Part of the big reveal of media day for the Big East is the release of the projected standings. The coaches come together and release how they think the season will end up (or at least, how a graduate assistant thinks the season will end up). This year, they came up with this:
1. Villanova, 81 points (9 first-place votes)
2. Georgetown, 70 points (1 first-place vote)
3. Butler, 67 points
4. Xavier, 55 points
5. Providence, 45 points
6. Marquette, 44 points
7. Seton Hall, 27 points
8. DePaul, 25 points
9. Creighton, 23 points
10. St. John's, 13 points
There aren't really a lot of surprises in there, but coaches aren't known for being a group eager to shake things up. We've previewed eight Big East teams in the lead up to the season, saving our preview of our projected champion until after you've had a look at our standings. Here's how the staff of Banners on the Parkway see the conference standings looking come the beginning of March. Click each team name to read our preview.
10. Depaul (Highest: 9th, Lowest: 10th) 5 points
The Blue Demons started well before they faded last year. The only reason we didn't all pick them to finish last is because one of us thinks St. John's will be a complete trainwreck. Billy Garret is a real player and Tommy Hamilton is the kind of guy who will hurt Xavier, but it's hard not to see the Musketeers getting two from this group.
9. St. John's (Highest: 6th, Lowest: 10th) 9 points
Things weren't looking good for this team, then they lost Marcus LoVett. They return almost exactly no one, they have a rookie head coach, and they just got destroyed by St. Thomas Aquinas. Thank God for DePaul.
8. Seton Hall (Highest/Lowest: 8th) 12 points
Isaiah Whitehead is really good, but Kevin Willard doesn't seem to be really good at controlling him. Angel Delgado is a monster on the glass. This team has a puncher's chance against anyone, but they have real trouble making their talent play. What does that get you? Some great wins and an eighth place finish.
7. Creighton (Highest: 6th, Lowest 9th) 15 points
Joel thinks Greg McDermott can coach at the highest level in this league. This will be the year we find out, because the Bluejays lost a lot from last year's team. They were very nearly a 20 win team last year, but they couldn't close games.
6. Marquette (Highest: 5th, Lowest 7th) 21 points
There is unquestionably a ton of talent on this team. Steve Wojciechowski is the key with this squad. If he's good, they could really make some waves and make the NCAA tournament. If he can't bring all of his pieces together, they are still a year away. The difference between making noise in the Big East and losing to Belmont is going to be in how quickly he gets this group turned into a team.
5. Providence (Highest: 5th, Lowest 6th) 22 points
It's Kris Dunn and a cast of thousands over in Rhode Island. Someone is going to have to step up for the Friars. There's not a lot more to it than that. If another player gets going, this team becomes dangerous.
4. Butler (Highest/Lowest: 4th) 28 points
The entire staff thinks this is where the Bulldogs land. According to Joel, "they have this really annoying habit of playing above their heads and winning games they should lose." That pretty much sums up the Butler experience. There's talent here, but not at the same level of the teams above them.
2. Georgetown (Highest: 2nd, Lowest: 3rd) 34 points
2. Xavier (Highest: 2nd, Lowest: 3rd) 34 points
It's really hard to pull these teams apart. Georgetown probably has the starpower advantage with DSR, but Xavier is deeper. Xavier has the veteran talent, but Georgetown had the better recruiting class this year. Both teams have a massive home court advantage, both teams have good coaches,
both teams tend to go deep in the NCAA tournament. The coaches poll saw a big gap here, we do not.
1. Villanova (Highest/Lowest: 1st) 40
To be the best, you have to beat the best. Since the Big East came back, no one has beaten 'Nova when it mattered in conference. They're deep. They can really shoot. They can really defend. Their coach is as adept as he is stylish. I hate playing them, but they're really hard to hate on the whole. This is a class team that remains the class of the conference.