With the Big East fully into conference play, there are up to four other games going on at the same time Xavier plays. That can all be a bit much to keep up with, so we are debuting a new feature starting today. Every early afternoon after conference game days, you'll be able to find five talking points from around the league right here to keep you up to date on the Big East.
You have to be able to win without shooting right now
St. John's and Creighton are miserable at defending the three in conference play, but the other eight teams have all been stout in contesting the arc to the point that seven of them are allowing a 3P% of under 30%. In games not against Creighton or St. John's, the winning teams shot 4-13 (30.8%), 4-18 (22.2%), and 3-15 (20%) from deep. Most notable was Georgetown's win over Marquette in which they ripped down 14 offensive boards (45.2% OReb%) to hold off the Golden Eagles. Winning ugly is a thing right now in the Big East.
Forrest Robinson might be the key for DePaul
Coming into Big East play, DePaul was 6-7 and reeling on the heels of a six-game losing streak. Coach Oliver Purnell switching things up by putting 6'10" three-point specialist Forrest Robinson into the lineup, and the Blue Demons have now ripped off three straight and are alone atop the conference standings at 3-0. Robinson is a matchup nightmare for most teams thanks to his 8-20 from deep in conference play. If he keeps getting and converting his clean looks at the basket, DePaul has a puncher's chance against about anyone.
Road wins will be hard come by
Right now home teams in the Big East are 11-4. Villanova has one of those road wins, which isn't surprising, but the others come Providence, Butler, and DePaul. Getting major road wins is something that the committee often looks it when deciding where a team lands in the NCAA tournament. Road wins in the Big East look to hold an even more elevated position give how difficult it is to get them right now.
Depth is a key to success in this league
Villanova has five different players averaging double figures right now, which is why they are considered the class of the league. St. John's, while sporting four of their own, don't have the bench the Wildcats do and it showed as 'Nova outscored them by 19 in the second half last night. Meanwhile, Xavier has ridden the bench efforts of Myles Davis and Jalen Reynolds in both of their Big East wins this year. This has only gone to highlight the value of depth in such a competitive league.
... But stars don't hurt, either
Providence notched a road win in Hinkle Barn after being down seven at the half and seeing the league's current leading scorer LaDontae Henton being held to only 18. However, newly healthy Sophomore guard Kris Dunn carried the Friars with 20 second half points, fueling the run that would put Butler away. While having a wide range of weapons is good, Dunn showed there is still space for a go-to in the game as well.
The league table…
|#19 Seton Hall||2-1||1||.667||12-3||.800||L1|
|#24 St. John's||0-3||3||.000||11-4||.733||L3|