In the last season before major changes, there are many players that could be household names when it’s all said and done…..
Vander Blue (Marquette) : this is the season that will define his pro career; with Crowder and DJO in NBA, Blue had to step up for the golden eagles. With a well rounded game he should be able to have average of 15,5,5 (points,rebounds,assist), while improving his already good defense. If Marquette could avoid injuries this season, Blue will have many targets for his drive and dish and pick’n’roll action. His value as NBA player should only grow if he shows his versality as comboguard with good size and athleticism.
Sir ‘Dominic Pointer (St John) : with a big recruiting class expected to bolster the frontcourt, Phil Greene and D’Angelo Harrison as play and guard (with Texas A&M transfer Branch waiting….), the small forward position in the starting five is the only unsettled; will be basically a costant battle between Pointer and Amir Garrett. However I expect this late bloomer to be a key cog for Lavin next season. With improved depth the Red Storm should be a better defensive team, and Pointer has all the athletic gifts that, coupled with his all in attitude, can take him to be one of the best defenders in college basketball. On offense he is an higlight reel waiting to happen in transition, but last season struggled heavily with his jumpshot. Reportedly an hard worker, he has serious room to grow as scorer, with a better ball handling he should drive in the lane against anyone. Beside Harrison there aren’t other sure thing on this side of the ball for Lavin, so Pointer could emerge at least as a real terror in transition thanks also to the many steals that will produce the zone press.Syracuse’s sophomores : both Michael Carter-Williams and Rakeem Christmas have NBA upside, and both have a lot to prove after a not good as expected freshman season. MCW will be the featured guy in the backcourt next to Brandon Triche, while Christmas should be a force to be reckoned with, after a summer in which he has focused on bulking up, mainly his upper body. For Syracuse to repeat last season, MCW had to live up to the hype, because there is so little depth in the backcourt, with unproven redshirt freshman Cooney and senior Brandon Triche next to him. In the fontcourt, however, there are so many players that could contribute while being good target for MCW’s assist; touted freshman DaJuan Coleman, Baye Keita, Jerami Grant (reportedly again growning…) will be ready to spell C.J.Fair, Southerland and Christmas.
DeAndre Daniels (Connecticut) : with all the hype involved in his recruitment, Daniels clearly disappointed last season. As I write here, I’m a believer on this talented and versatile forward, and I think that many will follow on this bandwagon. Daniels is the only reliable offensive player for coach Ollie in the frontcourt; Olander is mainly a fighter, freshman Nolan and the three German guys will have problems adjusting in Big East play. I expect Ollie to go with smaller starting fiv
e, with Napier-Boatright-Calhoun-Daniels and another from the frontcourt. As power forward Daniels should be a near impossible cover for Big East 4’s, and with his ability to shoot he’ll open the driving lanes for Napier & company.
Other players that I think worth-following are :
Yarou at Villanova, with betters and team-oriented guards feeding the Benin native in his senior season before NBA Draft.
Bryce Cotton at Providence, that will be the first offensive option after Ledo was allowed only to workout without playing.
Zach Auguste of Notre Dame is a freshman forward that should made Brey rethink of not giving minutes to youngsters
Shaquille Thomas of Cincinnati will be an important x factor for Mick Cronin with his terrific athleticism.
Freshman Jordan Price of DePaul should have plenty of open looks with opponents defense focusing on Cleveland Melvin and Brandon Young (another underappreciated and underrated living in the Melvin’s shadow).
ah, Luke Hancock is only the missing piece for Louisville, my choice for best team in all college basketball…….
Marquette, beside Vander Blue, will have plenty of shots available for all those underhyped weapons……and I know that Buzz Williams has already raved about them….
the same goes for Lavin’s frontcourt, with Chris Obekpa and Jakarr Sampson poised to have a really good season as freshman…
Lamar Patterson is an intriguing all around talent that last season showed flash of stardom….
Wally Judge has few believer as of now, I envision for him a good -than -many -expected season…
Fuquan Edwin of Seton Hall will be targeted from NBA scout as three and D guy…..
To finish, here you Hooptalent-All Big East first team,freshman team and breakout team.
All Big East Freshman breakout team
1- Peyton Siva Ryan Arcidiacono Brandon Young
2- Sean Kilpatrick D’Vauntes Smith Rivera Vander Blue
3- Otto Porter Shaquille Thomas-Jakarr Sampson DeAndre Daniels-Lamar Patterson
4- Chane Behanan DaJuan Coleman Mouphtaou Yarou
5- Gordui Dieng Steven Adams Orlando Sanchez.