The Starting Fives: Big East Part 1

October 7th, 2008

Unlike the NBA, where most starting lineups are set in stone weeks before the season, NCAA starting fives are highly unsettled and constantly in flux. Going through the BCS leagues this week, I'll be projecting the starting fives for each team. Also included is the team's most important bench option, and some notes on other possible lineups.

In the case where a quality player is ineligible for the fall semester or suspended for the opening few games, I've still included them in the projections. These are really supposed to be projections of how lineups will look in February and March.

Next week, based on these lineups, I'll be throwing out statistical projections for major BCS contributors.



G Deonta Vaughn So
G Cashmere Wright Fr Larry Davis So

F Rashad Bishop So
F Yancy Gates Fr
F Mike Williams Sr

6 Anthony McClain (C)

Notes: With this lineup, Cincy could be pretty solid or pretty awful. Wright isn't a lock to start, and could be replaced by Larry Davis. I expect Davis though to be the first guard off the bench.* Wing-man Alvin Mitchell will be the other player in Cincy's 8-man rotation, and should see 15-20 mpg. 

*Wright is out for the season with a late injury, meaning Davis and Mitchell will see extended time.


G AJ Price Sr
G Jerome Dyson Jr
F Gavin Edwards Jr
F Jeff Adrien Sr
C Hasheem Thabeet Jr

6 Craig Austrie (PG)

Notes: The recent expulsion of Nate Miles was a huge blow. UCONN doesn't have another wing on its roster, and Edwards has no business starting alongside Adrien. Besides Edwards, the other possible starters are freshmen Ater Majok (likely) and combo-guard Kemba Walker in a 3-guard lineup (unlikely). The other contributor will be freshman shooter Scottie Haralson.


G Will Walker Jr
G Jabari Currie Sr
G Dar Tucker So
F Mac Koshwal So

C Matija Poscic Sr

6 Krystopher Faber (C)

Notes: Faber is probably DePaul's best freshman, and could push Poscic for the starting role by season's end, especially if DePaul struggles.  Mario Stula, who has to sit out for the first couple of weeks, will be DePaul's main scoring option off the bench. 


G Chris Wright So
G Jessie Sapp Sr
F Austin Freeman So
F DaJuan Summers Jr
F Greg Monroe Fr

6 Julian Vaughn (PF)

Notes: The Hoyas biggest flaw will be backcourt depth. Omar Wattad and freshman Jason Clark are the lone reserve guards, but neither seems capable of handling PG duties. Besides Vaughn, a transfer from FSU, the other reserve big-man is Top-50 recruit Henry Sims.


G Andre McGee Sr
G Jerry Smith Jr
F Terrence Williams Sr
F Earl Clark Jr
C Samardo Samuels Fr

6 Edgar Sosa (PG)

Notes: Sosa is the backup PG, but he's also capable of playing along with McGee & Smith in a 3-guard attack. Besides Sosa, the other main reserve will be Mississippi State transfer Reginald Delk. Delk is a wing who can back up the 2 or the 3, and figures to play 20 mpg. Frontcourt depth is an issue, as a lot of unproven bigs will be on the bench. George Goode, a freshman who didn't play last year, might be the top option there.


G Dominic James Sr
G Jerel McNeal Sr
G Wesley Matthews Sr
F Lazar Hayward Jr
F Dwight Burke Sr*

6 David Cubillan (PG)

Notes: A rare team with three returning senior starters, Marquette lacks front-court talent as usual. The best forward off the bench will probably be JUCO addition Joseph Fulce, unless freshman Chris Otule develops faster than expected. Cubillan might be slowed by off-season surgery to start the year, and will be joined by junior Maurice Acker as backcourt options off the bench.

* I had originally mentioned Trevor Mbakwe starting, but he's left the program to play at Miami-Dade Community.

Notre Dame

G Tory Jackson Jr
G Kyle McAlarney Sr
F Ryan Ayers Sr
F Zach Hillesland Sr
C Luke Harangody Jr

6 Luke Zeller (PF)

Notes: Barring injury, it would be a big surprise if this wasn't Notre Dame's starting lineup throughout the season. Besides Zeller, the other feature reserves figure to be Jonathan Peoples, Ty Proffitt (see comment below), and Tyrone Nash


G Levance Fields Sr
G Jermaine Dixon Fr
F Gilbert Brown So
F Sam Young Sr
F DeJuan Blair So

6 Tyrell Biggs Sr

Notes: Instead of Dixon starting, Pitt could go with Brown at the two, Young at the three, and Biggs at the four. Either way, the six listed above form Pitt's core along with freshman backup PG Travon Woodall.  Ashton Gibbs, another freshman, might be to good to sit on the bench all year.

Part Two: Providence to West Virginia

Think my projections are off, let me know below where you differ!