Here are four Big East story lines to watch as the 2001-02 season unfolds:
|BC guard Troy Bell was the Big East's Co-Player of the Year for 2000-01 (along with Notre Dame's Troy Murphy).|
Can coach Al Skinner motivate BC to win back-to-back Big East championships?
Boston College shocked America last season, led by the brilliant play of All-American guard Troy Bell. It will be interesting to watch the Eagles this season. It's a different situation when you go from the hunter to the hunted. Bell is capable of leading this team to another super season. Keep an eye on Ryan Sidney as a positive factor as a sophomore.
How will Notre Dame perform without Troy Murphy?
For three years, he was the standout superstar of the Big East. Now the Fighting Irish must find offense from other sources. It won't be easy to replace the inside-outside talent of Murphy, who went in the first round of the NBA draft to the Warriors. Ryan Humphrey and David Graves will have to carry the offensive load.
Will this be déjà vu for the Hoyas?
Just like the great years with John Thompson on the sidelines, Georgetown has a world of potential. I'm not just talking about the Hoyas being one of the premier teams in the Big East but nationally as well. The Hoyas have great size, quickness and experience. Kevin Braswell can dominate in the backcourt and Mike Sweetney should be even stronger on the baseline in his second season.
How will the new coaches fare in New Jersey?
Louis Orr takes over at Seton Hall, where Tommy Amaker recruited very well. The nucleus is talented, even with Eddie Griffin gone. Can Andre Barrett, Darius Lane, Ty Shine and company return to the form of two years ago, when the Pirates made the Sweet 16? At Rutgers, Gary Waters has a challenge taking over from Kevin Bannon. Waters was impressive in building a winner at Kent State. It will be an adjustment going from the Midwest to the East.