South Orange Juice recently participated in The East Coast Bias' annual BIG EAST bloggers roundtable previewing the upcoming season. The participating blogs were as follows:
Cincinnati Bearcats Blog (Twitter) | Connecticut The UConn Blog (Twitter) | DePaul Blue Demons Nation | DePaul Chicago College Basketball (Twitter) | Georgetown Hoya Prospectus | Marquette Cracked Sidewalks (Twitter) | Pittsburgh Cardiac Hill (Twitter) | Rutgers On the Banks (Twitter) | Seton Hall South Orange Juice (Twitter) | South Florida VoodooFive (Twitter) | St. John’s The East Coast Bias (Twitter)| Villanova By the Numbers | Villanova The Nova Blog (Twitter) | Villanova VUHoops (Twitter) | West Virginia The Smoking Musket (Twitter)
As expected, the Seton Hall projection was one of the hardest teams for BIG EAST bloggers to predict, some excerpts:
I think Seton Hall will be a tough team to predict. Last year they were picked as a breakout team, and while they didn't quite reach the NCAA tournament, they did have their best season since 2003-04 when they reached the second round of the tourney. The team has some talent coming back in its big three of Jeremy Hazell, Herb Pope, and Jeff Robinson. If the team can stay focused, they can go a long way. But the team has a new coach and has had off-court issues, so a losing season isn't out of the question, either.
We're calling this the year that SHU and SJU finally break through some of the morass and realize potential. One of those is probably wrong, but we're not telling. We included Louisville and Notre Dame in the third tier partially out of spite, and at least we're being honest. Finally, we see eight teams making the tournament from the BE.
I have to admit I have no idea how Louisville, Seton Hall, and St. John’s are going to fare this year. New coaches for The Hall and the Johnnies could catch lightning in a bottle (especially the Red Storm), or they could be the same old disappointments. With The Ville, I feel like their style will give some teams trouble, but too many new faces to really succeed in this league.
From Villanova by the Numbers:
DePaul, Rutgers, Seton Hall and St. John’s all have new coaches, but Seton Halls Kevin Willard and St. John’s Steve Lavin step into programs whose rosters are pretty well stocked with Big East-level talent and have players who can help immediately coming in. Fans expect progress (they do every season anyway), but unlike the Blue Demons and Scarlet Knights, both of whom are clearly in rebuilding mode, the new staffs at the Hall and St. John’s could move those programs up in the conference standings.
I honestly don’t know how to rank St. Johns and Seton Hall. Both are extremely senior laden, and if they adapt well to the new schemes both could make a run in the tourney.
Be sure to check out The East Coast Bias and as always, a big shout out to Pico Dulce in organizing another BIG EAST roundtable!