Preview: New-look Big East basketball
What was old is new again, but with some similarities for the new Big East Conference.
The league returns to its basketball-centric roots in a 10-team reincarnation that features three new teams and five schools that appeared in last year's NCAA Tournament.
Here is a preview of each team listed in the order of the coaches' poll, announced yesterday.
1. Marquette (26-9, 14-4 BE)
The Golden Eagles are fresh off an Elite Eight appearance and a share of the Big East regular season title. Head coach Buzz Williams has had success of late dealing with losses and will have to do it again by replacing starters Vander Blue, Junior Cadougan and Trent Lockett.
2. Georgetown (25-7, 14-4 BE)
Disappointment was the word around Washington last March when the No. 2 seed Hoyas were knocked out by Florida Gulf Coast in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. They're losing the conference player of the year in Otto Porter, but have plenty of firepower in Markel Starks, D'Vantes Smith-Rivera and Nate Lubick.
3. Creighton (28-8, 13-5 MVC BE)
The Jays are entering their first season in the Big East, but won't be arriving empty-handed. They have the unanimous preseason conference player of the year in guard Doug McDermott. He's also expected to be in the conversation for National Player of the Year.
4. Villanova (20-14, 10-8 BE)
Jay Wright's team surprised many last year by making the tournament after being picked to finish 12th in the conference. The Wildcats return four starters, including a solid backcourt with JayVaughn Pinkston and Ryan Arcidiacono.
5. St. John's (17-16, 8-10 BE)
The Red Storm return nearly their entire roster and add preseason Rookie of the Year Rysheed Jordan. The Johnnies made the NIT last year, but with the experience and depth being touted by coach Steve Lavin, an NCAA berth is well within reach.
6. Providence (19-15, 9-9 BE)
Ed Cooley improved the Friars immensely, as they went from 4-14 in conference to 9-9 and an NIT appearance. They lose a big contributor in guard Vincent Council who set the school record in assists, but return many key players including guard Bryce Cotton, and forwards Kadeem Batts and LaDonte Henton.
7. Xavier (17-14, 9-7 A-10)
Head coach Chris Mack will aim to combine seven returners with almost as many newcomers. Improvement is key for the Musketeers in their first year in their first Big East season, but expecting the combination to result in an NCAA Tournament appearance is a stretch.
8. Seton Hall (15-18, 3-15 BE)
The Pirates took a step back after being a bubble team two years ago and will need senior Fuquan Edwin to take charge to have any hope of finishing above the bottom half of the conference.
9. Butler (27-9, 11-5 Horizon)
Coach Brad Stevens left the Bulldogs this summer to lead the Celtics. That by itself gave a big hit to the stock of the program. Brandon Miller replaces him and is faced with the departure of the team's three top scorers.
10. DePaul (11-21, 2-16 BE)
The Blue Demons finished bottom in the Big East despite some personnel improvements. Guard Brandon Young and forward Cleveland Melvin performed well together and will have to have a standout senior season to move up from the basement.