Big East Basketball Power Rankings: Week Two

Alex JessweinContributor INovember 23, 2008

1. Connecticut (4-0)-Scored a nice win over a ranked Miami (FL) team and has a key game against Wisconsin in the final of the Paradise Jam Tournament.  Hasheem Thabeet was dominant in the win over Miami.  The junior center scored 19 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and swatted 7 shots.

2. Louisville (2-0)- Samardo Samuels played really well in Louisville's first couple of games, scoring 18 and 24 points.  Louisville's biggest gain was getting senior forward Terrance Williams back from injury.

3. Pittsburgh (4-0)-DeJuan Blair is a man. His 27 points and 18 rebounds against Indiana (PA) was quite impressive.  The Panthers have looked dominant so far and with Fields running the show, they are going to be a tough team to beat.

4. Notre Dame (2-0)- The Irish struggled a little bit against Loyola Marymount but have a big opportunity in the EA Sports Maui Invitational.

5. Marquette (3-0)- Marquette's offense has a ton of firepower right now.  The Golden Eagles have averaged over 100 points-per-game this season.  They face Texas Southern, Northern Iowa, and Dayton to complete the Chicago Invitational.

6. Villanova (3-0)-Villanova has gotten contributions from all over the place this season.  They are still guard heavy but their front court play has improved.  They face Monmouth and Towson this week.

7. Georgetown (2-0)-The Hoyas struggled a bit with Jacksonville but had little trouble with Drexel.  Greg Monroe recorded 20 points and 8 rebounds in the win over the Dragons.  They travel to Orlando to compete in the loaded Old Spice Classic.

8. Syracuse (3-0)-It's a big week for the Orange. They compete in the CBE classic against Florida and then against either Washington or Kansas.  After that Virginia comes to town.  Syracuse has looked good so far against inferior competition.

9. West Virginia (2-0)-West Virginia heads out to Las Vegas to face Iowa and then either Kansas State or Kentucky.  Devin Ebanks has underperformed his ranking so far but fellow freshman Daryl "Truck" Bryant has looked fantastic.

10. Cincinnati (3-0)- Cincinnati's big game this week will come on November 28 as they face Florida State at home.  Although they have not faced anyone notable, the Bearcats have looked solid and are my surprise team to be in contention for an NCAA bid.  Remember that last year they started out 8-5 in the Big East before losing the final five games.

11. Seton Hall (4-1)-Scored a big win over USC in the Puerto Rico Tip-off.  They did not have Robert "Stix" Mitchell available for that game or the game versus Memphis but he came back for finale against Virginia Tech.  Seton Hall is clearly depleted depth-wise but have some solid talent on board.

12. DePaul (2-0)-It has been two close games so far for the Blue Demons.  They defeated Albany and UIC to start the season.  It's not a big surprise that they have been led by Dar Tucker and Mac Koshwal.  Will Walker had two real nice games this week and may have emerged as a legitimate third option.

13. Rutgers (3-1)-Rutgers lost a tough game to St. Bonaventure at the RAC.  Freshman Greg Echenique and Mike Rosario have looked impressive so far.  Rutgers will not face a big conference school until December 28 when they face North Carolina.

14. Providence (3-1)- Keno Davis' squad rebounded well after a loss to Northeastern in the opener.  They have been scoring in bunches and may be getting adjusted to the new system.  They head out to California to play in the Anaheim Classic.  It will provide a tough test for this group.

15. St. John's (3-1)- St. John's biggest loss of the week did not come in the standings.  They lost Anthony Mason Jr. for the season and that could be devastating for the Red Storm.  DJ Kennedy will be asked to pick up much of the load in his absence.

16. South Florida (1-1)-South Florida lost a tough game to Virginia.  They don't have any tests this week and are waiting until the semester ends.  Why, you might ask? Because Mike Mercer and Augustus Gilchrist become eligible and should be major factors for the Bulls this season.