fourth-best league on common in that span. We’ll see. The excellent news is Villanova ought to nonetheless be elite, giving the convention a bona fide nationwide title contender but once more. Actually, listed here are my prime 5 Huge East storylines heading into the season.

  1. Jay Wright, recent off his Corridor of Fame induction, goals for eighth league title in nine-year span
  2. Xavier and UConn vying for No. 2 standing
  3. Georgetown’s curious follow-up to magical Huge East Event title
  4. Shaka Good tries to reboot Marquette — and his profession
  5. Growth on the horizon with Gonzaga? Wichita State?

That final one can be a biggie if it got here to move throughout this season. No indication the league positively will develop (and you can also make the argument it should not), but it surely’s not less than earnestly contemplating that as an choice as we communicate. Now let’s get to the awards and predictions.

Huge East Preseason Participant of the 12 months

Collin Gillespie, Villanova

The tremendous senior has 118 video games, 1,264 factors, 361 assists, 304 rebounds, 115 steals, 5 sorts of league titles and a nationwide championship on his Villanova résumé. He is heady, but pugnacious when the state of affairs requires it. Because the undisputed chief of the preseason favourite, Gillespie is the one sensible selection for this award heading into November. Teammate Justin Moore may finally show as vital, whereas St. John’s Julian Champagnie and Xavier’s Paul Scruggs will even be within the dialog later within the yr. However Gillespie — coming off an MCL harm that ended his season in March — is a big-stage level guard with constant two-way means, a dependable jumper and the poise to run the present for one of many best applications within the sport.

Huge East Preseason Coach of the 12 months

Jay Wright, Villanova

Xavier’s Travis Steele and UConn’s Dan Hurley completed proper behind Wright for this, however who else are we speculated to award this to previous to the common season? If in case you have the overwhelming preseason favourite regardless of dropping a primary spherical NBA Draft decide, then go forward and take the pretend {hardware}. Wright, 59, was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Corridor of Fame in September. He has received 72% of his video games at VU (490-189) and will have the Wildcats comfortably profitable and simply adequate to be an NCAA Tournament crew for a tenth consecutive season. 

Huge East Preseason Freshman of the 12 months

Aminu Mohammed, Georgetown

Was the primary five-star dedication of Patrick Ewing’s teaching tenure going to be the following prestigious large man in Georgetown lore? Not precisely. Mohammed is a two-guard and somebody who will doubtless be a stat stuffer instantly for the Hoyas. He was ranked twenty third in his class, No. 3 amongst capturing guards nationally. Critically, was an area prospect out of Washington, D.C. (Earlier than he performed in Missouri later in his highschool profession.) For Ewing to get somebody from contained in the District to remain house and play for Georgetown is big. The Hoyas are present process one other yr of roster reconstruction, however you may need to see Mohammed play usually. 

Predicted order of end

Most overrated crew

Butler

Butler won’t be overrated on a nationwide stage; we’re solely discussing this within the context of our league preview and the place we as a collective are projecting every crew. So I’ll fade the Bulldogs, who I do not assume are ending within the prime half of the league. Private prediction: Seventh place and 19 wins at season’s finish. 

Underrated crew

Windfall

I am not saying Ed Cooley’s crew is a assure to make the Huge Dance. However with Nate Watson firmly within the dialog as one of many 5 finest gamers within the Huge East, the Friars are being too collectively doubted by my colleagues above within the eight gap. Private prediction: Sixth place, PC finishes the season with 23 wins and makes the NIT.

Huge East knowledgeable picks

https://www.cbssports.com/college-basketball/information/big-east-expert-picks-2021-22-projected-order-of-finish-bold-predictions-overrated-and-underrated-teams/ | Huge East knowledgeable picks 2021-22: Projected order of end, daring predictions, overrated and underrated groups

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