Joey Whelan will be checking in throughout the season with his Top 10 Prospects Report, a look at who is rising and falling in the game of college basketball:
1. Blake Griffin - Oklahoma
The 2008-09 Big East season should bring as much excitement as any. Commonly regarded as the toughest conference in college basketball, it has the potential to put 9+ teams into the NCAA tournament come March.
At the backbone of a great team comes a great coach, and the Big East has plenty of great coaches. But which coaches are the best? Let's just say that a well-padded résumé is not enough to give a coach top honors in this conference.
A solid frontcourt is a must-have component of a national championship team. Good rebounding gives a team second and third chances to score on offense and eliminates those chances on defense. Shot blocking can take the wind out of the opponents sail. Versatility is a must as is the ability to the run the floor. Scoring inside the paint adds another dimension when the shooters go cold. To sum it up, the men down low and on the wing are huge difference makers for their team, offensively and defensively.