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Top story lines for the new Big East
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On June 28, 2013 @ 11:56 pm In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY Sports
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Is it March yet? Hardly. With the NCAA tournament far in the rear-view mirror and Midnight Madness several months away, USA TODAY Sports examines several story lines for the 2013-14 college basketball season.
With the revamped Big East making its official debut Monday, it’s a perfect time to take a look at the top story lines for next seqason in the basketball-centric league.
Last March, the presidents of the Catholic 7 — DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John’s and Villanova separated from the football-playing Big East schools to form a new hoops-driven power conference.
Butler, Creighton and Xavier eventually joined forces to give the league 10 teams. Last week, the league named Val Ackerman its commissioner.
Can the new Big East live up to the legacy the old Big East built before disbanding last season? Here’s a glance at the first season:
1. Who will be the best player? The obvious answer is Doug McDermott, given the fact that he’s a two-time first-team All-American and returns for his senior season after averaging more than 20 points and 7 rebounds the past two seasons. Aside from McDermott, there are a number of potential stars who could steal the spotlight. The conference’s most explosive player might be D’Angelo Harrison of St. John’s, a rising junior who scored 17.8 points per game last season. He’s likely to return despite being suspended last March. Providence’s Bryce Cotton (19.7 points per game) is also capable of manufacturing plenty of points and taking over games.
2. Which team will win the league? This new-look conference could showcase a season of parity similar to the one the Atlantic 10 had last season when newcomers Butler and VCU joined an already-stacked group of teams. There’s not necessarily a bevy of returning talent in this league, but it’ll be the tenacity of each tradition-rich program that will draw viewers to Fox Sports. Had Vander Blue returned to Marquette, the Golden Eagles would be the favorites to win the league. They still could be behind Davante Gardner (11.5 points a game), but coach Buzz Williams will have … [For more on Starting Five: Top story lines for the new Big East Conference, click here.]
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