The fourth of five Big East Basketball Roundtables focuses on the player for each team that our crack panel can't wait to see on campus. Can they live up to the hype? How will their games translate to college? And why does Casual Hoya think that Kate Upton's coming to Georgetown's chic and fashionable streets?
Below is a team-by-team look at a number of the players who will make their mark on the Big East, and be candidates for the freshman of the year. Well, except for our selections from the Providence contingent - they're more excited about what Ed Cooley can do with the players already on the roster.
Read more, after the jump.
Sanders is one of the freshmen expected to take the role Sean Kilpatrick had last year, scorer off the bench. Cincinnati needs someone to anchor the second unit. The back ups will be young, with Larry Davis, Darnell Wilks and Kilpatrick (presumably to the starting lineup) all moved on to bigger and better things. Someone is going to have to score, and I think it's going to be Sanders.
If Drummond is for real, it gives UConn their first offensive threat in the post since 2006, assuming you count Hilton Armstrong's one year of greatness. He's supposed to be crazy athletic, with post moves and an ability to finish near the basket.
Considering we've had Hasheem Thabeet, Ater Majok and Alex Oriakhi flinging hook shots off the side of the rim for five years, I honestly can't wait to see Drummond on the court. Also, he might be the most dominant HS player in his class, etc.
Perhaps the biggest unknown of the incoming freshmen is 6'9 center Derrell Robertson out of Mendenhall High School in Mississippi. Robertson played on a loaded AAU team, so he flew a bit under the radar. The scouting reports on Robertson is that he is a long and well built athlete who alters shots quite frequently. However, his offense game is quite raw, and plays passive at times. The opportunity to see some minutes at the five is there for Robertson, however, he must earn the time or may possibly be considered for a redshirt.
Kate is extremely seductive in those staring contest ads she does for Sobe. I'm sure most would be very excited to see her on campus.
However, if you're talking Hoyas, the freshman with the most hype is Otto Porter, who was a consensus top 30 player and seems to be the kind of guy JT3 wants to build the offense around: heady guy with good size, excellent passer.
Hoya Prospectus Excited to See: Otto Porter
It'd be Trawick if it weren't for Otto Porter.
He's a bit different than Jeff Green was when he was a freshman. He's 6'9" and an excellent passer, but while Jeff started out as a C/PF who could handle and pass, Porter is a SF at heart. He has excellent vision and a good handle for a 6'9" guy, like Jeff did, but his offensive game is more perimeter-based. He's got a much better outside shot than Green at the same time and less of an inside game. But the offense is already running through him when he's on the floor, despite being a freshman, and that's something he has in common with both Jeff and Greg Monroe.
Where he also may be superior is in playing the passing lanes -- Porter has been very disruptive on defense in both Summer League and over in China. It's tough to tell if that will continue in the BE, but his length will be an issue for people. With Hollis Thompson likely playing most of the minutes at the 3, I'm not sure we'll see the best of Porter's defense this year, but when he does play the 3 with perhaps a real center and fellow long, athletic freshman Mikael Hopkins at the 4, the length and athleticism is going to bother opponents.
Marquette | Excited to See: Jamil Wilson
Or Peter King. Dude spoke at some function for the College of Communications at the beginning of the school year. I have a lot of questions about lattes.
Oh, you meant new players? In that case: Jamil Wilson, the Racine (WI) native who transferred home after his freshman season at Oregon and is eligible after red-shirting last season. There were whispers he was the best player on the floor in Marquette's practices last year, and Jimmy Butler left some big shoes to fill at the small forward spot. We think Wilson's up to the task.
Cracked Sidewalks | @crackedsidewlks Wilson was a 6'8, top 40 recruit that originally went to Oregon and sat out all last year transferring back home. He's arguably the most athletic and talented player on the squad. We're expecting him to be that third player to really step up.
Birch is the freshman to watch for Pitt this season. He may be Pitt's highest-rated recruit of all-time and is expected to produce immediately. Birch sounds more like a defensive player but should be a capable scorer as well.
Friars fans are dying to see youtube sensation Kiwi Gardner, but I'm looking forward to seeing if Coleman can meet the lofty expectations he came with.
Can I do a "what" here instead? During Ed Cooley's initial press conference, he said "I love the treadmill in practice. I call it the focus machine. If you can't focus in practice, you're going to go to the focus machine." Friar fans ate this up and with good reason.
The lack of discipline and accountability constantly plagued the Keno Davis error, so it's great hearing that Cooley plans to get Friartown focused.
Myles Mack, a small but fast PG and Kadeem Jack a highly touted forward should be a ton of fun to watch.
Kyle Anderson, Kevin Johnson, Aaron Cosby / Haralds Karlis as one of the two will be our starting shooting guard this year.
He was a JUCO AA last year as a freshman, averaging 25 PPG. We are in desperate need of a quality point, and it looks like he might be the answer..
The smooth Harkless is a Queens native; he seems insightful and intelligent; and he is known to have a thinking man's game with elite athleticism. And he hasn't put it all together yet into a baller package yet. He seems like the kind of high-caliber guy the St. John's fans like myself will love to root for.
I feel like I'm already too friendly, calling him "Moe" instead of Maurice.
Also a shooting guard, he will see some time on the floor and should contribute when Brandon Triche or Scoop Jardine need a break. Syracuse basically has combo guards all over the place so he will fit right in.
I have to wonder how last season would have played out had Pinkston played. A preseason suspension took him out of school and off the court.Hopefully the European tour will help to get him back in game shape. He is a small forward with power forward moves. The team will need him for rebounding and defense.
I believe Kennedy is without a doubt one of the best "character guys" on this team. He is also a big body that can spell Mouph a lot more believably than Mo Sutton. He has some room to get better as a player, but he has great size and instincts as well as great court-vision. He seems to make good decisions on the floor.
After prepping last season, Kennedy has reportedly worked himself into incredible shape and looks ready to make an impact in his freshman year. The big man did some great work on the boards in Europe and reportedly possesses a very high basketball IQ.
Given the uncertainty this summer surrounding Hinds' clearance to play by the NCAA, it was a relief to all Mountaineer fans to finally see him on campus. Hinds missed the summer trip to Italy, but shouldn't have too much trouble stepping in and providing much-needed help to a dangerously thin point guard position. If he plays as well as most think he will, it would allow Truck Bryant to move over to shooting guard, which may be a better fit for his skill set than point guard. Hinds has to play well for WVU to achieve at the level it wants.