This season I will be writing a weekly college basketball column titled Big East Bias, which will cover everything I deem important in the world of Big East basketball. I sincerely hope those of you who frequent the B/R college basketball pages enjoy this column, and I welcome any comments you have.
Typically, these weekly awards will be administered after the weekend action. But with so much college basketball excitement going on around the country this week, I couldn’t help but dole out some early season goods.
Big East Player of the Week
Dante Cunningham, Villanova
After Nova’s first three games, Dante is averaging 18.3 points per game. Cunningham exploded for an efficient 31 points against Fordham. Wildcat fans have been hoping that their senior forward would develop his shooting touch outside of two feet... so far so good.
Big East Rookie of the Week
Kemba Walker, Connecticut
Expect Kemba to be a mainstay on my R.O.W. award list. Walker scored 21 points against Hartford this week. Best of all, he controls the tempo on the court and makes free throws… something UConn will need.
Big East Team of the Week
Not even a close call here. What a great win for the Pirates! Coming back against a major program like USC is something that this school can be very proud of. Perhaps Seton Hall coach Bobby Gonzalez can now build a reputation for being something other than a sideline psycho.
Big East Disappointment of the Week
This one has to go to Providence for losing to Northeastern in their opener. Talk about a sad way to ring in the Keno Davis era. I have high hopes for the Friars this year. Perhaps that is why this loss was soooo disappointing. If Providence makes a run at the NCAA Tournament, this loss is going to be a resume killer!
Observations from Around the Country
-Tyler Hansbrough needs to fire his stylist! The suit and T-shirt combo he rocked from the sidelines of the Kentucky game was atrocious. This was probably the worst college basketball fashion statement since the ongoing Mike Brey / Tommy Amaker mock turtleneck maneuver.
-Every so often I thank the college basketball gods for giving me so much. Lately, I am especially thankful that Eric Devendorf is NOT on the team that I support.
-Did Oregon really loose to Oakland? Where is Oakland anyway? Things are not looking good for Ernie Kent. He is a great recruiter, but that’s about it.
-I don’t know about you, but I’m routing like crazy for N.J.I.T. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not hoping that they get a win, I’m routing for one of sports’ all-time great losing streaks to continue! 35 straight and counting baby!
-Steph Curry is rocketing up my draft board! He is not just a pure scorer, the kid is extremely savvy. We can no longer assume that he will struggle in the NBA because of his size. There is really no player like him on the next level. Can you think of one?
-Lots of people are talking about Mid-Majors Gonzaga and Davidson. I think it’s time to start talking about Siena!
-Don’t rush in to thinking Tyreke Evans is the next Derrick Rose. Evans dogs it when things aren’t going his way. And while he is a superior penetrator, his shooting stroke leaves much to be desired.
-There is no way Blake Griffin is 6’10”...but WHO CARES! This guy is an absolute beast! Griffin has been labeled the next No. 1 pick by many NBA draft outlets, and I can see why. When he wants a board, he gets it. When he wants to posterize a victim, he does it!
-If Kentucky is looking to go back to the drawing board already (and they should be), they may want to take a look at their uniforms. Extra tight T’s and baggy three quarter length shorts/pants are not getting it done. I’m surprised the alumni are putting up with clown pants.
-Poor St. John’s. I guess there isn’t any real shame in losing to B.C., but it’s sad to see that this once proud program is now the only team in the Big East conference with absolutely nothing to look forward to.
-"Whatever I wanted to do, I was able to do." Those were the words of UVA freshman Sylven Landesberg after his first collegiate game! Why so much confidence? Landesberg is averaging 24.5 ppg. He is the obvious early leader for ACC Rookie of the Year.