Statheads predict the Big East men's hoops teams

USA TODAY Sports

Where teams stack up in widely-read preseason statistical rankings.

Ken Pomeroy and Dan Hanner - two heavyweights in the tempo-neutral college basketball business - have released their preseason projections, both based on previous performance with a dollop of adjustment for impact players coming in. Transfers, however, are ignored, since gauging their impact is often very difficult/ inconsistent.

Keep that in mind as you're looking through these rankings - they're not a be-all, end-all, but they do speak to trends in teams that tend to hold true.

First, Ken Pomeroy's rankings (in a sortable table!):

Num Team ProjW ProjL Pomeroy PomRank AdjO ORank AdjD DRank
1 Creighton 12 6 0.8883 13 114.9 4 95.9 54
2 Georgetown 11 7 0.8879 14 108.2 43 90.4 5
3 Marquette 11 7 0.8666 24 110.3 23 93.8 24
4 Villanova 10 8 0.8566 26 109.4 32 93.7 23
5 Providence 9 9 0.8087 41 109.1 33 96.2 58
6 St. John's 8 10 0.7955 47 105.1 80 93.4 20
7 Butler 8 10 0.7822 53 105.0 82 94.0 28
8 Xavier 8 10 0.7615 57 106.6 59 96.4 62
9 Seton Hall 7 11 0.7455 63 104.7 89 95.3 45
10 DePaul 6 12 0.6846 84 108.0 46 101.0 160

As often mentioned, the Big East is considered to be a conference where the difference between the top three and the bottom three may be a couple of games against evenly-matched squads. St. John's appearance at 6th here should come with some words of caution; the Johnnies' offense last year was very inefficient, depending on long jump shots (the most inefficient shots in the game).

This year's team has some changes that should improve the offense - a break-you-down point guard in freshman Rysheed Jordan coupled with a more confident Jamal Branch; the addition of a pair of players with low-post ability in Orlando Sanchez and God`sGift Achiuwa; and the shooting stroke of Max Hooper.

Next, Dan Hanner's projections ((in a sortable table!). First, the guide to what you are looking at, by column:

Rank: Ranking based on median simulation

POFF: Projected offense median prediction for points scored per 100 possessions

PDEF: Projected defense median prediction for points allowed per 100 possessions

BC: Best-case scenario 90th percentile simulation rank

WC: Worst-case scenario 10th percentile simulation rank

Conf Rank: Ranking within conference

Rank
Team
POFF PDEF BC WC Rank Conf
17
Marquette
116.1 92.5 7th 29th 1st Big East
19
Creighton
120.6 97.1 9th 33rd 2nd Big East
31
Georgetown
108.0 89.3 11st 58th 3rd Big East
36
Villanova
108.2 90.7 16th 62nd 4th Big East
44
St. John's
105.9 90.7 21st 76th 5th Big East
50
Providence
109.2 93.8 21st 77th 6th Big East
61
Xavier
108.8 95.2 26th 96th 7th Big East
71
Seton Hall
105.7 94.3 36th 109th 8th Big East
74
Butler
105.3 94.3 39th 111th 9th Big East
136
DePaul
109.8 106.2 82nd 188th 10th Big East

Here, Creighton and Marquette's offense are far above the rest of the programs, while Georgetown, Villanova and St. John's history of tenacious defenses help differentiate themselves from other schools. DePaul has the widest variance between best case and worst case finishes, with a spread of 106 spots.

Hanner's projection likes the Red Storm's defense a bit more than Pomeroy's, and the Johnnies are fifth in this projection. Again, in a league with this much parity, teams will need to win the winnable games and take advantage of other teams' mistakes. Having a veteran squad could help the Red Storm outpace their projections in a conference where many games will be decided by one or two possessions.

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