BIG EAST Men's Basketball Weekly Report
USF Bullying Its Way Up The Standings
The USF Bulls are off to their best start in their seven seasons in the BIG EAST. Coming off a 64-49 win over St. John's Wednesday night, coach Stan Heath has led his squad to an 11-8 overall record and a 4-2 mark in the BIG EAST, which is tied for fourth place. The Bulls were picked 14th in the preseason coaches' poll. USF is winning primarily with a stifling defense. The Bulls lead the BIG EAST in scoring defense in league play, allowing only 57.7 points per game. They have held five of their last six opponents to at least 10 points below their season scoring averages. The Bulls have a sturdy, experienced front line, dynamic guard Jawanza Poland and quickly developing freshman point guard Anthony Collins.
Undefeated Syracuse Reaches Noteworthy Levels
With a win over Pittsburgh on Monday, the Syracuse Orange reached 20-0 for the season. The 20-0 mark set the record for the best start in school history. The victory also tied the BIG EAST mark for the best overall start to a season. The 20th win gave coach Jim Boeheim his record 34th 20-win season. Boeheim moved into a tie with Adolph Rupp for fourth place on the all-time NCAA Division I victories list with 876. Syracuse also set a school record with a sixth straight week ranked No. 1 in the national polls.
Wooden Award Midseason List Includes Four From BIG EAST
The John Wooden Award Midseason List includes 25 candidates for the prestigious award. No other conference has more than the BIG EAST's four candidates. The BIG EAST's quartet is: Jeremy Lamb of Connecticut, Darius Johnson-Odom of Marquette, Kris Joseph of Syracuse and Kevin Jones of West Virginia.
BIG EAST All Day And All Night On Saturday
If you are free on Saturday or some winter weather hits, you can experience BIG EAST basketball from morning to late at night. The day can begin at 10 a.m. Eastern when ESPN College GameDay broadcasts from the Petersen Events Center at the University of Pittsburgh. Game action starts at noon with Rutgers at Georgetown in the BIG EAST Network Game of the Week. ESPNU will carry St. John's at Villanova at 1 p.m. followed by Cincinnati at West Virginia at 3 p.m. Connecticut plays at Tennessee at 4 p.m. on CBS Sports. At 6 p.m., it's Syracuse at Notre Dame on ESPN. Marquette at Providence will be sent to local and regional outlets at 7 p.m. At 9 p.m., it's back to the Petersen Events Center for Louisville at Pittsburgh.