7. Villanova Wildcats
Because Jalen Brunson (above) should factor into the Player of the Year race and because this team has a true back-to-the-basket big (Omari Spellman) andNBA prospect on the wing (Mikal Bridges), the Wildcats are still the class of the Big East. Brunson will also get a boost from Phil Booth, who was a nice role player on Nova’s title-winning team but lost last season to injury. The Wildcats don’t have a lot of flaws, and it would be a surprise if this team didn’t take a fifth straight regular-season league title.
50. Saint Joseph’s Hawks
I’ll buy Joe’s this season. They’ve got a kid named Charlie Brown! Shavar Newkirk is their best player, and I’m basing this ranking on him returning fully healthy at some point in December. Overall, very balanced team with size and almost everyone back. Phil Martelli will get this group into the top four of the A-10, I’m pretty certain of it.
63. Temple Owls
Plenty of people in the league like Temple to be the surprise team, the group that winds up finishing fourth in the AAC. I’ll stop short of that, but I do think the Owls will be in the bubble conversation into February. A pair of nice seniors on this team: Josh Brown, Obi Enechionyia.
92. La Salle Explorers
Their best players are named B.J. Johnson and Pookie Powell. Alrighty then. Let’s move on.
189. Penn Quakers
The Quakers are shifting back into traditional form under Steve Donahue. A.J. Brodeur will have a shot at First Team All-Ivy.
269. Drexel Dragons
Zach Spiker is still trying to get a toehold in the Philly recruiting world, a necessity if you’re going to win at Drexel. The Dragons will rely on Kirk Lee and build around him over the next three seasons: