Predicting the Big East 2015-16 Hoops Season

The Big East is coming off a tremendous 2014-15 campaign in which six teams made the NCAA Tournament, with Xavier outlasting all the rest by reaching the Sweet 16. With the Musketeers being the last Big East team in the field, it was sort of a bittersweet year, too.

Considering Villanova was a juggernaut all season, while earning a No. 1 seed in the Big Dance, it was disappointing to see them bow out in the second round. Still, there is optimism heading into the 2015-16 season, as every team on paper looks to be just as good or better than last year, with the exception of St. John's which lost its top six scorers but brought in Chris Mullin as head coach.

So, let's dissect the Big East and see how things may shake out this season.

Predicted order of finish:

1. Villanova - Still the gold standard of the conference. Plus they may have the country's best backcourt.

2. Georgetown - Georgetown has great scorers and most of their parts are interchangeable.

3. Butler - Roosevelt Jones and Kellen Dunham are one heck of a duo.

4. Xavier - Expect Trevon Bluiett and Jalen Reynolds to blossom into stars.

5. Marquette - Young but extremely talented.

6. Providence - There is of course Kris Dunn, but is that enough?

7. DePaul - Addition of coach Dave Leitao could spur Demons to play defense. If so, watch out.

8. Seton Hall - It's sink or swim time for coach Kevin Willard and the Pirates.

9. Creighton - Creighton is integrating a lot of newcomers, but they should be better than last year.

10. St. John's - Mullin will get it done in due time, just not this year.

Player of the Year

Kris Dunn, Providence

Simply put, Dunn is one of the most electrifying and entertaining guards in the country. You want scoring, he'll give you scoring. You want assists, he is one of the best distributors in the country. You want defense, you get that too. The reigning co-Big East Player of the Year and co-Defensive Player of the Year, is truly a marvel to watch. Can he carry the Friars on his back, though?

Rookie of the Year

Henry Ellenson, Marquette

Be prepared to be amazed by the exploits of Ellenson, as the McDonald's All-American has all the tools you want in a big man. He is by no means a stiff, as he can handle the ball, stroke it from deep and bang down low. Ellenson may conceivably be a one-and-done player.

Coach of the Year

John Thompson III, Georgetown

With star guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera wisely returning to school and a stellar class of sophomores (led by Isaac Copeland and L.J. Peak) and freshmen (led by Marcus Derrickson and Jessie Govan) to work with, John Thompson III might have his best collection of talent since his Final Four team of 2007. Expect the Hoyas to be a mainstay in the polls this season.

All-Big East First Team (newcomers will be left off lists)

G- D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Georgetown

G- Ryan Arcidiacono, Villanova

G- Josh Hart, Villanova

G- Kris Dunn, Providence

G- Kellen Dunham, Butler

(Yeah, the Big East is guard heavy)

Second Team

G- Billy Garrett Jr., DePaul

G- Trevon Bluiett, Xavier

F- Jalen Reynolds, Xavier

F- Roosevelt Jones, Butler

C- Daniel Ochefu, Villanova

Honorable Mention: Ben Bentil, Myke Henry, Andrew Chrabascz, Luke Fischer, L.J. Peak, Isaac Copeland, Angel Delgado, Myles Davis and Isaiah Whitehead.


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