BIG EAST teams extended the conference’s winning streak to 19 games Thursday before a buzzer-beater by Massachusetts against Providence brought an end to the run. Nonetheless, BIG EAST teams were 3-2 Thursday as St. John’s, Louisville and Villanova came away with wins.
The BIG EAST’s .871 winning percentage ranks as the second-best in Division I. The Pac-12 has a .920 winning percentage through Thursday to lead the nation.
—The Red Storm scored a road win against College of Charleston in the opening round of the Charleston Classic, sending St. John’s to a semifinal matchup against Murray State at 5:30 p.m. on ESPN3.
Guard D’Angelo Harrison led all scorers with 21 points in the win. Harrison has averaged 21.5 points in the first two games for St. John’s.
The Red Storm will face either Baylor or Colorado Sunday to conclude the Charleston Classic.
Georgetown scored a 68-59 win against Liberty Wednesday night, lifting the cumulative record of BIG EAST teams to 24-2 in the 2012-13 season. BIG EAST members have won 17 consecutive games. The BIG EAST’s .923 winning percentage is the best in Division I.
Forward Greg Whittington scored a career-high 18 points with nine rebounds to pace the Hoyas past Liberty as part of the Legends Classic. Georgetown heads to Brooklyn, N.Y., to face No. 13 UCLA Monday in the semfinal round of the Legends Classic at the Barclay’s Center. The Hoyas will face either No. 1 Indiana or Georgia Tuesday.
“With all due respect to Liberty, we got some games coming up, and we’re preparing for some teams that are a little bit better than them,” said junior forward Nate Lubick, who had 13 points and eight rebounds. “We use these games to find ourselves, to find what this team’s identity is going to be. … I don’t think our sense of urgency’s really been there.”
Mikael Hopkins added 13 points for Georgetown (2-0).
Forward Otto Porter — a preseason All-BIG EAST selection — did not play Wednesday night because of “symptoms indicative of a mild concussion,” head coach John Thompson III said in a statement.
The conference’s gaudy record could be tested Thursday as five BIG EAST teams are in action, including three teams that will play on the ESPN family of networks in early-season tournaments.
—St. John’s, which opened its season with a come-from behind win against Detroit Tuesday, faces a College of Charleston team that is a perennial contender in the Southern Conference. The game, which begins at 5 p.m. on ESPNU, is part of the Charleston Classic.
Freshman center Chris Obekpa had a school-record eight blocks to go with seven points and 11 rebounds in his collegiate debut Tuesday. D’Angelo Harrison had a team-high 22 points off the bench in the win.
St. John’s had 12 blocks and held Detroit to 34.6-percent shooting.
The Red Storm will play either Auburn or Murray State Friday in Charleston.
—Providence brings its 2-0 record to Bayamon, Puerto Rico, where the Friars will face Massachusetts — one of the favorites in the Atlantic-10 race — in the opening round of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. The tip is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on ESPNU.
Forward Kadeem Batts scored a career-high 27 points as Providence cruised past neighboring Bryant Monday night.
Guard Vincent Council — a Preseason All-BIG EAST First Team choice — did not play against Bryant while recovering from a leg injury suffered in the season-opener and Council is out 4-5 Weeks With the Injury (CBS Sports). With heralded recruit Ricky Ledo ineligible to play this season and another star freshman Kris Dunn out until January after a preseason knee injury, the PC depth will be challenged. Bryce Cotton will be counted on heavily and he scored 24 points against Bryant. Cotton has played all 80 minutes thus far in the two games.
—Villanova also takes a 2-0 record into tournament play Thursday as the Wildcats meet Purdue in the 2K Sports Classic at Madison Square Garden. The game is slated for a 9:30 p.m. tip on ESPN2, following the opening game between Alabama and Oregon State. Jay Wright’s club will play one of those two on Friday.
Freshman guard Ryan Arcidiacono scored 25 points to lead Villanova past Marshall, 80-68, on Saturday night. James Bell added 19 points against the Thundering Herd.
The Boilermakers lost their opening game to Bucknell, but were without the services of Terone JOhnson who is recovering from a knee injury suffered in the offseason. Johnson did play 17 minutes in Purdue’s win over Hofstra and will be counted on to carry the scoring load this year as he rounds back into shape. At 9.2 points per game a season ago, Johnson is Matt Painter’s leading returning scorer.
—Louisville will welcome Samford at 7 p.m. to the Yum! Center on the BIG EAST Network as part of the Battle 4 Atlantis.
Russ Smith had a game-high 23 points to lead the Cardinals past Manhattan in the season-opener Friday. Guard Peyton Siva turned in his second career double-double with 10 points and 10 assists against the Jaspers, a 79-51 victory.
—For DePaul, Thursday’s game against Gardner-Webb is the first of four games in the Cancun Challenge. The Blue Demons also will play Austin Peay at home Saturday before heading to Cancun.
Brandon Young scored a game-high 20 points in the season-opening win against UC Riverside last Friday night. The game, won by the Blue Demons 91-59, was played
on campus at McGrath Arena. Cleveland Melvin added 16 points, seven rebounds and five steals.
THIS WEEK’S BIG EAST SCHEDULE:
Monday, November 12
Pittsburgh 86, Fordham 51
Providence 81, Bryant 49
Notre Dame 84, Monmouth 57
Seton Hall 78, Norfolk State 65
Rutgers 88, Sacred Heart 62
Tuesday, November 13
St. John’s 77, Detroit 74
Cincinnati 102, Mississippi Valley State 60
Connecticut 67, Vermont 49
Marquette 64, Southeastern Louisiana 53
Pittsburgh 78, Lehigh 53 1
Wednesday, November 14
Georgetown 68, Liberty 59
Thursday, November 15
St. John’s at College of Charleston 6 – ESPNU……………………. 5:00
Samford at Louisville – BEN……………………………………………. 7:00
Providence vs. Massachusetts 2 – ESPNU…………………………. 7:30
Gardner-Webb at DePaul……………………………………………… 8:30
Villanova vs. Purdue 3 – ESPN2……………………………………….. 9:30
Friday, November 16
Connecticut vs. Wake Forest 4……………………………………….. 6:30
Rutgers at Princeton…………………………………………………….. 7:00
Maryland-Eastern Shore at USF……………………………………… 7:30
Notre Dame vs. Saint Joseph’s 5 – TruTV…………………………… 9:30
Providence vs. North Carolina State/Penn State 2………………TBD
Alabama/Oregon State vs. Villanova 3 – ESPN2/ESPNU……….TBD
St. John’s vs. Auburn/Murray State 6 – ESPN3…………………….TBD
Saturday, November 17
Austin Peay at DePaul…………………………………………………… 2:00
Oakland at Pittsburgh – BEN………………………………………….. 7:00
Seton Hall vs. Washington 7 – ESPN3……………………………….. 7:30
Loyola (Chicago) at USF………………………………………………… 7:30
Connecticut vs. Iona/Quinnipiac 4…………………………………… TBD
Notre Dame vs. Florida State/Brigham Young 5 – TruTV……….TBD
Sunday, November 18
Wagner at Syracuse – BEN…………………………………………….. 1:00
North Carolina A&T at Cincinnati – BEN…………………………… 2:00
Western Michigan at USF – BEN…………………………………….. 3:00
Miami (Ohio) at Louisville – BEN…………………………………….. 4:00
Seton Hall vs. Ohio State/Rhode Island 7 – ESPN2/ESPN3…….TBD
Providence vs. TBD 2……………………………………………………… TBD
St. John’s vs. TBD 6………………………………………………………… TBD
–All times Eastern
–BEN – BIG EAST Network (check BigEast.org for local listings)
1 NIT Season Tip-Off
2 Puerto Rico Tip-Off, Bayamon, P.R.
3 2K Sports Classic, New York, N.Y.
4 Paradise Jam, St. Thomas, USVI
5 Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, Brooklyn, N.Y.
6 Charleston Classic, Charleston, S.C.
7 Hall of Fame Tipoff, Uncasville, Conn.
While many readers are very familiar with who is signing with the current BIG EAST schools, Larry Brown inked three players for his SMU program which will join the BIG EAST next season. Along with three impressive transfers sitting out this season (Markus Kennedy, Crandall Head & Nic Moore), SMU Gets a Crop of New Players Signed to Letters of Intent (Dallas News). The signees are:
Sterling Brown – G, 6-4, 190 – Chicago, Ill. (Proviso East)
Ben Moore – PF, 6-8, 185 – Bolingbrook, Ill. (Bolingbrook HS)
Yanick Moreira – C/PF, 6-11, 220 – Luanda, Angola (South Plains C.C.)
*********Follow NBE Sports on Twitter: http://twitter.com/NBESports*****
The holidays are rapidly approaching, why not get that sports fan on your list something special. Order now for the 2013 Big East Tournament as it will an end of an era at Madison Square Garden this March. Below are links to buy tickets to any all sessions. Order early to secure the tickets to the special sports fan on your list or get yourself that special personalized gift!
BIG EAST teams went 5-0 Tuesday, giving the league a combined 23-2 record in the 2012-13 season. The .920 winning percentage is the best of any Division I conference thus far.
—Pittsburgh’s win Tuesaday night against 2012 NCAA Tournament participant Lehigh sends the Panthers to the championship round of the NIT Season Tip-Off at Madison Square Garden next week. The Panthers will face Michigan November 21st and will meet either Delaware or Kansas State November 23rd in New York.
Guard Tray Woodall became the third Pittsburgh player to lead the team in scoring in as many games with 23 points against Lehigh. Junior Talib Zanna added 20 points and freshman James Robinson was the defensive star as he limited Lehigh pre-season All-American guard C.J. McCollom to 17 points.
The Panthers face Oakland Saturday before heading to Madison Square Garden for the championship rounds of the NIT Season Tip-Off.
The curtain will rise on the 2012-2013 college basketball season today and for the BIG EAST conference it will also be the end of an era. With West Vitginia already leaving the conference for the Big 12 and Syracuse and Pittsburgh, who will be followed closely behind by Notre Dame, playing their last season before departing for the ACC, the BIG EAST as we have come to know and love will never be the same.
The conference will grow and survive with the additions next season of Memphis, Temple, Houston, Central Florida and SMU, but make no mistake about it, the dynamics of the tightnit conference have been changed forever.
Per Big East conference news release…
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The BIG EAST Conference has announced the league opponents and game sites for its men’s basketball teams for the 2012-13 season.
The conference schedule – which comprises 135 regular-season games – will once again yield some of the most-anticipated contests nationally in 2012-13. Nearly 80 percent of the regular-season league games (107 of 135) will include at least one team that reached the NCAA Championship last season. Thirty-seven games (27 percent) will be between two NCAA tournament teams from 2012.
Additionally, each of the 15 BIG EAST teams will play either nine or 10 of its 18 league games against NCAA tournament teams. Each team will face 10 opponents once and four opponents twice. All 135 regular-season conference games will again be televised, either by the ESPN family of networks or CBS Sports.
The decisions regarding repeat opponents are driven by fairness and competitive balance within the parameters of television selections and geographic rivalries. The full 2012-13 conference schedule will be announced at a later date.
2012-13 BIG EAST Men’s Basketball Schedule Breakdown
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – ESPN has announced the 12 matchups that will be part of the Second Annual SEC/BIG EAST Challenge, which will take place Nov. 29-Dec. 1, 2012 at home sites of the participating schools.
The BIG EAST contingent in the Challenge will include Cincinnati, DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Notre Dame, Providence, Rutgers, St. John’s, Seton Hall, South Florida, Syracuse and Villanova (Pittsburgh, Louisville & Connecticut are not participating). Six of the BIG EAST’s 12 participating teams reached the NCAA Championship last season. The SEC has four participating teams that reached the NCAA tournament.
The 2012 SEC/BIG EAST Challenge includes the following matchups:
Thursday, November 29
Kentucky at Notre Dame
Marquette at Florida
South Carolina at St. John’s
Seton Hall at LSU
Friday, November 30
Syracuse at Arkansas
Tennessee at Georgetown
DePaul at Auburn
Georgia at USF
Saturday, December 1
Alabama at Cincinnati
Villanova at Vanderbilt
Mississippi State at Providence
Rutgers at Mississippi
The BIG EAST took the first SEC/BIG EAST Challenge, winning eight of the 12 games in 2011.
Selection Sunday has arrived. It seems like just yesterday we were reporting on Midnight Madness activities and stories. Many tournament tickets have already been punched, but now fans have a chance to get their tickets at all the 2012 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament sites below. Get your tickets now to make sure in your the building to see the greatest sporting event of the year!!
The 2012 NCAA Tournament tips of Tuesday night with the ‘First Four’ doubleheader in Dayton, Ohio. Thursday the tournament will hit full speed with second and third round games being played in the following host cities:
Atlanta, Phoenix, Boston and St. Louis will be 2012 regional cities.
The 2012 NCAA Tournament Final Four will be played at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans (LA).
Our partnership with TicketNetwork.com allows you to pick the seats you want from their tremendous inventory at great prices. See below for 2012 NCAA Tournament Sites and tickets available:
By Lauren Kirschman
After the opening session of the 2012 BIG EAST Tournament saw a pair of 14-point wins registered by Connecticut and Pittsburgh (Big East Tournament 1st Session Recap), the evening session produced even less suspense as Seton Hall and Villanova scored resounding wins to close the first day of action at Madison Square Garden. Here is a look at last night’s results, the schedule for the rest of the BIG EAST Tournament and your links to secure tickets to the remaining games…
No 10 Seton Hall 79, No. 15 Providence 47
Seton Hall is one of several Big East teams trying to earn their way off the bubble and into the NCAA Tournament this week. The Pirates started on the right track, defeating Providence 79-47 on Tuesday night.
By Lauren Kirschman
Big East Tournament Day One
No. 9 Connecticut 81, No. 16 DePaul 67
Last season, Kemba Walker carried the Connecticut Huskies to five wins in five days and a Big East tournament championship. Whether or not the Huskies can move through the gauntlet to earn another title remains to be seen. But if they do win five consecutive contests again, it’ll likely be thanks to Jeremy Lamb.
Lamb led Connecticut with 25 points, four assists and five rebounds in the Huskies’ 81-67 win over DePaul in the first round of the Big East tournament on Tuesday afternoon. Connecticut, the No. 9 seed, started 7-7 from beyond the arc and didn’t miss a 3-point shot until Roscoe Smith was off the mark with 4:40 left in the first half.
The Blue Demons consistently left Connecticut players open on the perimeter, seeming willing to chance the Huskies beating them from the outside. Connecticut took advantage and, after letting DePaul hang around early, closed the half on a 6-0 run that gave the Huskies a 46-33 advantage
The bright lights of Broadway will begin shining today at high noon as the 2012 BIG EAST Tournament will get underway. Leading off the action will be the #9 seeded UConn versus the #16 seed DePaul. These very two teams opened the tournament last season and the Huskies began their improbable March run of 11 straight wins with a 97-71 win over the Blue Demons. Do they have it in them again?
“Last year we did the impossible,” Alex Oriakhi told the Hartford Courant. “So we know anything is possible.”
Of course, last year the Huskies had Kemba Walker, who had a March run that will live on through the ages. Even without Walker UConn is a team stocked with talent. Sophomore Jeremy Lamb and freshman Andre Drummond could be lottery picks in the NBA Draft this June. Shabazz Napier and Alex Oriakhi played key roles throughout last year’s March run.
Courtesy of BIG EAST conference
NEW YORK – Fab Melo, Syracuse’s sophomore center, has been named BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year by a vote of the league’s head coaches who were not permitted to vote for their own players.
The league also announced that Notre Dame junior forward Jack Cooley is the BIG EAST Most Improved Player. Syracuse sophomore guard Dion Waiters has won the BIG EAST Sixth Man Award and Georgetown senior guard Jason Clark has been named the winner of the BIG EAST Sportsmanship Award.
Melo, who came to Syracuse from Sagemont, Fla., led the BIG EAST in blocked shots in league play with a 3.7 average. He also averaged 6.1 rebounds. The 7-0, 244-pound Melo is a valued member of the Syracuse lineup. In the team’s only loss of the season, a defeat at Notre Dame, Melo did not play. He is the second straight Defensive Player of the Year winner from Syracuse. Rick Jackson was the 2010-11 honoree.
Cooley emerged as one of the BIG EAST’s best big men this season after making modest contributions a season ago. As a sophomore in 2010-11, he averaged 3.7 points and 3.1 rebounds while playing 10.3 minutes per game. This season, the 6-9 Cooley is averaging 12.5 points and owns a rebounding mark of 9.2, which ranks fourth in the BIG EAST. Cooley is a native of Glenview, Ill.
Courtesy of BIG EAST conference
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Forward Jae Crowder and guard Darius Johnson-Odom of Marquette were two of six players named to the All-BIG EAST First Team, the league announced. The conference’s head coaches choose the all-conference teams. The coaches are not permitted to vote for their own players. The league announced the All-BIG EAST First, Second and Third Teams in addition to the BIG EAST All-Rookie Team.
The BIG EAST Player of the Year will come from the All-BIG EAST First Team. The conference will announce Player of the Year, Oppenheimer Funds/BIG EAST Coach of the Year, BIG EAST Rookie of the Year and American Eagle Outfitters BIG EAST Scholar-Athlete of the Year on Tuesday, March 6. The announcement will be made between sessions of the first day of The BIG EAST Championship Presented by American Eagle Outfitters at Madison Square Garden. The press conference will begin after the postgame interviews of the afternoon doubleheader have been completed. The other league individual awards will be announced Monday, March 5.
In addition to Crowder and Johnson-Odom, the other first-team selections are: Jeremy Lamb of Connecticut, Jason Clark of Georgetown, Kris Joseph of Syracuse and Kevin Jones of West Virginia.
The 2012 BIG EAST Championship Presented by American Eagle Outfitters will be the 30th straight at Madison Square Garden, the World’s Most Famous Arena. More than 3.2 million fans have gone through the turnstiles to watch the longest running conference basketball tournament at the same venue. Eleven different schools have taken home the crown. The Championship begins Tuesday with teams seeded ninth through 16th competing. Last year, it was ninth-seeded Connecticut that made it to the Saturday night championship game and took home the trophy. With Saturday’s topsy-turvy action, the Huskies find themselves in a familiar place…the #9 seed opening up the tournament with DePaul. Do they have it in them again?
On the heels of a historic regular season in which it won 30 of 31 games, including a 17-1 mark in conference play, Syracuse has earned the 2012 BIG EAST regular-season title and the No. 1 seed in the 2012 BIG EAST Championship presented by American Eagle Outfitters. Syracuse enters the tournament in search of its sixth BIG EAST Championship title.
Syracuse joins Marquette, Notre Dame and Cincinnati as the top four seeds in The BIG EAST Championship, which begins Tuesday, March 6 at noon Eastern at Madison Square Garden in New York. Those four schools receive byes through two rounds of the tournament and won’t play until Thursday’s quarterfinals.
The Championship begins Tuesday with four first-round matchups. Connecticut and DePaul kick things off with a battle between the Nos. 9 and 16 seeds at noon, while No. 12 St. John’s takes on No. 13 Pittsburgh at 2 p.m. to complete the afternoon session. Those games will be televised on ESPN2 and ESPN 3D.
The Tuesday evening session begins with No. 10 Seton Hall and No. 15 Providence at 7 p.m., followed by No. 11 Rutgers against No. 14 Villanova at 9 p.m. on ESPNU and ESPN 3D.
No. 8-seed West Virginia will await the Connecticut/DePaul winner Wednesday at noon in the first of four second-round games. No. 5 Georgetown has the Pittsburgh/St. John’s winner at 2 p.m., while No. 7 Louisville takes on the Providence/Seton Hall winner at 7 p.m. No. 6 USF closes Wednesday’s action against the Villanova/Rutgers winner.
Friday’s semifinals are scheduled for 7 and 9 p.m., while the championship game tips at 9 p.m. Saturday.
Georgetown and Connecticut have won a conference-record seven BIG EAST Championships. The Huskies made history last season by winning five games in five days to take the conference crown on their way to an NCAA Championship.
The 2012 BIG EAST Tournament is already a sell out, but fans can still get their tickets. This is the last appearance in the Men’s BIG EAST championship for West Virginia and SU and Pitt are not far behind…so this year’s event promises to be one to remember!
Below are ticket links to all the sessions for this year’s event. Hundreds of seats for $10 or less are available right now so check out the links and get your seats to one of the great events of college basketball.
Here are your 2012 BIG EAST Tournament seeds:
1) Syracuse, 17-1
2) Marquette, 14-4
3) Notre Dame, 13-5
4) Cincinnati, 12-6
5) Georgetown, 12-6
6) South Florida, 12-6
7) Louisville, 10-8
8] West Virginia, 9-9
9) Connecticut, 8-10
10) Seton Hall, 8-10
11) Rutgers, 6-12
12) St. John’s, 6-12
13) Pittsburgh, 5-13
14) Villanova, 5-13
15) Providence, 4-14
16) DePaul, 2-15 (vs SHU)
We have also included a source to get tickets for the entire tournament or for each individual session as the NBE Basketball Report has partnered with TicketNetwork.com to help put fans in the stands this March. So, buy your tickets with complete confidence that you will be there (follow links to purchase tickets for each session) for the 2012 BIG EAST Tournament or Tickets to All Sporting Events!
2012 BIG EAST TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE (with ticket purchase links) – IF TOURNAMENT BEGAN TODAY:
By Raphielle Johnson
Wednesday was a big day for the Big East Conference with Men’s Basketball Media Day being held at the New York Athletic Club with Madison Square Garden still being renovated. Of course the topic du jour had little to do with the upcoming action on the courts around the league but rather what the next step will be for a conference hit hard by realignment. Tuesday’s teleconference with commissioner John Marinatto, which was supposed to clear up matters and leave this stage to the players and coaches, did little in that regard.
Media from around the country wanted to hear directly from the coaches how the lack of stability is affecting them from a recruiting standpoint as well as what options may be available to them in the near future. Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey essentially said that regardless of what may happen (Big East expansion to 12 football-playing members or a Big 12 expansion that includes current Big East members) the Irish will be alright, which is to be expected of a school with such a storied football program.
Louisville head coach Rick Pitino minced no words on the subject, saying that while he couldn’t imagine the Big East without charter member Syracuse he could imagine the conference without Pittsburgh. And then came the unfortunate analogy that sparked numerous “pot meet kettle” reactions given the coach’s own issue a couple summers ago.
From the BIG EAST Basketball Men’s Media Day in NYC:
Big East preseason coaches’ poll (First place votes in parenthesis):
1. Connecticut (7) 209 points
(tie) Syracuse (5) 209 points
3. Louisville (3) 201 points
4. Pittsburgh (1) 188 points
5. Cincinnati 169 points
6. Marquette 155 points
7. West Virginia 132 points
8. Villanova 127 points
9. Notre Dame 114 points
10. Georgetown 104 points
11. Rutgers 75 points
12. St. John’s 71 points
13. Seton Hall 56 points
14. South Florida 43 points
15. Providence 40 points
16. DePaul 27 points
Big East Preseason Player of the Year: Ashton Gibbs, Pittsburgh
Big East Preseason Rookie of the Year: Andre Drummond, Connecticut
Big East Preseason First Team: Ashton Gibbs, Pittsburgh; Jeremy Lamb, Connecticut; Darius Johnson-Odom, Marquette; Tim Abromaitis, Notre Dame; Kris Joseph, Syracuse; Kevin Jones, West Virginia.
Big East Preseason Second Team: Yancy Gates, Cincinnati; Alex Oriahki, Connecticut; Peyton Siva, Louisville; Scoop Jardine, Syracuse; Maalik Wayns, Villanova.
Big East Preseason Honorable Mention: Andre Drummond, Connecticut; Shabazz Napier, Connecticut; Cleveland Melvin, DePaul; Jae Crowder, Marquette; Augustus Gilchrist, USF
Today is only media day, but you can get your 2012 BIG EAST Tournament Tickets for yourself or that special fan this upcoming holiday season. The tournament is certain to sell-out to the general public, but all season great seats at great prices will be available through our 2012 BIG EAST Tournament Page. You can begin browsing below:
by Ray Mernagh
I’m not sure what to make of this feeling that’s come over me after allowing all this conference realignment mess to sink in. After all, my initial reaction (Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes) was so mature, so enlightened, that it made me feel what’s best described as false pride about how adult my response was. Then a funny thing happened on my journey to accepting this with a rational level of, dare I say, Bilas-like comportment — I got stuck.
I couldn’t write a damn thing about the upcoming season, completely paralyzed regarding any news coming out of the entire world of college basketball. In fact I think I conned myself into thinking it was just my extraordinary amount of work on other sports the last few weeks (freelance variety) that had kept me from my usual barrage of words this time of year.
But that was just me kidding myself.
Then Thursday night, while watching college football of all things, it hit me.
I mean, it’s ridiculous to blow up this conference.
Nobody really knows what the end game will be here but one thing is obvious — the Big East that we’ve known for the last several years is soon to be no longer.
The BIG EAST basketball conference released their 2011-2012 composite Men’s Basketball Schedule this afternoon. All 144 conference games will be televised either nationally or be ESPN regional. With an incredible 91 percent of all conference games in 2011-12 including a team that played in the 2011 NCAA Tournament, more than half of the league games will be televised nationally by ESPN or CBS.
It is the fifth consecutive season that all 144 league games will be televised.
“Last year’s historic success proved once again that the BIG EAST Conference continues to be among the most competitive conferences in the country from top to bottom,” said BIG EAST Commissioner John Marinatto in a statement released by the league today. “With a record 11 teams earning their way into last year’s NCAA Championship, our coaches and players reaffirmed the fact that BIG EAST basketball and excellence are synonymous. Our schools continue to take great advantage of the unparalleled media exposure they are afforded annually from both ESPN and CBS Sports – which is one of the reasons why we are confident that the 2011-12 season will be as exciting as any in our history.”
DePaul Blue Demons
Head Coach: Oliver Purnell (2nd year at DePaul, 7-24 record)
2010-2011: 1-17 BIG EAST, 7-24 overall
- Sr. G Jeremiah Kelly (7.6 ppg)
- Sr. C Krys Faber (7 ppg)
- Jr. F Tony Freeland (9.6 ppg, 5 rpg)
- So. F Cleveland Melvin (14.3 ppg, 5 rpg)
- So. G Brandon Young (12.6 ppg, 3.7 apg)
- So. G/F Moses Morgan (5.1 ppg)
- So. F/C Donnavan Kirk (University of Miami)
- Fr. G Charles McKinney (Chicago, IL)
- Fr. G Macari Brooks (University Park, IL)
- Fr. C Derrell Robertson (Mendenhall, MS)
- Fr. F Montray Clemons (Baltimore, MD)
- Fr. G/F Jamie Crockett (Crete, IL)
Players Moved On:
- Jimmy Drew (Graduation)
- Mike Stovall (Graduation)
- Mario Stula (Graduation)
- Devin Hill (Transfer)
- Michael Bizoukas (Transfer)
- Eric Wallace (Transfer)
- The Blue Demons finished 329th in the country last season in rebounding margin at -7.7 per game.
- Over the past four years, DePaul is 8-64 in the Big East and hasn’t finished the season .500 since the 2006-2007 season.
- Last season’s Big East Rookie of the Year, Cleveland Melvin, led the Blue Demons and all freshmen in the conference in scoring in 2010-2011. The 6-8 forward from Baltimore averaged 17.4 ppg in the Big East and will again have to shoulder a heavy load.
Newcomer to Watch:
- Miami (FL) transfer Donnavan Kirk began practicing with the team in January and will be eligible mid-way through November. The 6-9 Kirk, a top 100 recruit coming out of high school in 2009, should make an immediate impact down low for the Blue Demons.
Notes: The Blue Demons leave this week for an 11-day tour of France (Aug, 11-21). DePaul will play in the Old Spice Classic in Orlando and its top non-conference game is at home against Ole Miss (12-1) in the Big East/SEC challenge. Another loss recently suffered was when top recruit Shane Larkin left to be closer to home due to a medical condition.
– team capsule compiled by Brian Batko
The official release from the BIG EAST is expected today, but main television partner ESPN has the information already and Andy Katz posted this summary on the college nation blog earlier this morning:
Cincinnati: Villanova, Marquette, St. John’s
Last season: DePaul, Georgetown, St. John’s
Finish: 26-9, 11-7 (NCAA)
Connecticut: Notre Dame, Seton Hall, Syracuse
Last season: Louisville, Marquette, Notre Dame
Finish: 32-9, 9-9 (NCAA)
DePaul: Louisville, St. John’s, Seton Hall
Last season: Cincinnati, South Florida, West Virginia
Finish: 7-24, 1-17
Georgetown: Marquette, Providence, St. John’s
Last season: Cincinnati, St. John’s, Syracuse
Finish: 21-11, 10-8 (NCAA)
Louisville: Pitt, Syracuse, DePaul
Last season: Connecticut, Providence, West Virginia
Finish: 25-10, 12-6 (NCAA)
Marquette: Cincinnati, Georgetown, Villanova
Last season: Connecticut, Notre Dame, Seton Hall
Finish: 22-15, 9-9 (NCAA)
Notre Dame: Connecticut, Rutgers, West Virginia
Last season: Connecticut, Marquette, St. John’s
Finish: 27-7, 14-4 (NCAA)
Pittsburgh: Louisville, South Florida, West Virginia
Last season: South Florida, Villanova, West Virginia
Finish: 28-6, 15-3 (NCAA)
Providence: Georgetown, South Florida, Syracuse
Last season: Louisville, Rutgers, South Florida
Finish: 15-17, 4-14
Rutgers: Notre Dame, Seton Hall, West Virginia
Last season: Providence, Seton Hall, Villanova
Finish: 15-17, 5-13
St. John’s: Cincinnati, DePaul, Georgetown
Last season: Cincinnati, Georgetown, Notre Dame
Finish: 21-12, 12-6 (NCAA)
Seton Hall: Connecticut, DePaul, Rutgers
Last season: Marquette, Rutgers, Syracuse
Finish: 13-18, 7-11
South Florida: Pitt, Providence, Villanova
Last season: DePaul, Pitt, Providence
Finish: 10-23, 3-15
Syracuse: Connecticut, Providence, Louisville
Last season: Georgetown, Seton Hall, Villanova
Finish: 27-8, 12-6 (NCAA)
Villanova: Marquette, South Florida, Cincinnati
Last season: Pitt, Rutgers, Syracuse
Finish: 21-12, 9-9
West Virginia: Pitt, Notre Dame, Rutgers
Last season: DePaul, Louisville, Pitt
Finish: 21-12, 11-7 (NCAA)
(release per SEC conference)
The Southeastern Conference will match up against the Big East Conference for 12 games over three days in early December for the Big East/SEC Challenge. Every SEC member will be a part of the event while 12 of the 16 Big East schools will participate. Six of the games will be played at SEC home arenas while six will be played at home facilities for Big East schools. ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will combine to televise all 12 games of the three-day event.
This year’s event features the defending national champion (Connecticut), another Final Four participant (Kentucky) and an Elite Eight team (Florida) from last year’s NCAA Tournament. Nine of the schools are ranked in an early preseason top 25 by ESPN.com’s Andy Katz, including seven of the top 15 teams: No. 2 Kentucky, No. 4 Syracuse, No. 6 Connecticut, No. 7 Vanderbilt, No. 9 Louisville, No. 12 Florida and No. 14 Alabama.
Last year the SEC finished with a 3-1 record in the annual event. Arkansas and Kentucky earned victories over Seton Hall and No. 23 Notre Dame, respectively, on Wednesday, Dec. 8, in Louisville, Ky. Tennessee upset No. 3 Pittsburgh while Auburn fell to Rutgers at the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh on Dec. 11. In the event of a 6-6 tie this year, the Challenge trophy will remain with the conference that won the previous year.
This is the fifth year that the SEC and Big East have played each other as a part of an in-season event with the overall series tied 8-8. Previously known as the SEC/Big East Invitational, the first four years of the event (2007-2010) featured four matchups between the two conferences from two neutral sites.
The event title will alternate to the SEC/Big East Challenge in 2012 and be played Thursday, Nov. 29 through Saturday, Dec. 1. SEC teams will alternate home and away games.
Marquette, Notre Dame, South Florida and Villanova are not part of the 12-team field for the BIG EAST in 2011.
2011 BIG EAST/SEC CHALLENGE (times and networks are to be determined)
-Thursday, Dec. 1:
Georgetown at Alabama
Providence at South Carolina
St. John’s at Kentucky
Ole Miss at DePaul
-Friday, Dec. 2:
Auburn at Seton Hall
Florida at Syracuse
Cincinnati at Georgia
Vanderbilt at Louisville
-Saturday, Dec. 3:
Arkansas at Connecticut
West Virginia at Mississippi State
LSU at Rutgers
Pittsburgh at Tennessee