Big East Basketball Report

Notes and observations from a highly competitive first month of the Big East conference season

League Looks Wide Open

As conference play approaches the halfway point, trying to come up with a predicted order of finish for the regular season seems impossible. There are ties everywhere you look. After Pittsburgh (6-1) and Marquette (5-2) at the top, there is a three-way tie at 4-2 among Syracuse, Georgetown and Louisville. Then, Notre Dame and West Virginia stand at 4-3. Villanova and Providence are both 3-3. After that, St. John's, Seton Hall and DePaul are locked at 3-4.

With The Balance, Winning Streaks Are Difficult

The road through the BIG EAST regular season has so many potholes that it's a huge challenge to put together a long winning streak. Today, only Marquette has a current winning streak of more than three games. The Golden Eagles have won five in a row in a run that has included road wins over Connecticut, Louisville and Pittsburgh. After that, Georgetown and Villanova have won three straight. The Hoyas stopped DePaul 66-52 on Wednesday night for their third win a row. Villanova's three-game streak included a 76-69 win over nationally ranked Texas last Saturday.

All-Around Good Guys

Every successful team seems to have a player who can contribute in multiple areas. They may not be the team's top scorer, or the name that first comes to mind among the fans, but coaches love these guys. Here is just a sampling of some of the most versatile performers (at least statistically) and their season averages to date:

Jeff Green, Georgetown – 11.6 pts., 5.9 rebs., 3.6 assts

Terrence Williams, Louisville – 13.3 pts., 7.8 rebs., 3.7 assts

Jerel McNeal, Marquette – 14.7 pts., 4.7 rebs., 4.2 assts., 3.1 steals

Rob Kurz, Notre Dame – 14.2 pts., 8.8 rebs., 1.8 blocks

Herbert Hill, Providence – 16.9 pts., 8.2 rebs., 3.3 blocks

McHugh Mattis, USF – 12.2 pts., 6.8 rebs. 3.9 blocks

Boeheim Hits 1,000

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim reaches another milestone in his Hall of Fame coaching career this Saturday when his team plays at Louisville on ESPN at 7 p.m. ET. He will coach in his 1,000th game, all at Syracuse. No active coach in college basketball has coached 1,000 games at the same school. Boeheim's record is 741-258 (.742).

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