The Starting Fives: Big East Part 2

October 9th, 2008
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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 Sharaud Curry Jr
G Jeff Xavier Sr
F Brian McKenzie Jr
F Geoff McDermott Fr
F Randall Hanke Sr

6 Weyinmi Efejuku (G/F)

Notes: It's a little odd that Efejuku, the team's 2nd leading returning scorer, would come off the bench. But McKenzie is too good of a shooter to sit, especially in Davis' offense, and Xavier is simply too talented not to start. But you never know, McKenzie could be the 6th man with Efejuku starting. Either way, one of those guys will be the odd man out. The other guys off the bench to watch are Jonathan Kale and Jamine Peterson, who need to step up to help Xavier's weak frontcourt.


G Anthony Farmer Sr
G Corey Chandler So
G Mike Rosario Fr
F JR Inman Sr
C Hamady Ndiaye Jr

6 Mike Coburn (G)

Notes: Inman is out for at least the first 3-4 weeks, but should regain his starting roll when he returns. Even if Greg Echenique is as good as advertised, and plays good enough to steal the spot, Rutgers would be better off with Inman at the 4 and Echenique at the 5.  Fellow freshman Christian Morris will start as Ndiaye's backup. 


G Eugene Harvey Jr
G Paul Gause Sr
G Jeremy Hazell So
F Robert Mitchell Jr

C John Garcia Jr

6 Jordan Theodore Fr

Notes: Since Seton Hall has so little depth, this is pretty much the entire team. The only other scholarship players will be Mike Davis and Melvyn Oliver, big men who will be forced to get more action than they're capable of. This depth-chart would change substantially if either both, or one of, transfers Herb Pope and Keon Lawrence are ruled eligible to play.


G Chris Howard Jr
G Dominique Jones So
G Mike Mercer Jr
F Mobolaji Ajayi Sr
F Alejandro (Alex) Rivas Sanchez Jr

6 Jesus Verdejo (G)

Notes: The addition of Mercer gives South Florida some quality pieces in the backcourt. The questions are up front, where Ajayi is still a work in progress, and Sanchez is Juco product with potential, but a Juco product nonetheless. The addition of almost-Terp Gus Gilchrist would be a major help in the frontcourt, but there's still no official ruling from the NCAA whether he's eligible. (If I missed the ruling, please let me know in the comment section). Outside of Verdejo, the other backcourt reserves are all newcomers.



G Malik Boothe So
G Quincy Roberts Fr

F DJ Kennedy So
F Anthony Mason Jr Sr
C Justin Burrell So

6 Paris Horne (G/F)

Notes: The other main reserves will be freshman TyShawn Edmondson, who has the talent to possibly knock Boothe out of the PG role, as well as returning forwards Sean Evans and Tomas Jasiulionis.


G Jonny Flynn So
G Eric Devendorf Jr
G Paul Harris Jr
F Kristof Ongenaet Sr
F Arinze Onuaku Jr

6 Andy Rautins (SG)

Notes: With the return of Flynn and Rautins from injury, Syracuse has more depth than most teams. Besides Rautins, the other main reserves will be PF Rick Jackson, and guards Scoop Jardine and Mookie Jones.


G Scottie Reynolds Jr
G Corey Stokes So
F Antonio Pena So
F Shane Clark Sr
C Dante Cunningham Sr

6 Corey Fisher So

Notes: I've seen more variations of Villanova's possible starting five than just about any other team.  Reynolds and Cunningham are perhaps the only locks. Fisher started much of last season, but Stokes makes more sense, because Fisher is too similar to Reynolds.  Quality defender Reggie Redding will also see 20+ mpg as a backcourt reserve. Up front, while I would think Pena is the best option because of his youth, senior Dwayne Anderson is another possibility. Or Anderson and Pena could start, relegating Clark to a reserve role. Finally, big man Casiem Drummond backs up Cunningham.


G Joe Mazzulla Jr
G Alex Ruoff Sr
F Devin Ebanks Fr
F Wellington Smith Jr
F De'Sean Butler Jr

6 John Flowers So

Notes: No major surprises here. The talented Ebanks should be ready to start right away. Besides Flowers, the other main reserves will be newcomers Kevin Jones and Darryl Bryant.

Think my projections are off, let me know below where you differ! Also, let me know if there's any recent roster changes I've missed.