2018 College Basketball – Big East Preview
Looking for 2018 Big East NCAA Basketball Futures Odds and some great betting lines to get down on? The regular season begins this week and we’re breaking down the major power conferences to get you ready.
Handicapping 2018 Big East College Basketball Futures Odds
The Reigning Champs: Villanova
The Wildcats have owned the Big East ever since it became the new Big East four years ago. Villanova has been the conference champion in all four of those seasons and is the favorite to do it again this year.
Josh Hart is gone, which opens the door for Preseason Players of the Year Jalen Brunson. Brunson is the sort of talented combo guard we’re all used to seeing on Villanova in Jay Wright’s tenure. The Wildcats will always score with Wright there so whoever has the playmaking opportunity is going to thrive. This year, that man is Brunson.
Villanova is excited about the coming of Omari Spellman, the freshman forward who red-shirted for academic reasons last season. Spellman is a back-to-the-basket low post option, a rarity in Villanova’s system but he will attract attention and space the floor for those ‘Nova shooters.
The former Michael Jordan of Delaware, Donte DiVincenzo, returns for a bigger role this season. Villanova is deep, experienced and is accustomed to the expectation of championship or bust in the Big East every season.
Waiting In The Wings: Xavier, Seton Hall
But if ‘Nova does slip up, the two teams that are most likely to take over the Big East are Xavier and Seton Hall. Both are in the preseason top-25 and have senior leadership to justify it.
Xavier is led by forward Trevon Bluiett, who averaged 18.5 points per game as a junior last season. Bluiett is an efficient scorer, whose 44 percent field goal percentage last season looks lower than you might like because more than half his attempts were from three-point range. He is Brunson’s stiffest competition for POTY honors.
Seton Hall is led by double-double machine Angel Delgado up front. But two other seniors might provide more scoring for the Pirates. Khadeen Carrington and Desi Rodriguez handle the ball a little more and therefore get some more looks. It isn’t inconceivable that the trio averages 50 points per game, combined.
The Depth: Marquette, Creighton, Providence, Butler
Marquette boats Preseason All-Big East First Teamer Markus Howard. Howard averaged over 13 points per game last season as a freshman and was the best three-point shooter in the conference.
He could average in the neighborhood of 18-20 a game for the Golden Eagles this season, who will score in bunches but won’t get the stops to compete on Villanova’s level.
Creighton returns Marcus Foster for his senior season. He figures to be one of the very best scorers in all of college basketball, not just the Big East. Syracuse transfer Caleb Joseph will play alongside Foster in the backcourt after a disappointing tenure with the Orange.
Four seniors lead the fourth team that is in the preseason top-25 from the Big East. All four of the Friars’ seniors should average around double-digits scoring. Freshman Makai Ashton-Langford is a top-40 recruit who had previously signed on with UConn. He is Providence’s point guard of the future Kyron Cartwright set to graduate next spring.
LaVall Jordan became the Head Coach on short notice after Chris Holtmann bolted for Ohio State. He’s the former assistant, though and is familiar enough with the program to keep things running into this year. Kelan Martin will have a big senior year for the Bulldogs.
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