The Cardinals have national title implications and for obvious reasons. Peyton Siva has improved every year and is now in his senior year. Russ Smith excels on the defensive end and adds a good scoring touch. Gorgui Dieng could average a double-double this season and makes things very difficult for opponents on the defensive side of the ball. Chane Behanan had a great freshman year and will look for an even better sophomore campaign. Mike Marra suffered an injury that will end his carreer, but Luke Hancock a transfer from George Mason should fill the void.
The Panthers had a down year and nothing seemed to go right. This season they bring in a highly touted transfer in Trey Zeigler. Pitt brings in top center prospect Steven Adams. Adams should make an impact on defense and offense right away. Tray Woodall is one of the best PG in the league and averaged 6.1 apg before going down with an injury.
Talent always resides in Syracuse and this year is no different. The Orange lose four players off last years squad which won 34 games. Veterans C.J. Fair and Brandon Triche will be the soul of the team. Look for Micheal Carter-Williams and Rakeem Christmas to have big sophomore seasons. The star of this years recruiting class is Dajuan Coleman. Coleman came in, in shape and ready to play a major role for the Orange.
#4 Notre Dame
All five starters return from a team that won 22 games last year. Jack Cooley is one of the better big men in the Big East. He averaged 12.5 ppg and 8.9 rpg in a breakout year. A solid recruiting class enter South Bend. Two Freshman that could add depth are G Zach Auguste and Cameron Biedscheid. Biedscheid averaged 31.9 ppg in high school.
The Golden Eagles lose their top two scorers Darius Johnson-Odom and Jae Crowder. Arizona State transfer Trent Lockett will make an immediate impact and could lead the team in scoring. Todd Mayo had a down year beyond the arc, shooting 33 percent (is academically ineligible) . Vander Blue and Junior Cadougan will be key in the backcourt. Look for Chris Otulr, Jamil Wilson, and Davante Gardner in the froncourt.
The backcourt is going to be great. Sean Kilpatrick is one of the best three point shooters in the league. Chasmere Wright plays well on both ends the floor and had a Bearcat record 72 steals last season. JaQuon Parker does a little bit of everything and will need a big season if UC wants to go dancing. The big question is who replaces Yancy Gates? None of the Bearcat big men are an offensive threat, but play great defense. Look for freshman F Shaquille Thomas to be called upon early and often.
Injuries and uneligble players may set this team back, but they still have enough talent to weather the storm. Kris Dunn the #1 PG in the 2012 class tore his labrm in June. Dunn may be able to return in late December or January.The other highly touted guard headed to Procidence Ricky Ledo isn't eligible to play this year. So who's back? For starters the backcourt is still going to be solid with Vincent Council (15.9 ppg) and Bryce Cotton (14.3 ppg). Forwards Kadeem Batts and LaDontae Henton will have to big year's in the frontcourt. They will need to find some depth and Sidiki Johnson a transfer from Arizona could help.
Everyone will know the name Otto Porter by the end of the year. Porter who averaged 9.7 ppg and 6.8 rpg is looking to have an even better year in his sophomore campaign. Only four guards on the roster makes me skeptical on how far the Hoyas can go.
Jim Calhoun has retired and we bring in a new era of Huskies Basketball. UConn loses two first round draft picks and two transfers from last years team. All is not lost for in Storrs the backcourt features Ryan Boatright (10.4 ppg) and Shbazz Napier (10.4 ppg). Holy Cross transfer R.J. Evans (11.5 ppg) will add solid depth. The problem resides in the frontourt. DeAndre Daniels came in highly regarded, but didn't show much in his first year. This could be his breakout year.
#10 South Florida
The newly renovated Sun Dome looks good and the defense will be just as good. Stan Heath has made his stamp at USF, great defense. PG Anthony Collins had a great debut by scoring 9 ppg and dishing out 5.2 apg. Victor Rudd and Toarlyn Fitzpatrick should form a solid frontcourt with FAU transfer Kore White and JC product Waverly Austin will strengthen the bench. The question is do they have enough scoring?
#11 St. John's
St. Johns returns a good cast of players, but depth will be could be an issue. The Red Storm also has a few first team all names teams selection in God'sgift Achiuwa (9.4 ppg) and Sir'Dominic Pointer (6.8 ppg). Phil Greene logged a lot of minutes for a freshman PG, look for a big year for him this year. D'Angelp Harrison led the team in scoring, steals, and three point shooting. Moe Harkless left for the NBA had he returned the Red Storm could of been a top 4 team in the Big East. Good news for St. John's fans another great recruiting class. If this team meshes early they could make a run for an at large bid.
Jay Wright had a down year going 13-19 last season. Will he be able to improve on that this year? He will start with F/C Mouphtaou Yarou. Yarou has yet to emerge as an elite Big East player, this could be the year. Point guard issues should be cured with Wake transfer Tony Chennault and Ryan Arcidiacono.
#13 Seton Hall
Point guard play will key the Pirates success. With Jordan Theodore (16 .1 ppg 6.6 apg) gone who will take the reigns? Last years back up PG Freddie Wilson will vie for the spot as well as freshman Tom Maayan. Seton Hall seems to have a lot of transfers come to the program and the 2012-2013 is no different. Three transfers will fill the roster this season Gene Teague (Southern Illinois) is expected to take Herb Popes spot. Tough shoes to fill as Pope averaged a double-double last season. Kyle Smith (Iona) will add depth and is a good three point shooter. Brian Oliver (Georgia Tech) will be up for a starting spot.
Wally Judge arrives from K-State and will make an immediate impact. Eli Carter led the Scarlet Knights in scoring last with 13.8 ppg. The biggest problems for Rutgers are turnovers. A year ago they averaged 14.8 a game last season.
Depaul could rise from last place in the league. I'm waiting to see it before I move them. This year has promise, but next year could be the year. Cleveland Melvin is the top returning scorer in the Big East. Brandon Young is on the rise at guard, but must improve his shot behind the arc.
First Team All Big East 2012
G Peyton Siva, Louisville G Vincent Council, Providence G Brandon Triche, Syracuse F Chane Behanan, Louisville F Otto Porter, Georgetown