Mar 28, 2013; Washington, D.C., USA; Marquette Golden Eagles center Chris Otule (42) and forward Davante Gardner (54) react in the first half against the Syracuse Orange during the finals of the East regional of the 2013 NCAA tournament at the Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Blue Ribbon Releases Preseason Top-25; Two Big East Teams Made It

The annual Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook is considered the ‘bible’ of college basketball publications.  It has all the information you could possibly need on any of the 345 Division 1 teams with expert analysis.  The writers give their take on each player on a team and their expected role, recruiting, events that took place over the summer (such as foreign trips), and quotes from the coaches.  Each preview also displays the team’s schedule, coaching information and record, and team performance in recent years.

The book is available for pre-order now and will ship in early October.  However, the Blue Ribbon preseason top-25 was released last week.

Two Big East schools are on that list – Marquette at #16 and Creighton at #21.

I’m not sure yet who I am going to pick to win the Big East this year, but I’m fairly certain that Marquette will be chosen by the coaches as the preseason pick to win the league.  However, they likely won’t be the unanimous pick as Creighton, and maybe even Georgetown, could also receive votes.

The Golden Eagles return talented starters in Davante Gardner, Jamil Wilson, Todd Mayo and Chris Otule, while also welcoming in a top-10 recruiting class in the nation that includes JaJuan Johnson, Deonte Burton, Duane Wilson and talented JUCO transfer Jameel McKay.  This team is not only loaded with talent, but also with size and experience.

The case for the Bluejays is just as straight-forward.   They are returning all but one starter (Gregory Echenique), along with talented recruits Toby Hegner and Darian Harris.  But most importantly they return two-time first team All-American Doug McDermott.

The AP and USA Today Coaches Polls will be released in a few weeks and both of these teams may very well find themselves located on those rankings also.  But I fully expect that there could be anywhere from five to seven Big East schools that make an appearance in the polls throughout the year.  Georgetown, St. John’s, Xavier, Providence and Villanova all are talented enough to earn a ranking.  There may not be any national championship contenders in the Big East, but there are a handful of teams that will make some noise.

The entire Blue Ribbon preseason top-25 looks like this:

  1. Michigan State
  2. Kentucky
  3. Louisville
  4. Duke
  5. Arizona
  6. Kansas
  7. Florida
  8. Syracuse
  9. Michigan
  10. North Carolina
  11. Ohio State
  12. Oklahoma State
  13. Wichita State
  14. Gonzaga
  15. Connecticut
  16. Marquette
  17. Memphis
  18. VCU
  19. Notre Dame
  20. Tennessee
  21. Creighton
  22. Baylor
  23. Colorado
  24. Iowa
  25. New Mexico

Tags: Basketball Big East Creighton Bluejays Marquette Golden Eagles

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