Big East Breakdown: Men’s basketball

Sophomore guard Jayden Taylor looks toward the camera during the team scrimmage on Oct. 8. Photo by Claire Runkel.


 Heading into the 2022-23 basketball season, the Big East looks to once again be one of the best basketball conferences in the nation. After sending six teams to the NCAA tournament last season, the Big East looks to repeat their success in the 2022-23 regular season. 

 Lots of drastic changes took place in the offseason. Four teams have new head coaches, several impact transfers and first-years enter their first year in the conference and we are finally going to see a full 20-game Big East schedule without any cancellations. 

 There are plenty of questions to be answered, so let’s break down the Big East! The teams are listed in order of their projected finish in the Big East from 11 being the worst to 1 being the best. 


11. DePaul

Projected Big East Record: 4-16 

 Potential Starting Lineup: 

PG: Umoja Gibson (13.3 ppg at Oklahoma)

SG: Caleb Murphy (11.4 ppg at South Florida)

SF: Javan Johnson (7.1 ppg)

PF: Eral Penn (17.7 ppg at LIU)

C: Nick Ongenda (8.2 ppg)

 KEY ADDITIONS: Caleb Murphy, Umoja Gibson, Eral Penn, Da’Sean Nelson (Junior College), KT Raimey (JUCO), Zion Cruz (first-year) 

 KEY RETURNING: Nick Ongenda, Jalen Terry (8.2 ppg), Javan Johnson

 KEY DEPARTURES: Javon Freeman-Liberty (21.7 ppg), David Jones (14.5 ppg), Brandon Johnson (10.5 ppg), Courvoisier McCauley (5.7 ppg)

 Finishing above the bottom quadrant in the Big East has been a troubling task for the Blue Demons, who haven’t finished above ninth in the conference since its new alignment in 2010. While they do bring in some interesting new pieces in Umoja Gibson, Eral Penn and Zion Cruz, the Blue Demons lost 62% of their scoring from last year including second team All-Big East guard Javon Freeman-Liberty. The Blue Demons look to turn the program around in Tony Stubblefield’s second year as head coach. 




Projected Big East Record: 5-15 

 Potential Starting Lineup:

PG Dante Harris (11.9 ppg)

SG Jay Heath (10.6 ppg at Arizona St)

SF Brandon Murray (10.0 ppg at LSU)

PF Akok Akok (3.3 ppg at UConn)

C Qudus Wahab (7.7 ppg at Maryland)

 KEY ADDITIONS: Brandon Murray, Jay Heath, Akok Akok, Qudus Wahab, Wayne Bristol Jr. (12.5 ppg at Howard in 2019-2020), D’Ante Bass (first-year), Denver Anglin (first-year), Amir Spears (12.7 ppg at Duquesne), Bryson Mozone (15.8 ppg at USC Upstate) 

 KEY RETURNING: Dante Harris (11.9 ppg), Ryan Mutombo (5.1 ppg) 

 KEY LOSSES: Aminu Mohammed (13.7 ppg), Donald Carey (13.5 ppg), Kaiden Rice (11 ppg), Collin Holloway (9.2 ppg), Tyler Beard (3.0 ppg), Timothy Ighoefe (2.8 ppg) 

 The Hoyas have an entirely different outlook for the upcoming season after going winless in the Big East last season. Patrick Ewing brings in a whopping seven transfer students including standout sophomore Brandon Murray from LSU. Georgetown, however, loses four of their top scorers and looks to depend on some newcomers to fill the voids in what could be Ewing’s last season as head coach. 



Projected Big East Record: 7-13 

Potential Starting Lineup: 

PG Tyler Kolek (6.7 ppg) 

SG Kam Jones (7.4 ppg) 

SF Chase Ross (four-star recruit) 

PF Olivier-Maxence Prosper (6.6 ppg) 

C Oso Ighodaro (5.5 ppg) 

 KEY ADDITIONS: Chase Ross, Sean Jones (first-year), Ben Gold, Zach Wrightstill (8.0 ppg at NAIA)

 KEY RETURNING: Tyler Kolek, Kam Jones, Oliver Maxence-Prosper, Oso Ighodaro, Stevie Mitchell (2.8 ppg), David Joplin (2.8 ppg)

 KEY DEPARTURES: Justin Lewis (16.8 ppg), Darryl Morsell (13.4 ppg), Greg Elliot (7.0 ppg), Kur Kauth (5.6 ppg)

 Shaka Smart’s team has a brand-new look for the 2022-23 season. After an NCAA tournament appearance as well as a top five finish in the Big East, the Golden Eagles lost their star and first team All-Big East honoree Justin Lewis to the NBA draft as well as top perimeter defender Darryl Morsell. The team is bringing in a pair of four-star guards and will get crucial minutes in the backcourt from returning starters Tyler Kolek and Kam Jones. Expect it to be more of a rebuilding year for second year coach Shaka Smart. 

8. Providence


Projected Big East Record: 8-12

Potential Starting Lineup

PG: Jared Bynum (12.2 ppg)

SG: Noah Locke (9.6 ppg at Louisville)

SF: Devin Carter (9.0 ppg at South Carolina)

PF: Clifton Moore (12.9 ppg at LaSalle)

C: Ed Croswell (5.3 ppg)

 KEY ADDITIONS: Noah Locke, Devin Carter, Clifton Moore, Bryce Hopkins (2.1 ppg at Kentucky), Corey Floyd Jr. (redshirt at UConn), Jayden Pierre (first-year), Quante Berry (first-year) 

 KEY RETURNING: Jared Bynum, Ed Croswell, Alyn Breed (3.2 ppg) 

 KEY LOSSES: Al Durham (13.6 ppg), Nate Watson (13.3 ppg), Noah Horchler (9.9 ppg), A.J Reeves (9.9 ppg), Justin Minaya (6.5 ppg)

 The Friars are coming off arguably one of their best seasons since the Rick Pitino era, going 26-7 and winning the Big East regular season title. However, head coach Ed Cooley has his work cut out for him after losing nearly 80% of his scoring from last season. Point guard Jared Bynum is back and looks to be the guy for the Friars. The Friars also bring in multiple transfers who look to play key roles this season. The Friars will face significant front court problems that will give them trouble on the glass and in defending other elite bigs. 



Projected Big East Record: 9-11 

Potential Starting Lineup

PG: Eric Hunter Jr (6.2 ppg at Purdue)

SG: Chuck Harris (11.4 ppg)

SF: Simas Lukosius (6.8 ppg)

PF: Ali Ali (13.9 ppg at Akron)

C: Manny Bates (9.8 ppg in 2020-21 at NC State)

 KEY ADDITIONS: Manny Bates, Eric Hunter Jr, Ali Ali, Connor Turnbull (first-year), Jalen Thomas (7.9 ppg at Georgia State)

 KEY RETURNING: Chuck Harris, Simas Lukosius, Jayden Taylor (8.2 ppg), Pierce Thomas (redshirt), DJ Hughes (1.1 ppg), Myles Tate (1.7 ppg), Myles Wilmoth (1.4 ppg)

 KEY DEPARTURES: Bo Hodges (10.0 ppg), Aaron Thompson (8.1 ppg), Bryce Nze (8.7 ppg), Bryce Golden (8.8 ppg), Jair Bolden (6.7 ppg), Ty Groce (3.7 ppg)

 The Thad Matta era has returned to Butler and the Bulldog faithful have a lot to look forward to for the upcoming season. The Bulldogs bring in four transfer pieces as well as the return of leading scorer Chuck Harris, breakout first-year Simas Lukosius and guard Jayden Taylor. With the coaching change, expect the Bulldogs to be much improved and a bubble team for the NCAA tournament. 

6.Seton Hall

Projected Big East Record: 10-10

Potential Starting Lineup:

PG: Kadary Richmond (8.8 ppg)

SG: Al Amir Dawes (11.3 ppg at Clemson)

SF: Tray Jackson (6.8 ppg)

PF: Alexis Yetna (8.1 ppg, 7.6 rpg)

C: Tyrese Samuel (7.3 ppg)

 KEY ADDITIONS: Al-Amir Dawes, Femi Odukale (10.8 ppg at Pitt), Jaquan Harris (first-year), Jaquan Sanders (first-year), KC Ndefo (10.5 ppg at St.Peters), Dre Davis (7.4 ppg at Louisville), Tae Davis (first-year), Abdou Ndiaye (1.6 ppg at Illinois St) 

KEY RETURNING: Kadary Richmond, Tray Jackson, Jamir Harris (7.9 ppg), Alexis Yetna, Tyrese Samuel 

KEY DEPARTURES: Jared Rhoden (15.5 ppg), Myles Cale (9.8 ppg), Bryce Aiken (14.5 ppg), Ike Obiagu (2.6 ppg, 3.2 bpg) 

 Head coach Shaheen Holloway enters his first season in the Big East after leading one of the most improbable runs in the history of the NCAA Tournament — taking the St. Peter’s Peacocks to the Elite Eight as a 15 seed. Shaheen Holloway returns to his alma mater where he played in the early 2000s and looks to keep the Pirates relevant in the Big East. Despite losing their top three scorers, Seton Hall returns five key rotational players to the roster, including point guard Kadary Richmond. The Pirates have a really deep rotation and a good defensive frontier looking to lead them to their sixth NCAA Tournament appearance in the last eight seasons. 


Projected Big East Record: 12-8 

Potential Starting Lineup: 

PG: Souley Boum (19.8 ppg at UTEP)

SG: Adam Kunkel (8.8 ppg)

SF: Colby Jones (11.6 ppg)

PF: Zach Freemantle (10.4 ppg)

C: Jack Nunge (13.4 ppg, 7.4 rpg)

 KEY ADDITIONS: Souley Boum, Desmond Claude (first-year), Kam Craft (first-year)

KEY RETURNING: Jack Nunge, Zach Freemantle, Colby Jones, Adam Kunkel, Jerome Hunter (4.1 ppg)

KEY DEPARTURES: Paul Scruggs (11.7 ppg), Nate Johnson (10.3 ppg), Dwon Odom (6.3 ppg)

Similar to their rival Butler Bulldogs, Xavier re-hired their head coach that contributed to their national relevance. Sean Miller comes into this program with a very strong nucleus, keeping three of their top four scorers, adding one of the top transfers in the portal in Souley Boum and gaining two top-100 first-years according to ESPN top 100. This Musketeers team looks to get back into the NCAA tournament, somewhere they haven’t been since 2018. The Sean Miller era has just begun in Cincinnati, Ohio. 

4.St. John’s

Projected Big East Record: 12-8 (own tiebreaker over Xavier) 

Potential Starting Lineup:

PG: Andre Curbelo (7.5 ppg at Illinois)

SG: Posh Alexander (13.8 ppg)

SF: Dylan Addae-Wusu (8.5 ppg)

PF: David Jones (14.5 ppg, 7.4 rpg at DePaul)

C: Mohammad Keita (NBA Africa Academy)

 KEY ADDITIONS: David Jones, Andre Curbelo, A.J Storr (first-year), Kolby King (first-year), Mohammad Keita 

KEY RETURNING: Posh Alexander, Dylan Addae-Wusu, Montez Mathis (8.2 ppg), Joel Soriano (6.4 ppg), Rafael Pinzon (3.2 ppg), O’Mar Stanley (3.0 ppg) 

KEY DEPARTURES: Julian Champagnie (19.2 ppg), Aaron Wheeler (10.0 ppg), Stef Smith (6.3 ppg) 

 The Johnnies enter the 2022-23 season with the highest expectations they have ever had under head coach Mike Anderson, who enters his third season with the Red Storm. St. John’s added significant pieces from the transfer portal, picking up guard Andre Curbelo and stealing forward David Jones from conference opponent DePaul. The Johnnies also return star point guard Posh Alexander, who led the team in assists and steals last season. The Red Storm have a very intriguing lineup and are a sleeper team in the Big East. The Johnnies will be legit. 


Projected Big East Record: 13-7

Potential Starting Lineup:

PG: Tristen Newton (17.7 ppg at East Carolina)

SG: Jordan Hawkins (5.8 ppg)

SF: Nahiem Alleyne (9.6 ppg at Virginia Tech)

PF: Andre Jackson (6.8 ppg)

C: Adama Sanogo (14.8 ppg, 8.8 rpg)

 KEY ADDITIONS: Tristan Newton, Nahiem Alleyne, Hassan Diarra (6.2 ppg at Texas A&M), Donovan Clingan (first-year), Alex Karaban (first-year), Joey Calcaterra (8.5 ppg at San Diego) 

KEY RETURNING: Adama Sanogo, Andre Jackson, Jordan Hawkins, Richie Springs (1.3 ppg), Samson Johnson (1.7 ppg) 

KEY DEPARTURES: RJ Cole (15.8 ppg), Tyrese Martin (13.6 ppg), Isiah Whaley (7.7 ppg), Tyler Polley (7.6 ppg), Jaden Gaffney (4.0 ppg) 

 The Huskies enter their third season since rejoining the Big East, and once again look to be at the top of the conference. Dan Hurley lost a few pieces but keeps his star center and All-Big East first team honoree Adama Sanogo, who had nine double-doubles last season. The Huskies also bring in all-conference second team player in the American Athletic conference, Tristan Newton and four star, seven-footer Donovan Clingan. The Huskies look to rely on their bigs in the upcoming season to help them finish in the top half of the Big East. 



Projected Big East Record: 15-5 

Potential Starting Lineup (when fully healthy):

PG: Justin Moore (14.8 ppg)

SG: Caleb Daniels (10.3 ppg)

SF: Brandon Slater: (8.5 ppg)

PF: Cam Whitmore (five-star recruit, No. 21 in ESPN top 100)

C: Eric Dixon (9.1 ppg, 6.4 rpg)

 KEY ADDITIONS: Cam Whitmore, Mark Armstrong (first-year), Brendan Hausen (first-year)

KEY RETURNING: Justin Moore, Caleb Daniels, Brandon Slater, Eric Dixon, Jordan Longino (1.8 ppg), Chris Arcidiacono (1.6 ppg), Trey Patterson (0.6 ppg)

KEY DEPARTURES: Collin Gillespie (15.6 ppg), Jermaine Samuels (11.1 ppg), Bryan Antoine (1.5 ppg), Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree (0.8 ppg)

 The departure of head coach Jay Wright came out of the blue, and has left many people wondering how Villanova will fare this upcoming season with Kyle Neptune. Neptune, a longtime Villanova assistant as well as the head coach for Fordham in the 2021-2022 season, did a fine job at Fordham. The Rams improved the team from dead last in the Atlantic 10 (2-11) to eighth in the conference (8-10) in just one season as the head coach. As for the players, a lot depends on the health of Justin Moore, who tore his Achilles in the Elite Eight of last year’s tournament.  If he’s back and healthy and paired with sharpshooter Caleb Daniels, lock down defender Brandon Slater as well as five-star recruit Cam Whitmore, then Villanova will remain at the very top of the Big East. 



Projected Big East Record: 16-4

Potential Starting Lineup: 

PG: Ryan Nembhard (11.3 ppg, 4.4 apg)

SG: Trey Alexander (7.4 ppg)

SF: Baylor Scheierman (16.2 ppg, 7.8 rpg at South Dakota St)

PF: Arthur Kaluma (10.4 ppg)

C: Ryan Kalkbrenner (13.1 ppg, 7.7 rpg)

 KEY ADDITIONS: Baylor Scheierman, Francisco Farabello (4.7 ppg at TCU), Jasen Green (first-year), Ben Shtolzberg (first-year) 

KEY RETURNING: Ryan Nembhard, Trey Alexander, Arthur Kaluma, Ryan Kalkbrenner, Shareef Mitchell (3.5 ppg), Devin Davis (redshirt) 

KEY DEPARTURES: Ryan Hawkins (13.8 ppg), Alex O’Connell (11.8 ppg), Keyshawn Feazell (3.1 ppg) 

In what was supposed to be a rebuilding year for Greg McDermott’s Bluejays, Creighton finished fourth in the conference, made the Big East title game and won a game in the NCAA tournament. This Creighton team will look to be the top dog in the Big East and a contender for a national championship. They bring back their center in Ryan Kalkbrenner, their young backcourt led by Ryan Nembhard and one of the most anticipated transfers in Baylor Scheierman. This Creighton team has good guard play, excellent three-point shooting and an elite rim protector. 

Bonus Predictions: 

Big East player of the Year: Adama Sanogo 

Big East Coach of the Year: Mike Anderson 

Big East Freshman of the Year: Donovan Clingan 

 1st Team All-Big East: 

G Posh Alexander 

G Jared Bynum 

G Ryan Nembhard 

F Brandon Slater 

C Ryan Kalkbrenner 

C Adama Sanogo 

 2nd Team All-Big East: 

G Kadary Richmond 

G Souley Boum 

F Zach Freemantle 

F David Jones 

C Donovan Clingan 


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