basketball-men-d1 flag

Andy Katz | NCAA.com Correspondent | June 13, 2019

These are the 5 most important players in the Big East for the 2019-20 college basketball season

Andy Katz breaks down his favorites for the 2019-20 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award

Here are the five players Andy Katz expects to make a lasting impact on their teams in the Big East this season.

1. Myles Powell, 6-2, Sr., Seton Hall: No player’s decision had as much impact on a team’s possible ranking than Powell. Returning to Seton Hall means the Pirates can be a top 10 team and were No. 7 in my Power 36 late last month. Powell is a big-shot maker, who will be the go-to player in the league and in competition with Markus Howard for player of the year and a legit candidate for national honors.

AWARD CONTENDERS: Cousy Award | West Award | Erving Award | Malone Award | Abdul-Jabbar Award

2. Markus Howard, 5-11, Sr., Marquette: Howard averaged 25 points a game last season and can go off for 40-plus and over 50 and has in the past. The departure of the Hauser brothers — Sam and Joey — puts even more emphasis on Howard next season. Howard has a chance to be an all-American, let alone the Big East player of the year. He will shoulder a major burden, but he’s mature enough to handle the pressure.

3. Naji Marshall, 6-7, Jr., Xavier: Marshall decided to come back to the Musketeers and as a result they will/should be an NCAA tournament team. Marshall came on late in the season and became one of the most prolific scorers in the league. Marshall has the ability to be a marquee talent who can take over games. If he does then Xavier will be back in the mix for a bid.

4. Omer Yurtseven, 7-0, Jr., Georgetown: Yurtseven sat out last season after averaging 13 points a game at NC State. The Hoyas have one of the more underrated backcourts with James Akinjo and Mac McClung. If Yurtseven comes through and delivers as the anchor inside, as well as being a rim protector, then the Hoyas should be an NCAA tournament team.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: These 5 AAC players will make a difference next year

5. Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, 6-8, Villanova: The Wildcats usually don’t rely on an impact freshman to deliver. Robinson-Earl could break the narrative and come in and give the Wildcats the necessary pop in year one. The Wildcats have the right rotation players to make a push. If Robinson-Earl is the star they need/covet with this crew then the Wildcats should/could win the Big East.

College basketball 2020: The quick guide to an unusual season

Here are the most compelling 2020-21 men's college basketball games in the early part of the season and which teams and individual players project to be among the best in the country.
READ MORE

The DII Report: DII college basketball returns to the hardwood

The MIAA and SAC DII college basketball seasons tipped off while more conferences prepare for their debuts this coming weekend. Let's take a look at the weekend that was, what lies ahead and 11 players that should be on your radar.
READ MORE

DII basketball's opening weekend, by the numbers

Basketball is back in Division II. To kick off the start of the 2020-21 season, here are 7 notable numbers from opening weekend.
READ MORE

Subscribe To Email Updates

Enter your information to receive emails about offers, promotions from NCAA.com and our partners