2010 Big East Tournament: The Top 5 Players That Need To Shine
For those of you that make the plain and absurd statement that "College Basketball is dead", well I recommend you watch the Big East Tournament this year and find out what you're missing out on.
With teams ranging in talent, depth, and overall charisma, 2010 has provided us with a variety of choices as to who the favorites are in terms of taking home the Big East Title.
Syracuse, Villanova, West Virginia, or an upset? You make the call; just keep in mind the players that need to shine, and to help you, I'll list them all out plain and simple.
Scottie's performance hasn't been dismal, but it hasn't been great either in recent weeks. With Villanova fading fast following tough losses to Syracuse and West Virginia in the past two weeks, things have become testy.
Still, there is a chance that the Wildcats will rise again, and it does seem whenever we write Nova off, they come right back and stun everybody. That may not happen, though, if Scottie Reynolds fails to show up in the next three to four weeks.
His shooting has been good, averaging 18.8 points per game, and he has had solid minutes on the court.
Unfortunately, though, Scottie still isn't the "leader" type that Villanova has been wishing for. At times he seems to stress, and fall under pressure. This type of attitude isn't going to help Villanova in the coming month, so it is important that Scottie has his game face on and is eager to go.
West Virginia was a sort of uncanny and wild card type big heading into the Tourney until they upset Villanova. Now, they are strong favorites in many people's minds to take it all the way.
With Da'Sean Butler already favored enough, underdog Kevin Jones is needed to fill in as a go to guy for the Mountaineers.
With 13.5 points per game and a strong and forceful body, the forward position will be key all throughout March if West Virginia has any hope of toppling the top ranked teams.
It seems that when Andy is shooting well, Jim Boeheim's men are willing to give him the ball. However, if he is a little off some nights, the Orange are a little reluctant to offer him open shots at the basket.
With Wes Johnson firmly leading the Orange, and Scoop Jardine adding to the offensive pressure, Andy Rautins has become a firm perimeter shooter, which suits him just fine.
Field goals are going to be key for Syracuse, especially if they are paired with an opponent such as Villanova or Georgetown.
The pressure isn't on Andy just yet, as he's been the definition of clutch all season. It will be on, however, if the Orange do struggle in the paint early, and Rautins will be forced to do what he does best.
Ashton isn't the most overhyped guy in the league, but he just plays ball, and does it well. For Syracuse fans, Pittsburgh is a team that may strike fear in your hearts.
With many upsets on the year, Pittsburgh haven't been the most consistent team by any stretch of the imagination. Going into the tournament ranked No. 16, the Big East is a milestone that the Panthers are going to have to overcome.
Fortunately, they have key man Ashton Gibbs, who will need to shine when it comes time. Against Rutgers he looked good, and will need to continue his impressive form in the Tourney.
If you told me two months ago that Georgetown was even going to be ranked at this point in time, chances are I would have laughed at you.
With that said, the Hoyas have been focused enough to get the job done, despite a shaky season that hasn't seen their best efforts.
Austin Freeman is averaging 17.3 points per game this season, and those stats will need to improve heading into the later stages of March.
Talent isn't jam-packed when you look at the Hoyas on paper, but Austin Freeman is the type of guy that can lead them to bigger and better places.
He needs to shine, and needs to shine brightly over the coming weeks.