NCAAB 2020 Big East Conference Expert Analysis

NCAAB 2020 Big East Conference Expert Analysis

Written by on November 17, 2020

Okay MyBookie college basketball betting enthusiasts, with the 2020-21 NCAA hoops season set to get underway in approximately one month, now is a perfect time to take a look at what lies ahead in the absolutely loaded Big East conference so you can get ready to make your bets against their College Basketball odds.

College Basketball Betting Analysis | 2020 Big East Conference

A year ago, the Big East was set to send an impressive five teams to the NCAA tournament. Not only that, but the conference welcomes back a familiar resident and one of the seven founding members as the University of Connecticut rejoins the conference after spending the last seven years in the AAC.

Last season, Villanova, Creighton and Seton Hall all finished with identical 13-5 marks to split the Big East regular-season crown before the conference tournament was canceled. Now, as we get set for the upcoming 2020-21 campaign, the conference looks like it will once again feature a handful of teams that could, not only make the NCAA Championship Tournament, but challenge for the  national championship. Now, let’s find out what lies ahead.

Villanova

  • Key Returners: Collin Gillespie, Justin Moore, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Jermaine Samuels
  • Key Losses: Saddiq Bey
  • Key Newcomers: Caleb Daniels (Tulane), Eric Dixon

Now ranked third in the preseason national rankings, Villanova went 24-7 overall and is a +800 pick in the MyBookie sportsbook to win the 2021 national championship. Head coach Jay Wright loses star forward Saddiq Bey, but returns eight of last season’s top nine scorers, including senior guard Collin Gillespie (15.1 ppg) who is expected to challenge for the Big East Player of the Year award. The Wildcats added two players that will contribute right away in Tulane transfer Caleb Daniels and former Georgia Tech and Pacific forward Justin Moore. Villanova is perennially powerful at both ends of the floor and the upcoming season should be no different from the Philadelphia-based powerhouse.

Creighton

  • Key Returners: Marcus Zegarowski, Mitch Ballock, Damien Jefferson, Christian Bishop
  • Key Losses: Ty-Shon Alexander, Davion Mintz
  • Key Newcomers: Antwann Jones (Memphis), Ryan Kalkbrenner

The preseason No. 11 Blue Jays went a fantastic 24-7 overall and enters the new season as a +3300 pick to win national championship. Last season, Creighton grabbed a share of its first-ever regular-season title and they’ll be led by a player that should challenge for the Player of the Year award in future NBA point guard Marcus Zegarowski (16.1 ppg, 5.0 apg). Creighton will be counting on some significant contributions from Memphis transfer Antwann Jones after he put up a modest 4.7 points per game as a freshman last season, but the Bluejays will need to rebound and defend well in the frontcourt with its tallest contributing player being undersized 6-foot-7 center Christian Bishop.

Seton Hall

  • Key Returners: Sandro Mamukelashvili, Ike Obiagu, Myles Cale, Jared Rhoden
  • Key Losses: Myles Powell, Quincy McKnight, Romaro Gill
  • Key Newcomers: Bryce Aiken (Harvard)

The Pirates went 21-9 overall, but head coach Kevin Willard needs to find a replacement for graduated star Myles Powell who will go down as one of the best players in program history after putting up a stellar 21.0 points per game last season. Harvard transfer and two-time All-Ivy League star point guard Bryce Aiken will be expected to be an immediate leader after averaging 16.7 points per game a year ago. If 6-11 big man Sandro Mamukelashvili can make another leap forward after averaging 11.9 points and a modest 6.0 rebounds per game, Seton Hall could challenge for the conference crown, though I don’t expect that to happen this coming season.

Providence

  • Key Returners: David Duke, AJ Reeves, Nate Watson
  • Key Losses: Alpha Diallo, Luwane Pipkins, Kalif Young
  • Key Newcomers: Jyare Davis, Jared Bynum (St. Joseph’s), Noah Horchler (North Florida)

The Friars went 19-12 overall and 12-6 conference play under head coach Ed Cooley, but Providence will have to find replacements for three starters from last year’s squad. The strength of the Friars will be the backcourt duo of David Duke (12.0 ppg) and AJ Reeves (7.4 ppg), but the Friars did add a pair of players that should offer immediate help in North Florida transfer Noah Horchler (16.0 ppg) and St. Joe’s transfer guard Jared Bynum (11.3 ppg). Still, Providence just doesn’t look like a team that will be good enough in the frontcourt to compete with the best teams in the conference this coming season.

Butler

  • Key Returners: Aaron Thompson, Bryce Golden, Bryce Nze
  • Key Losses: Kamar Baldwin, Sean McDermott, Jordan Tucker
  • Key Newcomers: Mike Parker (Salisbury), Jair Bolden (South Carolina), Jakobe Coles

Butler went 22-9 overall and 10-8 in conference play last season, but the Bulldogs lost their top three offensive performers in Baldwin, McDermott and Tucker. While Bryce Golden and Bryce Nze has plenty of experience after start all 31 games last season, I’m expecting this team to be a bit too offensively-challenged to contend for a conference crown over the likes of Villanova and Creighton, first and foremost.

Xavier

  • Key Returners: Paul Scruggs, KyKy Tandy, Jason Carter, Zach Freemantle
  • Key Losses: Naji Marshall, Tyrique Jones
  • Key Newcomers: Nate Johnson (Gardner Webb), Dwon Odom, Ben Stanley (Hampton), Adam Kunkel (Belmont)

Xavier went 19-12 overall, but just 8-10 in conference play last season. More importantly, the Musketeers will be very inexperienced this coming season, although they did manage to field a top-25 recruiting class. Newcomers, Nate Johnson (12.1 ppg) and four-star recruit Dwon Odom will need to deliver right away, but this looks like a team that is at least another year away from really challenging in the loaded Big East.

Marquette

  • Key Returners: Koby McEwen, Jamal Cain, Theo John
  • Key Losses: Markus Howard, Sacar Anim
  • Key Newcomers: D.J. Carton (Ohio State), Dawson Garcia

Marquette went 18-12 overall and 8-10 in conference play last season, but the Golden Eagles suffered a huge loss thanks to the graduation of superstar combo guard Markus Howard, the nation’s leading scorer last season (27.8 ppg) and to a lesser degree, forward Sacar Anim (13.1 ppg). The good news is that Marquette has the Big East’s highest-ranked recruiting class, thanks to the additions of by Ohio State transfer guard DJ Carton (10.4 ppg) and 6-11 freshman forward Dawson Garcia, the conference’s Preseason Freshman of the Year. Marquette looks like a team that will be solid once again in 2021, but not great.

St. John’s

  • Key Returners: Rasheem Dunn, Julian Champagnie, Marcellus Earlington, Josh Roberts
  • Key Losses: LJ Figueroa, Mustapha Heron
  • Key Newcomers: Posh Alexander, Arnaldo Toro (George Washington), Vince Cole (JuCo)

St. John’s went 16-15 overall and 5-13 in conference play, but the Red Storm will have to overcome the loss of team leader LJ Figueroa and second leading scorer Mustapha Heron. Three-star recruit Posh Alexander is talented, but stands just 5-11. He’ll join Rasheem Dunn and Julian Champagnie in the backcourt, but the Rd Storm’s biggest addition could be 6-6 star JUCO transfer Vince Cole, a player that put up 21.4 points per game for State College of Florida a year ago.

Georgetown

  • Key Returners: Jahvon Blair, Jamorko Pickett, Qudus Wahab
  • Key Losses: Mac McClung, Omer Yurtseven, Terrell Allen, Jagan Mosely
  • Key Newcomers: Jalen Harris (Arkansas), Tyler Beard

Georgetown went 15-16 overall and 5-13 in conference play under Patrick Ewing a year ago and the Hoyas will need to overcome the losses of two of its best players in Mac McClung and Omer Yurtseven. Sophomore big men Qudus Wahab and Timothy Ighoefe will be asked to do a lot more this coming season, but Georgetown will have to rely on its defense to get the job done as they simply look like a team that won’t have enough offensive firepower to challenge the top teams in the conference.

DePaul

  • Key Returners: Charlie Moore, Romeo Weems, Jaylen Butz
  • Key Losses: Paul Reed, Jalen Coleman-Lands
  • Key Newcomers: Javon Freeman-Liberty (Valparaiso), Ray Salnave (Monmouth)

DePaul went 15-16 overall, but just 3-15 in conference play last season. The Blue Demons will be led by senior guard Charlie Moore (15.5 ppg) while hoping to get immediate contributions from transfers Javon Freeman-Liberty (Valparaiso), Ray Salnave (Monmouth). Still, head coach Dave Leitao is almost certainly preparing for the 2021-22 season and his incoming  top-10 recruiting class.

Connecticut

  • Key Returners: James Bouknight, Tyler Polley, Josh Carlton, Jalen Gaffney
  • Key Losses: Christian Vital, Alterique Gilbert
  • Key Newcomers: RJ Cole (Howard), Andre Jackson

UConn went 19-12 overall and 10-8 in the AAC last season, but the Huskies enter the upcoming season as a +2800 to win the national championship. Sophomore guard James Bouknight (13.0 ppg) and Howard transfer RJ Cole (21.4 ppg) are expected to lead this team on offense, but UConn will need some big contributions in the frontcourt. The good news is that Cole comes into the program with a nice pedigree that includes being the MEAC Player of the Year last season and a two-time conference scoring champion.


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