BIG EAST Power Rankings - Nov. 21
1. Villanova (5-0)
The reigning national champions passed an extremely tough road test at No. 15 Purdue and followed it up with three wins in four days to win the Charleston Classic.
Some games have not been the prettiest, but the Wildcats have found ways to win with their experience and leadership. Josh Hart has been more aggressive than last season and leads a balanced and unselfish offensive attack with 20.3 points per game. Sophomore Jalen Brunson has been terrific at point guard, averaging 13 points and 3.8 assists per game.
2. Creighton (4-0)
No team has had a more eye-opening start to the season than Creighton. The Bluejays made a huge statement by upsetting No. 9 Wisconsin and then scored 100+ points in back-to-back games at the Paradise Jam. They play Ole Miss for the championship tonight.
The high-powered offense, led by senior point guard Maurice Watson Jr., is averaging 95.8 points per game. The Jays are deep and talented at every position and have a ton of offensive weapons. Seven players reached double figures in Sunday’s win over NC State.
But 7’0 freshman Justin Patton could end up being the X-factor. The center can run the floor like a guard and has already thrown down some monster dunks en route to averaging 10.5 points and 6 rebounds per game.
3. Xavier (5-0)
Xavier also took home some early-season hardware, winning the Tire Pros Invitational in Orlando after nearly falling in the opening round. The Musketeers' talented backcourt is even stronger than last season with Trevon Bluiett (18 ppg), J.P. Macura (20 ppg) and Edmond Sumner (16.5 ppg) already putting up big numbers.
With the graduation of James Farr and Jalen Reynolds, Xavier will need to find some more scoring inside. 6’9 transfer RaShid Gaston has shown promise, averaging 7 points and 6.3 rebounds per game so far. Like Villanova, the Musketeers have found ways to win tough games. They're still developing some chemistry with new pieces and should be even stronger when conference play begins.
4. Seton Hall (3-0)
The defending BIG EAST champions lost a huge piece of their offense in Isaiah Whitehead, but many would argue that this Seton Hall team is as good if not better than last year’s. The Pirates had an extremely impressive road win over Iowa and now face a tough field in the Advocare Invitational in Orlando. We’ll get a better sense of just how good this team is after the tournament.
Four players are averaging at least 15 points per game, led by Khadeen Carrington’s 21.7. Freshman Myles Powell is one to watch this season. The New Jersey product is averaging 15.3 points per game and shooting 45% from long range.
5. Butler (3-0)
Butler has been solid to start the season and beat Northwestern in thrilling fashion as freshman Kamar Baldwin hit a veteran-like step back jumper at the buzzer.
Kelan Martin has started off strongly in what could be a huge season, putting up 18.7 points per game in just 27 minutes per game. Fans in Hinkle are still getting accustomed to not seeing Kellen Dunham and Roosevelt Jones on the floor, but the Dawgs are more athletic this season and will look to get out in transition. They will be tested in Las Vegas this week at the Continental Tire Invitational with a field that includes Vanderbilt and Arizona.