BIG EAST SUMMER UPDATES!! PART 2!! GEORGETOWN-MARQUETTE-CREIGHTON!!
Andy Mac Williams,
The Georgetown Hoyas are getting plenty of National love from the likes of Seth Davis and Dana O'Neil. It's more than their hoping Patrick Ewing does well. Year 3 of the Ewing regime could be break through time(like an NCAA bid and BIG EAST contention). G-town had the best freshman group in the league last season.(Let's state the obvious-XU had a virtual blank Frosh class due to the uncertainty created by Chris Mack's job status and eventual departure for Louisville). The Hoyas played two impact guards(James Akinjo-BE Frosh of the Year and Mac Mc Clung), Both were dynamic offensive gunslingers and they're now Sophomores. The best GU rookie IMHO was Josh LeBlanc(6-8 dynamo-dunker-shot blocker-NBA potential). He will get much more offensive chances this season w/ 6-10 center Jesse Govan graduated(16PPG-9 REBS). 6-7 SF Jahmarko Pickett is a Junior now as is sniper Jahvon Blair. Tough guard Jagan Mosely is a Senior. If he develops a jumper, he's dangerous. Ewing and Louis Orr keep adding talent. NC State BIG Omer Yurtseven(6-10, 240) will start. He left the Wolfpack when Mark Gottfried was fired and started there 2 years ago(12PPG-6 REBS). Yurtseven is from Turkey-w/ two years of eligibility.
Hopefully-for XU and the rest of the BE-he's not as impactful as Karem Kanter was two seasons back w/ the Muskies. Grad transfer guard Terrell Allen has been added from Central Florida. He adds experience and size and defense to the Hoyas's guard group. UCF almost beat Duke in NCAA Round 1 last March. Allen is now out of the ball hogging shadows of Aubrey Dawkins(Coach's son) and 7 footer Taco Fall. 6-6 JUCO Wing Galen Alexander is on board. He was a Top 100 who spent 9 games at LSU before going JUCO. West Virginia and Wichita State were after him also. GU signed Myron Gardiner(6-6 SF) from Detroit(XU had interest).
Ewing loves size. He has brought in 3 more Centers(Qudus Wahab-Malcolm Wilson and NBA Africa Academy project Timothy Ighoefe). The Hoyas blitzed 3 teams on a Summer Bahamas trip to Atlantis. They've beefed up their non-conference schedule(351st and last in Ewing Year 1-241st in Year 2) adding Texas, Penn State, UNC Greensboro and either Duke or Cal in their exempt tournament. Syracuse is also on the schedule. G-town has depth and size and they'll continue to play up tempo. They face the sane questions as Xavier re old and new parts fitting together??
After scoring machine guard Marcus Howard(25PPG-28.5PPG vs XU) opted out of the NBA draft and before the Hauser brothers reacted violently by transferring(Sam to UVA-Joey to Michigan State) the Golden Eagles were briefly(for 3 days) heralded as a Final 4 team. Back to reality-not enough basket balls apparently to keep everybody happy in Milwaukee. Howard is a force. Wojo needs him to be more efficient(i.e share the ball more) this season. Wojo is on solid ground w/ a contract extension thru 2024. He's worked hard to overcome the unexpected Hauser exodus.
MU won 24 games last season and netted a #5 NCAA seed w/ the Hausers. They lost 6 of their last 7 following a late collapse and tight defeat at Villanova. He's added 6-4 sniper Koby Mc Ewen from Utah State(Mountain West)(15PPG as a Soph) and Sacir Anim returns as a big guard w/ more expected offensively. Soph Brendan Bailey(6-8-NC ST Thurl's son) has unlimited potential. Add in muscular RS guard Greg Elliot and lanky Jamal Cain and MU is dripping w/ talent. The BIGS include 6-9 240 Theo John(2 blocks/game) who just fouls too much and Nebraska transfer Ed Morrow who struggles to score, but rebounds his tail off. Add 7 foot Utah grad transfer Jayce Johnson(7PPG-7.7 REBS0 w/ the Runnin' Utes. Fold in 6-3 Top 100 Frosh guard Symir Torrence from Syracuse and the talent pool is well stocked.
Marquette went 3-0 on a Barcelona-Paris European trip. MU will be tough to beat in Milwaukee, but their road and neutral court results need work. The defense also went south during their late season collapse. Plenty of good parts and questions as to how they fit together?
The Blue Jays will "Let it Fly". That's Greg McDermott's M.O. 3 pointers will make-up over 40% of the Jay's FG tries and they have the shooters as usual. Ty-shon Alexander(16PPG) made BE 2nd Team as a Soph. He played well for Ed Cooley in the Pan Am Games then flew to Australia for part of CU's 2-1 Summer trip Down Under. Mitch Ballock(now a Junior) dropped 39 on DePaul w/ 11 made threes. Catch and shoot is his thing ala Kyle Korver good. PG Marcus Zegorowski(6-4 Soph) shot 42% outside the arc despite a serious hand injury. Davian Mintz is more of a PG driver, but he's a solid Senior back court leader. Creighton may play ultra small ball w/ 6-7 Soph Christain Bishop at the 5 frequently and 6-6 Damian Jefferson at the PF. Martin Krampelj left to play in Europe. He was their best true BIG option at 6-8.
Size does matter(like inside scoring-rebounding-rim protection). Position-less basketball is a trend. The game is changing. BIGS need to be able to keep up and run the floor, but low block basketball is not dead. CU has Aussie 7 footer Jacob Epperson who's been injured a lot. They have Idaho St grad Transfer Kelvin Jones(6-11 230).
Chuck and duck is Creighton's preferred style. They plan to attack the basket more off the dribble and score much more at the FT line to make up for iffy post offense. Also add another shooter 6-5 Denzel Mahoney(SE Missouri St)(19PPG). Virginia Tech and Ole Miss were after him also. He is eligible in December.
I'll put together notes on Butler-DePaul and St Johns next. My Top BIG EAST 7(XU,VU,SHU,PC,G-town,MU and Creighton) all are solid NCAA berth contenders IMHO. Butler could figure if they solve their BIG problems and get more rebounding from their PF and SF spots. DePaul and St Johns need multiple lightening strikes and four leaf clovers to be competitive IMHO.