Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Top returning starters, by team
By Andrea Adelson
Earlier this morning, I wrote about Scott Vallone having the most returning starts of any player in the Big East.
In this post, I wanted to expand a little bit on the top players -- by starts -- in the Big East. Here is just a small glimpse of each team and their top returning starters. You will see a team like Temple, with only one player who has more than 20 starts. Every other team in the Big East has multiple players with 20 or more starts, reinforcing once again just how inexperienced the Owls will be headed into their first year in the league.
Then you will see Louisville, which has become the hot preseason choice to win the league. The Cardinals have many returning starters off their co-Big East championship season. But as many have pointed out -- including Charlie Strong himself -- Louisville is still young. Way young. Only two players have at least 25 career starts.
Then you have a team like Syracuse, with six players who have started 24 or more games. The Orange are being picked to finish in the bottom half of the Big East. But generally speaking, experienced teams have a greater chance at success. That is not always the case, of course. But Syracuse may end up surprising some people because of all the veterans it has leading the way.
Then you have a team like Cincinnati, with its most experienced players on defense. Interestingly, two of its top four returning starters play in the secondary, a group that has received its fare share of criticism.
Take a look at USF. The Bulls have 24 seniors, including 16 projected starters. Four of those players have 25 or more starts, which is a big reason why folks are now jumping on the USF bandwagon.
So here is the list, by team.