This article is part of our Conference Preview series.
The new season looks like it will be one of rebuilding for the Big East. Almost all of the teams – save perhaps St. John's – suffered heavy personnel losses. It is unlikely that the conference will boast a pair of one-seeds as they did with Villanova and Xavier last year. Despite having four players drafted from last year's national championship squad, the Wildcats will again be the favorite. Holdovers such as Eric Paschall and Phil Booth should be ready for bigger roles, and players such as Colin Gillespie and Jermaine Samuels will join the regular rotation. Villanova will be fine.
On paper, the Red Storm may have the most talent in the conference. The big question looming over the conference is whether Auburn transfer Mustapha Heron will be eligible immediately. The 6-5 guard applied for a hardship waiver and the NCAA will likely provide a ruling prior to the season. Coach Chris Mullin should have plenty of options even if Heron has to sit out. Shamorie Ponds led the conference in scoring and Justin Simon became an all-around fantasy threat. Guard Mikey Dixon, a transfer from Quinnipiac, will be eligible after scoring 16.5 points for the Bobcats two years ago. Things could get interesting in Queens if everything comes together.
Center: Jessie Govan, Georgetown Hoyas
An argument could be made that Govan should be the top player selected in Tier 1 drafts*. The 6-foot-10 center is by far the most productive returning pivotman after providing 17.9 points and 10.0