The 2013 season will be the first season of the reformed Big East conference. The conference consists of the "Catholic Seven," from the disbanded Big East, along with newcomers Xavier, Creighton and Butler.
But the tumultuous ride is finally over, and it's time to talk about the new conference on the floor, rather than off of it. I went around at Marquette's media day to gauge some of the players who were most looking forward to playing in the new conference.
One of the team's foremost leaders, Jamil Wilson, doesn't have one particular team he's looking forward to playing because he takes the season one game at a time.
"Whoever we play first. You can't skip games," Wilson plainly said.
Another senior leader, Chris Otule, is returning for his sixth season at Marquette and has plenty to look forward to aside from just being back on the court.
The conference is really good. We have Xavier who played in the tournament a couple years back, Creighton who has one of best players in country, obviously Butler who we played in NCAA tournament and Maui. It's just an interesting league and I'm excited to play in it
Speaking of the Blue Jays, the newcomer out of Omaha, Neb., was mentioned several times by the players partly because of their matchup on New Year's Eve at the CenturyLink Center. Steve Taylor said he's excited to play the Jays because of a matchup he has his eyes on.
"I can't wait to play Creighton because I'm going to be against McDermott," Taylor said with a small grin on his face.
Doug McDermott is one of the best players Marquette will see all season, and Dylan Flood said he is anxious for the challenge of trying to shut him down.
"I would say Creighton just because they have one of the best players in the country, Doug McDermott," Flood said. "I think that would be a real fun matchup for us to go against, a challenging, but fun one."
Freshman Duane Wilson wasn't on campus during the drama in the changing scene of the Big East, but Wilson has plenty of teams and venues he's looking forward to experiencing for the first time.
I'd probably have to say St. John's because we get to play at the Garden and I've never been to New York before," Wilson said. Georgetown is a big school and a hall of fame school. Everybody's saying Creighton is a leader in the Big East and they have some NBA pros on their team.
Wilson is also ready to experience some of the road environments that will come in the basketball-centered conference.
I feel like it's a great conference. Every road game is going to be good because it's all basketball so I think the atmosphere is going to be crazy and the fans are going to be crazy.
Junior Juan Anderson almost left Marquette because of home sickness, but now that he's back, his biggest games will be the ones his team plays closer to his native Oakland.
"We get to play Arizona State, we go to Vegas to play New Mexico, I'm looking forward to going to the West Coast to see my family, but I look forward to every game," Anderson said.
Like Jamil, Derrick Wilson is just excited for the opportunity to play in the Big East conference.
"I'm excited to play everybody, but just the whole Big East is always exciting," Wilson said.
No matter who the players are excited to play now, the Big East conference should instill some more hatred in old rivalries and stem some thrilling new grudge matches along the way.
All quotes obtained firsthand.
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