BIG EAST Teams Have Tested Well In `First Semester'
The schedule is light this week because most league teams are taking final exams. On the court, the BIG EAST has fared well. The composite record of all 16 teams is 122-32 (.792). This week seven teams are ranked in the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today top 25 polls. Many players have graded well. Some are familiar names and some are new. So far, these players are at the head of the class.
Players Who Are On Your Radar--
KEMBA WALKER of Connecticut leads the nation in scoring with a 28.1 average. The first-team All-BIG EAST pick is also first in the BIG EAST in steals at 2.3.
RICK JACKSON has been a double-double machine for Syracuse. The senior has eight double-doubles already and is averaging 14.0 points and a league-leading 12.5 rebounds.
Georgetown's success has revolved around the guard trio of AUSTIN FREEMAN (18.9 ppg), JASON CLARK (14.9) and CHRIS WRIGHT (13.4) who are all among the top 20 league scorers.
Pitt's ASHTON GIBBS, a Preseason All-BIG EAST First Team selection, is averaging 17.2 ppg and leads the league with 36 3-point baskets.
Villanova guard COREY STOKES has stepped up offensively. He is averaging 16.0 ppg and leads the conference in free throw percentage (95.7 percent).
BEN HANSBROUGH (16.0 ppg) and TIM ABROMAITIS (15.0) have been a solid scoring duo for Notre Dame.
Marquette has been led by All-BIG EAST Second Team selection JIMMY BUTLER who is averaging 15.7 points and 6.2 rebounds.
Players Who Should Be On Your Radar--
Providence's MARSHON BROOKS is second in the league in scoring at 22.9 with VINCENT COUNCIL tied for sixth at 16.0.
West Virginia's CASEY MITCHELL had a 3.7 scoring average last year. This season, it's 17.8 ppg.
St. John's has been sparked by guard DWIGHT HARDY (14.9 ppg) and forward JUSTIN BROWNLEE (13.6).
DePaul guard BRANDON YOUNG (15.0 ppg) is easily the league's top freshman scorer.
USF forward RON ANDERSON, JR., a transfer from Kansas State, is averaging 9.6 points and a team-leading 8.0 rebounds.
Forward JONATHAN MITCHELL has helped fuel the early excitement at Rutgers by leading the team in scoring (12.0) and rebounding (6.2).
Guard JORDAN THEODORE has been a key component for Seton Hall, averaging 12.9 points, 4.6 assists and 1.8 steals.
DION DIXON leads Cincinnati in scoring at 12.3 ppg, but it's the defense that has kept Cincinnati unbeaten. The Bearcats are first in the nation in scoring defense (54.0 ppg).
Louisville's top scorers are guards PRESTON KNOWLES (12.4 ppg) and PEYTON SIVA (11.1), but 10 players are averaging more than 10 minutes per game.