Chip Cosby's Big East Preview
10/25/2012 12:39 PM
Jack Cooley, Notre Dame
Otto Porter, Georgetown
Gorgui Dieng, Louisville
Peyton Siva, Louisville
Vincent Council, Providence
Jerian Grant, Notre Dame
Sean Kilpatrick, Cincinnati
Steven Adams, Pitt
Anthony Collins, USF
Chane Behanan, Louisville
Player of the Year: Otto Porter, Georgetown
Star power seems to be down in the Big East this year, with Pitt’s Adams being the only projected NBA lottery candidate. Porter, a versatile 6-8 sophomore forward, could join Adams on that list. Look for him to significantly improved on his freshman numbers of 10 points and eight boards per game. Siva was the coaches and media Preseason Player of the Year, but he figures to split votes with Dieng and possibly Behanan.
Freshman of the Year: Steven Adams, Pitt
Adams and transfer Trey Ziegler are the main reasons why Jamie Dixon’s Panthers will bounce back from their disappointing 13th-place finish a year. Adams has size, skill and athleticism and will push Louisville’s Dieng for title of best big man in the league. Also watch out for Louisville frosh Montrezl Harrell.
Conference winner: Louisville
There’s no team in the league than can match the Cards’ combination of size, depth, experience and defensive prowess. If Rick Pitino can keep egos in check and roles defined (and he usually can), Louisville will cruise to the Big East crown. Other contenders include Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Syracuse.
Team that could surprise: South Florida
USF is pegged somewhere around the middle of the pack in most projections, but I think the Bulls have what it takes to finish in the top four. Anthony Collins took the league by storm as a freshman, and while there are flashier point guards, few can match Collins’ steady hand running an offense. You know Coach Stan Heath’s club will get grimy on the defensive end, and influx of newcomers should make them more dangerous offensively.
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