This week’s Big East power rankings could have been stronger from top to bottom if not for the conference’s subpar showing in the annual Gavitt Tipoff Games.
The conference went 3-5 against Big Ten competition, with Villanova, Providence, and Georgetown failing to impress. Alas, it is a long season and the Big East power rankings will ultimately prove to be volatile.
Expect movement all season as teams take time to gel. With another slate of promising games on tap, this should be an eventful week for the Big East.
Power Ranking the Big East Week 3
10. St. John’s Red Storm- 4-1
St. John’s lost on Saturday to Vermont. While the loss is not all that bad—Vermont should contend for an NCAA bid as arguably the America East’s best team—these are the games the Red Storm need to win to move the needle.
And St. John’s will have a chance to impress this week when they play in the Hall of Fame Tipoff Classic in Connecticut. The Red Storm already beat Columbia at home on Wednesday as part of the classic. They now will get set to play Arizona State in the semifinals on Saturday and then play either Virginia or Massachusetts the next day.
9. Providence Friars- 4-1
The Friars looked lethargic in their loss at Northwestern last week in the Gavitt Tipoff Games. Mind you Northwestern lost its first game to Merrimack. In all honesty, this is a game Providence can ill afford to lose.
Providence has the coaching, talent, and depth to be an NCAA Tournament team. Don’t expect Ed Cooley’s crew to be this low for long. The Friars should have an easy week—they ironically beat Merrimack already— with another home game against Pennsylvania on Saturday.
8. Georgetown Hoyas- 3-1
The Hoyas also did not impress in their Gavitt Games clash with Penn State, falling to the Nittany Lions by 15 points. Georgetown also did not look all that stellar in wins over Mount Saint Mary’s, Central Arkansas and Georgia State.
Pat Ewing’s team has to play with more consistency, as no one is doubting their talent. The Hoyas will surely be tested this week when the play in the 2K Empire Classic at Madison Square Garden. On Thursday they will square off against Texas before either playing Duke or California the next day.
7. Creighton Bluejays- 2-1
Creighton did not look bad in its loss to Michigan on the road last week, so they too have a good chance to move up the conference ladder and the Big East power rankings.
The veteran core of Ty-Shon Alexander, Mitchell Ballock, Davion Mintz and Marcus Zegarowksi will have the Bluejays in the thick of things all season. Up next for the Bluejays are two Las Vegas Invitational home games against Cal-Poly (Friday) and North Florida (Sunday).
6. DePaul Blue Demons- 5-0
DePaul is putting people on notice that these ain’t your father’s Blue Demons.
Perennially a Big East doormat, the Blue Demons are now 5-0 on the season which includes an emphatic road win over Iowa. The trio of Paul Reed, Charlie Moore, and Romeo Weems can match up with anyone in the Big East.
DePaul has the opportunity to continue to impress, as they head out on the road again on Saturday at Boston College.
5. Butler Bulldogs- 4-0
Butler is one of three undefeated teams in the Big East after the Bulldogs secured wins over Minnesota in the Gavitt Games and Wofford.
Do-it-all guard Kamar Baldwin is off to another great start and he can make things happen for a Butler team many people are still sleeping on. Coach LaVall Jordan is getting the most out of this team and the Bulldogs look like a formidable force early on.
An easy game at home against Morehead State on Friday is the only game for the Bulldogs this week.
4. Marquette Golden Eagles- 2-1
It was a bittersweet week for the Golden Eagles as they split their two games against Big Ten foes. They had a marvelous comeback win over Purdue at home in the Gavitt Games before falling to Wisconsin on the road on Sunday.
Markus Howard is doing his thing: scoring in bunches. As some newcomers adjust to their surroundings, Marquette should be one of the tougher outs in the conference.
The Golden Eagles also have a cupcake to feast on, as they take on Robert Morris at home on Saturday in their only game of the week.
3. Villanova Wildcats- 2-1
There is no way to sugarcoat it. The Wildcats looked terrible in their loss at Ohio State in the Gavitt Games, but the superb play of the Buckeyes had a major say in the outcome
Last season Villanova had a similarly ugly loss in the Gavitt Games to Michigan only to win the Big East yet again. This Big East power rankings spot is likely temporary, as Villanova has the right combination of coaching, talent, and depth to rebound from their recent setback.
The Wildcats will now gear up to play in the Myrtle Beach Classic this weekend. Villanova plays Middle Tennessee State on Thursday in the first round before playing either Mississippi State or Tulane in its next game.
2. Seton Hall Pirates- 3-1
The biggest story here is the return of Myles Powell. After being told he would be out for a “prolonged” period, Powell came back and hung up 37 points on Michigan State before the Pirates ultimately lost a heartbreaker to the Spartans.
For his efforts, Powell was named this week’s Big East Player of the Week. Seton Hall also beat St. Louis on the road on Sunday.
The Pirates should remain a top-20 team all year given how they played against Michigan State. Seton Hall has an easy game against Florida A&M on Saturday before they play in the loaded Battle 4 Atlantis tournament next week.
1. Xavier Musketeers- 4-0
Xavier is now undefeated after beating two quality teams in Missouri and Missouri State last week. Of the undefeated Big East teams, Xavier has the staying power to be a contender to win the Big East.
The Musketeers will now venture to South Carolina to take part in the Charleston Classic this weekend. Up first is a matchup against Towson on Thursday and then either Buffalo or Connecticut in the next round.