Big East Key Offseason Questions

Posted by Justin Kundrat on April 26th, 2017

The long offseason days of transfers, NBA Draft declarations and coaching changes are now upon us. This time of year has a way of inspiring hope that next season will bring about improvement, that maybe this time things will be different. Below is a list of a few key questions that Big East teams will attempt to solve over the coming six months.

Patrick Ewing Takes Over the Proud Hoyas Program (USA Today Images)

  • How successful will Patrick Ewing be at Georgetown? The biggest Big East storyline this offseason has been Georgetown’s decision to part ways with 13-year head coach John Thompson III. In his wake arrives Patrick Ewing, the former Hoyas’ superstar who most recently spent time in the NBA as an assistant coach. Ewing is inexperienced in both collegiate recruiting and coaching but he is an intriguing hire on brand name alone. The premise that Georgetown is hoping for is that a well-known face on the sidelines will rejuvenate a lethargic fan base and attract a level of talent that Thompson had failed to corral during his last few seasons. Ewing will have his hands full in restoring a team that loses its two leading scorers in Rodney Pryor (18.0 PPG) and LJ Peak (16.3 PPG) as well as a de-commitment from prized recruit Tremont Waters. For now, unfair of not, Ewing will receive the Chris Mullin at St. John’s treatment: benefit of the doubt with heavy expectations setting in after a couple seasons.

  • Is next year Seton Hall’s revenge tour? Notwithstanding the draft declarations of Khadeen Carrington and Angel Delgado, Kevin Willard’s group has a legitimate chance to claim the Big East throne next season. With both players presumed to be returning, the Pirates will bring back seven of eight players from its rotation while adding a highly touted guard in Myles Cale. Delgado is likely the best rebounder in college basketball, and coupling his presence with several other scorers on the perimeter has given Seton Hall an increasingly balanced attack to go along with its already tenacious defense. This core group of players is coming off its second straight NCAA Tournament appearance so a menacing push for redemption is undoubtedly in order.
  • How do draft decisions go for the conference’s top scorers? While the uncertainty of NBA Draft declarations exists every year, it’s particularly impactful for the Big East this time around. Last year, some of the stay-or-go decisions (Kris Dunn, Henry Ellenson) were fairly obvious, making it easy to generate team outlooks with that in mind. This season, eight of the conference’s top 10 scorers were underclassman. Moreover, with the exception of Georgetown’s LJ Peak, who has already signed with an agent, the leading scorers of Xavier (Trevon Bluiett) and Seton Hall (Khadeen Carrington) have opted to test the waters. Neither is a guarantee to be drafted, but if workouts go well, they could find themselves on NBA rosters next season. That alone presents a great deal of variability for their teams’ futures and remains the biggest question mark for the conference over the next month.
Justin Kundrat (120 Posts)

Villanova grad, patiently waiting another 10 years for season tickets. Follow Justin on twitter @JustinKundrat or email him at justin.kundrat@gmail.com


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