Top 50 Big East Players: Non-con edition


Marquette Men’s Basketball

In the months leading up to the season, we here at Paint Touches released our top 50 players in the Big East. This list was based on a formula we created in house that tried to marry advanced stats like eFG% and dPPP with more traditional stats like PPG and RPG to forecast how individual players would fare this upcoming season. We used the formula to rank the players and get a general idea of where they should be placed. We then shifted them around using our own personal eye tests. While a formula was utilized, this list was never meant to be scientific. This is just a fun way for us to pass the summer and inspire some debate between the various fan bases in the world greatest basketball conference.

Now that non-conference play has wrapped up, we wanted to check in and see how our preseason list has stacked up. We used the same process from before to rank individual non-conference performances with one small tweak. We added a strength of schedule modifier….a Georgetown clause if you will…to help account for the differing levels of competition faced by each squad. As would be expected, it’s a pretty mixed bag with some predictions being right on and others being way off the mark. It’s almost as if basketball isn’t played on paper.

A reminder of the rules. This isn’t a true top 50. While we put every player in the Big East through the formula, we only took the top 5 scoring players from each school and then ranked those into a top 50. For this list we purely ranked players on what they have done, not what we think they will do. For example, we know Kyron Cartwright has been playing hurt and that impacted his ranking. We fully expect him to start playing like his preseason All Big East self by season’s end. And finally, we are some bums on the internet. We don’t mean for this list to be taken as gospel, but rather to inspire some friendly discussion and debate.

Here is the list we have so far with the player’s preseason ranking in ()

50. Jahvon Blair of Georgetown (NR)
49. Justin Roberts of DePaul (NR)
48. Greg Elliott of Marquette (NR)
47. Jonathan Mulmore of Georgetown (NR)
46. Kalif Young of Providence (NR)
45. Kaleb Johnson of Georgetown (NR)
44. Alpha Diallo (NR…though would have been ranked if Holt’s injury had been announced before we wrote the list)
43. Sean McDermott of Butler (48)
42. Matt Heldt of Marquette (NR)
41. Marcus LoVett of St. John’s (17)
40. Kyron Cartwright of Providence (14)
39. Ronnie Harrell of Creighton (NR)
38. Marcus Derrickson of Georgetown (37)
37. Mitchell Ballock of Creighton (42)
36. Eli Cain of DePaul (20)
35. TreDarius McCallum of DePaul (34)
34. Ish Sanogo of Seton Hall (NR)
33. Kamar Baldwin of Butler (24)
32. Khadeen Carrington of Seton Hall (6)
31. Myles Powell of Seton Hall (32)
30. Marvin Clark Jr of St. John’s (38)
29. Phil Booth of Villanova (19)
28. Jalen Lindsey of Providence (21)
27. Naji Marshall of Xavier (31)
26. Donte DiVincenzo of Villanova (23)
25. JP Macura of Xavier (18)
24. Tariq Owens of St. John’s (40)
23. Marin Maric of DePaul (44)
22. Tyler Wideman of Butler (29)
21. Kerem Kanter of Xavier (NR)
20. Andrew Rowsey of Marquette (15)
19. Paul Jorgensen of Butler (NR)
18. Justin Simon of St. John’s (NR)
17. Kaiser Gates of Xavier (NR)
16. Kelan Martin of Butler (4)
15. Max Strus of DePaul (45)
14. Markus Howard of Marquette (25)
13. Desi Rodriquez of Seton Hall (3)
12. Rodney Bullock of Providence (8)
11. Omari Spellman of Villanova (10)
10. Sam Hauser of Marquette (13)
9. Martin Krampelj of Creighton (NR)
8. Khyri Thomas of Creighton (11)
7. Jessie Govan of Georgetown (30)
6. Jalen Brunson of Villanova (2)
5. Marcus Foster of Creighton (12)
4. Trevonn Blueitt of Xavier (7)
3. Angel Delgado of Seton Hall (1)
2. Shamore Ponds of St. John’s (5)
1. Mikal Bridges of Villanova (9)

Dropped from the rankings:
Aaron Thompson of Butler (50)
Austin Grandstaff of DePaul (49)
Jagan Mosley of Georgetown (47)
Jamal Cain of Marquette (46)
Trey Dickerson of Georgetown (43)
Haanif Cheatham of Marquette (41…transferred)
Myles Cale of Seton Hall (39)
Jacob Epperson of Creighton (36…redshirted)
JaMorko Pickett of Georgetown (35)
Quentin Goodin of Xavier(33)
Emmitt Holt of Providence (28…injured)
Makai Ashton-Langford (27)
Toby Hegner of Creighton (26…injured)
Paul Scruggs of Xavier (22)
Bashir Ahmed of St. John’s (16)

Apologies to:

The entire Creighton team. Dang, the Jays are playing a lot better ball than we expected them to. Thomas and Foster were ranked very highly at 11/12 but they have shown themselves to be true All Big East level players. Martin Krampelj wasn’t even on the original list and we are now putting him in the top 10. In our defense, we did mention in the write ups that Krampelj had great advanced stats but didn’t have the usage to make the original list. Harrell we dismissed outright and said his stats weren’t good and not to believe the hype. He has earned his starting spot with his ability to stuff the stat sheet. The Jays are a legitimate contender with X for the number 2 spot in the conference.

Highly ranked Big East freshman. Freshman are the hardest to place on these lists because all we really have is highlight videos and recruiting rankings. We put way too much expectations on Xavier’s Paul Scruggs and Providence’s Makai Ashton-Langford. Both are getting minutes but really struggling to shoot efficiently and Ashton-Langford has been poor defensively. You could add Georgetown’s Jamorko Pickett to this list as well, he may be getting starts but his numbers don’t look great despite playing the little sisters of the poor.

Xavier big men. Going into the season, we were not impressed by the numbers of Kaiser Gates, Tyrique Jones, Sean O’Mara, or Karem Kanter. Gates had terrible advanced numbers, Jones and O’Mara didn’t have the usage, and Kanter was transferring from the fourth best school in Wisconsin. All four proved us to be haters. Gates is one dimensional on offense, but he dominates that dimension with an eFG% north of 61%. Combined with his defense, he is one of the best three and d players in the conferences. Kanter got the nod over Jones and O’Mara because of his defensive ability. His points per possession allowed (dPPP) is in the 98th percentile of all players. 9 points and 5.1 rebounds in 15 minutes a game is also absurdly efficient. Jones and O’Mara don’t make Xavier’s top 5 due to their poor defense, but they would both be in a true top 50 list. X’s post depth could make them very dangerous come madness.

Quentin Goodin. We are sorry Quentin. We had seen this movie before when Derrick Wilson was the point guard at Marquette, but we didn’t listen. We thought a pass first PG with a historically terrible eFG% could use the offseason to improve his shot and become a complete offensive player. It didn’t happen. Goodin still has the dimes but if he had made this list his eFG% would have been the second lowest at 42.1%. That combine with some poor defensive numbers and Goodin is looking like a player who gets minutes out of necessity rather than earning them.

Big East transfers. It might have been a little Big East coast bias (looking at you SB Nation), but several transfers into the conference were undervalued in our original list. Max Strus is now loose in Chicago. We dismissed the transfer from D2 Lewis due to his humble beginnings but he has put up monster numbers for the Blue Demons. Also for DePaul, Marin Maric overcame his status as a MAC transfer and has been quietly one of the better big men in the conference. St. John’s Justin Simon was left off the list entirely due to poor defense and no evidence of an outside shot during his time at Arizona. While not a volume shooter or a lockdown defender, he has shown massive improvement in both areas and it has elevated the rest of his game. The biggest apology goes to Paul Jorgensen. We went out of our way to mention that Jorgensen was a bench player from a meh George Washington team with poor stats. In another installment of “Butler is really good at developing players”, Jorgensen has turned into a solid Big East starter.

Kelan Martin. When the original list debuted one of the most common criticisms was Kelan Martin at number 4. Those critics were right. He is still putting up eye popping stat lines but his advanced numbers leave a lot to be desired.

Jessie Govan: If you don’t adjust for Georgetown’s embarrassment of a schedule, Govan’s numbers not only put him at number 1 but give him a very sizaeable gap between him and Mikal Bridges. Even though he has played the basketball equivalent of a little league schedule, Govan’s 19 points, 12 rebounds, 1.7 blocks, and 61% eFG demands respect.

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Categories: Analysis, Home

Author:Ryan Jackson

Texas A&M Professional, Marquette Fantatic


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One Comment on “Top 50 Big East Players: Non-con edition”

  1. joe shmoe
    December 26, 2017 at 2:44 pm #

    If you’ve watched any XU games this year, you’d realize that Kanter is by far the worst of the 3 XU bigs at defense. Your numbers are probably skewed because he spends a lot of time at the 4 and he only really plays the 5 when other teams go small.

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