Sagarin Ratings Help Confirm Big East's Strength
The Big East has shown well in this year's RPI Ratings, which are used to help evaluate teams for consideration for the NCAA Tournament. Other computer rankings are also offering further evidence. The Sagarin Rankings, which appear in USA Today, have 10 teams in the top 56. They are: Georgetown (No. 9), Pittsburgh (11), Marquette (14), West Virginia (17), Notre Dame (29), Connecticut (30), Louisville (34), Providence (42), Syracuse (55) and Villanova (56).
Big East Standings Are A Jumble
The Big East league schedule is about one-third complete, but it's difficult to figure much out, yet. Georgetown sits atop the standings with a 5-1 record, but after the Hoyas, there are 10 teams within two games of first place. Four teams – Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Louisville and DePaul – stand at 4-2. Notre Dame and Providence are 3-2. Connecticut and Cincinnati are 4-3. Marquette and Villanova are tied for 10th place at 3-3.
Every season the Big East has emerging stars. They are players who contributed last season, but have taken on major roles this year. Here are a few prime examples. Pittsburgh's Sam Young averaged 7.2 points last season, while playing 17.0 minutes per game. Currently, he is third in the Big East in scoring with an 18.6 average. Last year, forward Luke Harangody made the Big East All-Rookie Team after averaging 11.2 points and 6.2 rebounds. This season, the sophomore forward is first in the league in scoring with an 18.9 average and is second in rebounding at 9.5.
DePaul guard Draelon Burns was the Blue Demons' third-leading scorer last season with an 11.6 average. This season, the senior is fifth in the Big East at 17.9. Syracuse center Arinze Onuaku missed all of last season with a knee injury. Two seasons ago, he averaged 2.0 points. Today the sophomore owns a 13.3 scoring average and an 8.1 rebounding mark.