Big East Archive

Villanova Wildcats

Offensive Identity: “We are trying to mix learning our system along with competing on every possession,” says Villanova head coach Jay Wright. Wright looks a touch like Mark Cuban: his intentionally loose grip on his guards resembles Cuban’s friendly clutches with Dallas veterans. He allows his guards to create, improvise within the loose-fitting sweater that… more »

West Virginia Mountaineers

Offensive Identity: Waves and waves of 6’7” athletes bombard the shores and unrelenting water can have a dramatic impact. After a seaside hamlet braces for the oncoming wave, weary of its resolute supremacy, there comes a period of relaxation right after the water harmlessly splashes ashore.  In that moment the following wave pounds down upon… more »

Pittsburgh Midseason Report

Offensive Identity: Most of the early important possessions are scripted, with the director being associate head coach Tom Herrion. The former College of Charleston head coach holds up a dry erase board with the play name on it. The plays themselves typically involved scoring ace Ashton Gibbs, who has led the Panthers in scoring all… more »

Cincinnati Midseason Report

The Cincinnati Bearcats look like a team, an actual team, which is refreshing to see after three years of the Deonta Vaughn show.  The senior guard gets fewer shots, fewer points, and more smiles this season.  No respected basketball player–which Vaughn certainly is–minds sacrificing shots for wins. Offensive Identity: The cast of scoring threats now… more »

Louisville Cardinals

The Louisville Cardinals are in a year of transition.  After winning the Big East regular season title along with the conference tournament championship and sending two players to the NBA, Rick Pitino knew the growing pains of rebuilding awaited him this year. Fortunately, a couple of upperclassmen have smoothed the bumps to slight seams in… more »

Syracuse Orange

Good Wins: 11/25 vs. Kansas (semi-away), 12/20 @Memphis, 2/4 vs. West Virginia, 3/7 @ Marquette, 3/12 vs. UConn (neutral), 3/13 vs. West Virginia (neutral) Bad Losses: None. Strengths:  1. Variety. The spice of life encapsulates Syracuse’s offense, the Big East’s best.  How many different ways can they score on you?  Let me count the ways. … more »

West Virginia Mountaineers

Good Wins: @Ohio State, Providence, Villanova, Notre Dame Bad Losses: None. Strengths:  1. Team Defense.  In a league stacked with scorers, the Mountaineers provide opponents a rocky terrain to hike.  A person is more likely to win the shell game (33% chance) than they are to make a 3-point shot attempt against West Virginia (29%).  The personnel are… more »

Cincinnati Bearcats

Good Wins: @ UNLV, UAB, Georgetown, Notre Dame, @Georgetown, West Virginia Bad Losses: None, but swept by Providence. Strengths: 1. Pace.  Anytime a team is able to forcibly alter your offensive flow, the level of comfort crumbles.  Its tough to even initiate the offense effectively when avoiding traps and rushing past the halfcourt stripe supersedes.  The… more »

Villanova Wildcats

Good Wins: Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Marquette. Bad Losses: None. West Virginia was disconcerting only because of the margin (19 points). Strengths: 1. Bravery. Led by Scottie Reynolds, the Wildcats never recoil their claws. Small as a Scottish Terrier, this diminutive Scottie is much more pugnacious. He darts into the lane every night. He can shoot wildly… more »

Connecticut Huskies

Good Wins: N-Gonzaga, Villanova, @Louisville, Syracuse Bad Losses: none. Strengths: 1. Urgency. The players have not changed in the past two years but the level of success is night and day. Flashes of brilliance have given way to a steady stream of illumination. For a team that has never sniffed postseason success, their legacy is… more »

Pittsburgh Panthers

Good Wins: @Florida State, @Georgetown, Syracuse, @West Virginia, West Virginia, Cincinnati, @UConn Bad Losses: None. Strengths: 1. Strength. For over a decade the weight-lifting program of the Pitt Panthers has borne outstanding results. The oncourt benefit has been the castle-strong defense, which served as the backbone of Jamie Dixon’s success. This year is no exception…. more »

Marquette Golden Eagles

Good Wins: Northern Iowa, Villanova, West Virginia, @Providence Bad Losses: @South Florida Strengths: 1. Dribble Penetration. A lot of their scoring comes off penetration. Most of their scoring plays begin on the wing or the high elbow. The dribble weave made famous by Michigan State’s Tom Izzo begins most of the Eagles’ possessions. The guards… more »

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Good Wins: N-Texas, Georgetown Bad Losses: @St. John’s Strengths: 1. Flow. The Irish get good shots. Between Luke Zeller, Kyle McAlarney, and Luke Harangody the Irish have good shooters at three key positions. Mike Brey has a great success rate on plays out of timeouts. This shows the strong link between coach and players. His… more »

2008 Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Key Wins: UConn, @Villanova, Marquette, Pittsburgh Key Losses: N-Baylor, @Georgia Tech, @ Marquette@ Georgetown Key Stat: Rebounding Margin. No player on the floor quits until the ball is in the basket. Like piranhas in search of an unclaimed meal, Irish rebound with tremendous hunger. They will finish the year in the top ten nationally in… more »

2008 Connecticut Huskies

Key Wins: @Indiana, Marquette, Pittsburgh, @Syracuse, Notre Dame, West Virginia Key Losses: Memphis, N-Gonzaga, @Notre Dame, @Georgetown, Providence, @Providence Key Stat: 8.7. The Huskies as a team average nearly 9 blocks a game, with 7’3″ Hasheem Thabeet swatting approximately half of those. Most Important Player: A.J. Price. “It’s my job to be the head of… more »

Georgetown Hoyas

Senior Writer Andy Force takes a look at the 2008 edition of JT III’s Big East behemoths.

Louisville Cardinals

Key Wins: @UNLV, @Kentucky, West Virginia, Marquette, @Marquette, Georgetown, @Pittsburgh, Notre Dame Key Losses: N-BYU, Dayton, N-Purdue, @Seton Hall, @UConn, @Georgetown Key Stat: 10-2. The Cardinals finished with ten wins in their last 12 regular season games, making them one of the hottest teams in the country heading into the Big East Tournament. Most Important… more »

Pittsburgh Panthers

Key Wins: Oklahoma State, N-Duke, Georgetown, @Syracuse, West Virginia Key Losses: @Dayton, @Villanova, Rutgers, @Marquette, @West Virginia Key Stat: 3-point FG %. Pittsburgh, despite the attention defenses place on guarding DaJuan Blair and Sam Young, is the fifth worst three-point shooting team in the Big East. Biggest Strengths: Pittsburgh, as a team, makes a conscience… more »

Providence Friars

Most Important Player: Geoff McDermott. McDermott carved out an interesting role for himself in four years at Providence College. The point forward makes innovative, exceptional passes from the top of the key or within the closer confines of the painted area. If PC needs a play made, McDermott is the man to facilitate said play…. more »

2007-2008 Syracuse Orange Preview

Senior Writer Andy Force takes a look at the 2007-2008 edition of the Syracuse Orange.

2007-2008 Pittsburgh Panthers Preview

Senior Writer Andy Force takes a look at the 2007-2008 edition of the Pittsburgh Panthers.

2007-2008 West Virginia Mountaineers Preview

Senior Writer Andy Force takes a look at the 2007-2008 edition of the West Virginia Mountaineers.

2007-2008 Cincinnati Bearcats

Senior Writer Andy Force takes a look at the 2007-2008 edition of the Cincinnati Bearcats.

South Florida Bulls

Senior Writer Andy Force takes a look at the 2007-2008 edition of the South Florida Bulls.

St John’s Red Storm

Senior Writer Andy Force takes a look at the 2007-2008 edition of the St John’s Red Storm.

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