9 instances during the last decade, the Large East has managed to charge out as a top-three faculty basketball convention in KenPom’s ever-trusty metrics. And for as a lot uncertainty as 2020 has thrown our manner, this upcoming season is more likely to be no totally different.
The league is stacked on the prime with two top-10 groups within the CBS Sports activities High 25 And 1, led by No. 3 Villanova and No. 9 Creighton. Jay Wright’s Wildcats — who lose star participant Saddiq Bey to the NBA — get again just about everybody else from a group that completed tied for first within the convention’s regular-season race. They need to decide up the place they left off the season after profitable seven of their final eight video games earlier than the postseason-that-wasn’t.
Creighton, the second-highest ranked group in our preseason predictions, finds itself in an identical spot after shedding Ty-Shon Alexander to the draft. Nevertheless, the Bluejays, like Villanova, return most everybody else of significance — chief amongst them the most effective returning participant within the convention in Marcus Zegarowski, the CBS Sports activities 2020-21 Preseason Large East Participant of the 12 months.
We have compiled preseason predictions from our panel to kind how we expect the league unfolds this season, which you may discover beneath, and our consensus falls according to probably the most up-to-date High 25 And 1. Villanova and Creighton enter the season because the clear-cut prime canines within the league, however each have stiff competitors on their tails. As for the way we see the remainder of the league shaking out, hit that scroll button and scoot on right down to see the place we landed.
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Large East Preseason Participant of the 12 months
Marcus Zegarowski, Creighton
There is a void of starpower on the prime of the league this season with Markus Howard, Myles Powell, Ty-Shon Alexander, Naji Marshall, Kamar Baldwin and Saddiq Bey all both graduating or hopping off early for the NBA. Zegarowski figures to step proper in seamlessly into the highlight. The league’s highest-scoring returning participant, Zegarowski was painfully ignored final season as one of many convention’s best and environment friendly scorers. These days are over. He averaged 16.1 factors per recreation because the co-star in Creighton’s backcourt final season, and now he’ll get his due because the no-doubt-about-it prime choice on a group able to making a Closing 4 run.
Large East Preseason Coach of the 12 months
Jay Wright, Villanova
Villanova this season can do what just one program — UCLA — has ever completed: profitable three championships within the span of six seasons. (UCLA, it ought to be famous, gained 10 championships between 1964 and 1975. You could possibly say John Picket is one thing of a legend and you would be right.) That Villanova is even within the place to be talked about in the identical sentence as UCLA in that regard is sufficient to throw Jay Wright’s title because the frontrunner to win Coach of the 12 months honors. The system he is constructed persistently churns out All-Convention caliber gamers no matter their pedigree, and this season he’ll have a mix of highly-touted kids and confirmed vets which are lots able to profitable the league for the seventh time since 2014 … and doubtlessly profitable an entire lot extra.
Large East Preseason Freshman of the 12 months
Dawson Garcia, Marquette
Marquette’s frontcourt ought to be one thing to be feared this season. Eagles coach Steve Wojciechowski not solely returns Theo John however he is added to the combination a future star in 6-foot-11 ahead Dawson Garcia, a former top-40 nationwide prospect who picked the Golden Eagles over the likes of Memphis, Baylor and Indiana final fall. Garcia’s lengthy and expert and may determine to be a disruptive power regardless of his youth due to the large alternative he has forward of him. His easy left-handed stroke and top-notch expertise ought to land him among the many most impactful newcomers inside the league this season.