Some of these games are hilarious. We love non-conference season, it's so cute. Anyhow take this for what it's worth, simply a still frame of the way we think things are right now. If you disagree feel free to let us know.
1. Pitt (5-0)
Last week: beat Northeastern (78-52), beat Umass (85-68), beat Oakland (66-55).
This week: vs. Florida State (11/24)
Big East preseason player of the year Aaron Gray has been as good as advertised early on, averaging a double double (16.3 pts, 10 rebs) in the Panthers' first five games.
2. Uconn (4-0)
Last week: beat Central Arkansas (88-59), beat Fairfield (74-49), beat Ole Miss (77-59).
This week: vs. Albany (11/26).
A down year in the Big East is just what the doctor ordered (wow that's lame) for a Connecticut team trying to recover from losing nearly all its point production from a year ago to the NBA. Only freshmen and sophomores have seen the court thus far for the Huskies, who boast just one junior and one senior (neither of whom play) on their 15-man roster.
Sunday's game against Albany is a rematch of last year's NCAA first round game in which the America East champions put a scare into the tournament favorites.
3. Syracuse (4-0)
Last week: beat UTEP (83-69), beat Northeastern (81-58).
This week: vs. Charlotte (11/22), at Canisius (11/25).
Sophomore douchebag Eric Devendorf is off to a tremendous start, averagig just under 17 points and just over five assists in four games. Seniors Demetris Nichols and Terrence Roberts are doing their part as well, averaging 13.5 points and 11.5 rebounds respectively.
A home game against Charlotte on Wednesday looks good on paper, but the 49ers were smoked by North Texas last night.
4. Georgetown (2-1)
Last week: beat Vanderbilt (86-70), lost to Old Dominion (62-75).
This week: at Fairfield (11/22), vs. Ball State (11/27).
We thought the Hoyas would be the class of the conference, and although they still might end up fulfilling that prophecy, Sunday's loss was pretty embarrassing.
5. Marquette (4-0)
Last week: beat Idaho State (59-56 OT), beat Detroit (87-45), beat Eastern Michigan (95-62).
This week: vs. Texas Tech (11/20), CBEC Finals/Third-place game (11/21), at Valpo (11/27).
We're not as high on the Golden Eagles as some people, but a win over Texas Tech followed by a strong performance against Duke in the CBEC championship game could definitely change our November minds.
6. Louisville (1-0)
Last week: beat Northwestern State (100-87).
This week: at Dayton (11/24).
A healthy David Padgett or non-suspended Derrick Caracter would have been nice for this Friday against a Dayton Flyer team that sports a very weak front line. Even though they lost to SMU on Saturday, the Flyers should be a good early test for a young Cardinal team that is arguably the biggest mystery in the conference.
We didn't fully confirm this, but we're pretty sure Jerry Smith leads the league in scoring.
7. Villanova (1-1)
Last week: beat College of Charleston (81-68), lost to Xavier (66-71).
This week: vs. Navy (11/25).
A tough loss to a good Xavier team will benefit the fighting Jay Wright's on the long run. Curtis Sumpter, Mike Nardi and Will Sheridan automatically make the Wildcats a team that will compete in the Big East and should make the NCAA tournament.
8. St. John's (2-2)
Last week: lost to Maryland (60-92), lost to Texas (76-77).
This week: vs. Illinois State (11/25).
OK, the Maryland loss was pathetic, but we think the performance against Texas made up for it. Many, including us, found out last year that when the Storm are clicking they can be a force in the Big East. Avery Pattersen, Lamont Hamilton and Anthony Mason Jr. all return from a squad that beat Louisville, Pitt and nearly Uconn in an 8-day stretch last season.
9. Notre Dame (3-1)
Last week: lost to Butler (69-71), beat Lafayette (92-60), beat The Citadel (74-50).
This week: vs. Lehigh (11/27)
Hopefully last Monday's tough loss to Butler in the first-round of the Preseason NIT wasn't indicative of how things will play out for a Notre Dame team still looking to recover from what was perhaps the most consistently gut-wrenching season of all time a year ago.
Perhaps the biggest surprise for the Irish thus far is that senior Colin Falls ranks just fourth on the team in scoring.
10. West Virginia (3-0)
Last week: beat Slippery Rock (87-37), beat Canisius (66-43).
This weel: vs. Montana (11/23)
So far so good for a Mountaineer team decimated by graduation. Of course so far includes Slippery Rock.
11. Cincinnati (3-0)
Last week: beat High Point (63-51)
This week: vs. Wofford (11/21), vs. Central Michigan (11/25).
Bearcats won their version of the NABC classic by topping Howard, Tennessee Martin and High Point on consecutive nights.
12. South Florida (2-0)
Last week: beat Buffalo (77-61), beat South Carolina State (82-69).
This week: vs. Florida International (11/21), vs Stetson (11/27).
We likely won't know anything about this team until UNLV comes to town on Dec. 19. By the way how does USF always manage to find a guy named Solomon who's good at basketball? This year it's freshman Solomon Bozeman who is averaging 14.5 points and 7 assists after two games.
13. Seton Hall (1-1)
Last week: beat Caldwell (91-52), lost to Fairleigh Dickinson (71-76).
This week: at Morgan State (11/25).
How Dickinson were they? Eh, Fairleigh Dickinson. BAM!
14. Depaul (1-2)
Last week: lost to Northwestern (39-49), beat Eastern Illinois (71-41).
This week: at Kentucky (11/20).
If the Demons can beat Kentucky tonight we will laugh, but then we'll be kind of sad because we'll know that if Louisville beats Big Blew on Dec. 16 then we'll cheer for a little bit but then suddenly remember "hey, they lost to Depaul, and Depaul lost to Northwestern by 10, and Bradley by 20," and then it won't be quite as much fun. Still, go Depaul.
15. Providence (1-1)
Last week: beat Fairleigh Dickinson (96-71), lost to Brown (41-51).
This week: vs. Boston College (11/22), vs. George Washington (11/26).
The Friars probably aren't going to like the fact that they're two spots below a Seton Hall team that lost to the same Fairleigh Dickinson squad PC trounced by 25, but when you score just 14 points in the second half of a 10-point loss to previously 0-3 Brown, any pull you might have had with us is pretty much chucked out the window.
16. Rutgers (1-1)
Last week: lost to Kansas State (41-55), beat St. Thomas Aquinas (82-41).
This week: vs. Jackson State (11/21), at Bradley (11/24).
1/3 because we're still bitter about the football game, 1/3 because they shot 19% against KSU, and 1/3 because they scheduled St. Thomas Aquinas where we're pretty sure Myron Noodleman received a bball scholarship (Extra points for a Bats/minor league baseball reference? Anyone?).