World-Herald staff writer Steven Pivovar ranks the Big East conference basketball teams as published in The World-Herald Feb. 12.
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1. Villanova (21-3, 11-1, 3rd)
This week: St. John’s, at Temple.
Josh Hart making transition that could take him from sixth man of year to league MVP in the Big East.
2. Xavier (21-3, 9-3, 8th)
This week: at Butler, at Providence.
Musketeers hope facing arguably toughest stretch run of any Big East team will prepare them for the rigors of March.
3. Seton Hall (17-7, 7-5, 53rd)
This week: at Georgetown.
Guard Isaiah Whitehead hiking his level of play against conference opponents as he’s averaging 18.4 points and 5.7 assists in Big East play.
4. Creighton (16-9, 7-5, 85th)
This week: at Marquette, at Butler.
Maurice Watson’s 370 points ties Rodney Buford for the most scored by a Creighton newcomer in his first 25 games.
5. Providence (18-7, 6-6, 36th)
This week: Georgetown, at Xavier.
Slippage on defense cutting into margin for error for team that lacks consistency on offense outside of Ben Bentil and Kris Dunn.
6. Georgetown (14-11, 7-5, 74th)
This week: at Providence, Seton Hall.
Hoyas got a much-needed win over St. John’s, but now it’s back to the grind for a team that’s been inconsistent all season.
7. Butler (17-7, 6-6, 58th)
This week: Xavier, Creighton.
Emergence of sophomore forward Kelan Martin over past eight games has taken some pressure off Kellen Dunham and Roosevelt Jones.
8. Marquette (16-9, 5-7, 95th)
This week: Creighton.
How has prized freshman Henry Ellenson handled expectations? He leads the league in rebounding (10.1) and is tied for fourth in scoring (16.6).
9. DePaul (8-16, 2-10, 149th)
This week: St. John’s.
High-caliber performances from Myke Henry, inconsistency from most other players leaves Blue Demons’ bid for a turnaround season stuck in neutral.
10. St. John’s (7-18, 0-12, 209th)
This week: at Villanova, DePaul.
Red Storm’s inability to slow opposing teams — allowing 82 points in conference play — is major factor in losing streak now at 15.