Part I - blogger poll of Big East teams | Part II - Starting Fives | Part III - new on campus | Part IV - Final Four Contenders | Part V - must-see games
I asked the following Big East bloggers:
Cincinnati Bearcats Blog (Twitter) | Connecticut The UConn Blog (Twitter) | DePaul Blue Demons Nation | DePaul Chicago College Basketball (Twitter) | Georgetown Hoya Prospectus | Marquette Cracked Sidewalks (Twitter) | Pittsburgh Cardiac Hill (Twitter) | Rutgers On the Banks (Twitter) | Seton Hall South Orange Juice (Twitter) | South Florida VoodooFive (Twitter) | St. John's Rumble in the Garden (Twitter)| Villanova By the Numbers | Villanova The Nova Blog (Twitter) | Villanova VUHoops (Twitter) | West Virginia The Smoking Musket (Twitter)
... to give me their best guesses on their team's starting fives and the first men off the bench. Here's what they said... after the jump>>
PG- Kemba Walker (Jr.)
SG- Jeremy Lamb (Fr.)
SF- Roscoe Smith (Fr.)
PF- Alex Oriakhi (So.)
C- Charles "Default Starter" Okwandu (Sr.)
It gets really thin towards the bottom of that list. The other options in the frontcourt are a freshman (Michael Bradley, who may redshirt), another freshman (Tyler Olander, who should redshirt) and Enosch Wolf (who won't arrive until December).
UConn may have to go very guard-heavy, so look for the first guys off the bench to be Donnell Beverly (a severely competent backup PG or emergency 2-guard), frosh SG SHABAZZ! Napier (you have to write it like that or it doesn't work) and soph SF Jamal Coombs-McDaniel.
With Nate Lubick looking to challenge at the PF position and Moses Ayegba also helping out down low.
C Austin Johnson
PF Jonathan Mitchell
SF Dane Miller
SG Mike Coburn
PG James Beatty
Most likely freshmen Gilvydas Biruta and Mike Poole will be first off the bench.
6th man: Keon Lawrence, JT's backup and defensive specialist.
7th man: Ferrakohn Hall, Kevin Willard will be looking to give the sophomore a ton of minutes in giving Herb Pope a breather, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Hall get a look or two at the starting PF nod at some point this season, with Jeff Robinson sliding to the 3.
PG Malik Boothe
SG Paris Horne
G/F DJ Kennedy
F Justin Brownlee
C Sean Evans
SG Dwight Hardy and F Dwayne Polee as 1st 2 off the bench. But unlike some other teams, St. John's isn't restricted by a complete lack of bodies, or a productive lineup - the Red Storm went 8-10 deep, but more than 40% of the scoring was from the bench - so Dwight Hardy and Polee may start, sending Brownlee and Horne to be sparkplugs off the bench. Quincy Roberts and Malik Stith's improvement is key to the team's depth.
A late injury to Eric Wallace puts the roster even more in flux.
Michael Bizoukas/ Brandon Young
Mike Stovall/ Moses Morgan
bench: Michael Bizoukas/ Brandon Young, Mike Stovall/ Moses Morgan, Tony Freeland
A lot of players are going to get playing time for the Blue Demons as Oliver Purnell tries to find out exactly what he's got.
Only Butler and DJO have really nailed down starting spots, though. It would not surprise us to see Joseph Fulce emerge as a starter if Buzz wants to play up just a bit, bringing Blue in off the bench.
The 6th and 7th and 8th men are a combination of Joe Fulce/Blue, Dwight Buycks and Chris Otule. We think MU will finally have a deeper rotation this time around the Big East – a 9-man rotation does not seem to be out of the question.
Anthony Crater (PG),
Jawanza Poland (G)
Hugh Robertson (G)
Augustus Gilchrist (PF)
Jarrid Famous (C)
I think that the first two guys off the bench will be Ron Anderson Jr. and Shaun Noriega.
6th/7th men : Deniz Kilicli,
Dan Jennings or Dalton Pepper
Corey Fisher, senior 6-1 200 pounds
Dom Cheek, sophomore 6-6 185 pounds/ Maalik Wayns, sophomore 6-2 185 pound point guard
Corey Stokes, senior 6-5 220 pounds
Antonio Pena, senior 6-8 235 pounds
Mouphtaou Yarou, sophomore 6-10 250 pounds
Off the bench:
Maalik Wayns, sophomore 6-2 185 pound point guard/ Dom Cheek, sophomore 6-6 185 pounds/
Isaiah Armwood, sophomore 6-7 205 pound wing/forward
Jayvaughn Pinkston, freshman 6-7 235 pound wing/forward
Maurice Sutton, junior 6-11 220 pound forward/center
Yancy Gates - C
Ibrahima Thomas - PF
Rashard Bishop - SF
Dion Dixon - SG
Cashmere Wright - PG
6- Sean Kilpatrick - SG, I think eventually he'll start over Dixon
7- Justin Jackson - PF
PG - Ashton Gibbs,
SG - Brad Wanamaker,
SF - Gil Brown,
PF - Nasir Robinson,
C - Gary McGhee
6th/7th men - C - Dante Taylor, G - Travon Woodall
Head coach Jamie Dixon may also choose to start Travon Woodall at the point and move Gibbs to SG, forcing Wanamaker to the bench. That's actually how I'd prefer it since Wanamaker would give the team a good scoring option off the bench. Woodall handling the ball would also allow Gibbs to focus more on getting open and shooting, which is what he excels at. Incoming freshman J.J. Moore and PF Talib Zanna may not be the 6th or 7th men, but both performed well in a summer league here in Pittsburgh and on the team's overseas tour in Ireland. I expect them to see some time this season as well.