Projected Big East MBB Awards 2021-2022

In projecting the 2021-2022 Big East Men’s basketball season I sat down attempted to determine who will be the most significant players. My hope is that figuring out who will earn the hardware for the end of the year will allow me to reverse engineer the season for my Big East season projection (coming soon). Lets take a look, shall we?

All Big East First Team*

  • Julian Champagnie, St. John’s, G/F, Jr., Brooklyn, N.Y. – Probably the best player and NBA prospect in the Big East this year.
  • Collin Gillespie, Villanova, G, Sr., Huntingdon Valley, Pa. – One of the three 2021 co-POYs comes back for one last ride.
  • Posh Alexander, St. John’s, G, So., Brooklyn, N.Y. – 2021 co-DPOY as a freshman, if he has developed a reliable outside game over the summer look out.
  • Nate Watson, Providence, F/C, Sr., Portsmouth, Va. – Made a leap to almost 17 ppg in 20-21.
  • Zach Freemantle, Xavier, F, Jr., Teaneck, N.J. – Also made a leap to 16 ppg in 20-21, looks poised for a big 21-22.
  • Paul Scruggs, Xavier, G, Sr., Indianapolis, Ind. – Already a solid scorer and elevated his facilitation to 5.7 apg last year. Solid leader needs to be the key to give X a big 21-22.

* Six selections are made for the First Team.

All Big East Second Team

  • RJ Cole Sr., UConn, G, Sr., Union, N.J. – Former MEAC POY, Cole transferred in last season and seemed to get a feel for the Big East game as the year progressed.
  • Adama Sanogo, UConn, F, So., Bamako, Mali by way of The Patrick School (Hillside, N.J.) – A bit undersized for the frontcourt but extremely powerful, Sonogo is a force in the paint.
  • Jermaine Samuels, Villanova, F, Sr., Franklin, Mass. – Rangy wing in the Nova tradition has a knack for hitting big shots and was All Big East Honorable Mention last season.
  • Jared Rhoden, Seton Hall, G/F, Sr., Baldwin, N.Y. – Looks to be the next man up to play the role of Batman for the Pirates.
  • Justin Moore, Villanova, G, Jr., Fort Washington, MD. – Already a significant contributor at shooting guard for Nova, Moore was good in 20-21 but he can take another step forward this season.

Honorable Mention*

  • Chuck Harris, Butler, G, So., Washington, D.C. – Will be surrounded by experience, as the only non-senior starter for the Bulldogs. Went on a tear towards the end of last year, ended up averaging almost 13 ppg but may see some of his touches diminish with all of the returners that Butler has coming back from injury.
  • Al Durham, Providence, G, Sr., Lilburn, GA – Durham transfers in from Indiana averaging 11 pts, 3 rebs, and almost 3 asts per game. Expect him to continue or improve that production in the Big East.
  • Nate Johnson, Xavier, G, Sr., Miami, FL – A dead-eye shooter, Johnson shot better than 45% from three point range last season and averaged more than 11 ppg in his first season in the Big East.
  • Myles Cale, Seton Hall, G, Sr., Middletown, DE. – Cale looks poised to play Robin to Rhoden’s Batman averaging 11.6 ppg last year. He has good length for a SG at 6’6″, which helps on both ends of the court.

* The Big East makes an undetermined amount of Honorable Mention selections each year, usually 2-3 players and quite often they are seniors. I couldn’t choose from among these players, they’re all so deserving!

All Big East Freshman Team*

  • Arthur Kaluma, Creighton, F, Glendale, AZ
  • Aminu Mohammed, Georgetown, G, Washington DC
  • Jordan Hawkins, UConn, G, Hyattsville, MD
  • Jordan Longino, Villanova, G, Fort Washington, PA
  • Rati Andronikashvili, Creighton, G, Tbilisi, Georgia * Medical Redshirt in 20-21

All of these players are unknowns at the college level at this point; however all are four star recruits aside from Mohammed who was a five star and the number 23 player in the 2021 class (per 24/7 sports). UConn’s Samson Johnson (C, Elizabeth, NJ) and Rahsool Diggins (G, Philadelphia, PA) are also highly ranked but may not reach enough playing time to make the squad, especially with Hawkins also in the mix. Ryan Nembhard of Creighton (G, Ontario, Canada) was ranked just behind those two as a recruit, but it might be difficult for so many Creighton players to be recognized. Marquette’s Stevie Michell (G, Reading, PA) and DePaul’s Ahamad Bynum (G, Chicago, IL) may both crack their starting lineups. So, they could earn a spot on this squad if they show out.

Individual Awards

  • COY – Travis Steele, Xavier – COY should probably always go to to Nova’s Jay Wright but the voters would tire of giving him the award every year. Steele looks like he will have Xavier in the next best spot so he gets the nod here.
  • POY – Gillespie, Villanova & Champangie, St John’s – As mentioned, reigning co-POY and the conference’s best player.
  • DPOY – Alexander, St John’s – Co-DPOY last year as a freshman (with UConn’s Isiah Whaley), many expect Posh to make enough strides in year two to take sole possession of this award.
  • Freshman of the Year – Mohammed, Georgetown – Highest ranked recruit in the Big East and the Hoyas need the help.
  • Most Improved Player – Akok Akok, UConn, F, Jr. Manchester, N.H. – The big man missed most of last season with an achilles injury. When we last saw him in 19-20 he was an amazing shot blocker. Expect the rest of Akok’s game to have improved considerably as well.
  • Sixth Man Award – Dwon Odom, Xavier, G, So., Alpharetta, Ga. – Odom would be starting on most teams in the country but extra year seniors have crowded the Musketeer’s backcourt. Odom’s game will provide a spark off the bench and Steele should give him enough minutes to keep him happy.

Conference Success in Earning NCAA Tournament Bids

Earlier this week, I put out an article about the distinction between major, mid-major, and low-major conferences that had a chart very similar to the below. I have expanded such to add the Power Six conferences for comparison purposes and added the column to the far right on percentage of schools in each conference that earn NCAAT bids per year.

Conference2021 Bids2019 Bids2018 Bids2017 Bids2016 BidsAvg # of Bids# of Conf Teams*MultiplierExpected Bids in a 16 Team Conf% of Teams With Bids Per Year
Big 12767676.610.01.6010.5666%
ACC779977.814.01.148.9156%
Big East446755.210.21.578.1651%
Big Ten98477714.01.148.0050%
SEC678535.814.01.146.6341%
Pac-12533474.412.01.335.8737%
American24324311.41.404.2126%
Atlantic 10223332.614.01.142.9719%
WCC221211.610.01.602.5616%
MWC222111.611.01.452.3315%
MVC211121.410.01.602.2414%
NCAAT Bids Per Major & Mid-Major Conference 2016-2021

* You may notice that some of these conferences are listed as having a number of teams that is not a whole number. And you might be thinking how can that be? (Or you’re thinking that I am a total moron). Well, friend, I have adjusted the number of teams for schools departing and joining conferences. Namely, UConn moving from the AAC to the Big East for 2020 and Wichita State leaving the MVC for the AAC in 2018 (Moves that have been widely applauded by both fan bases but some are still somewhat skeptical). Anyway, each year of having an additional team is worth an +.2 to the number of teams in a conference. This number is then used to calculate the three right hand columns.


Majors, Mid-Majors, & Low-Majors: Defining College Basketball Conferences

Let’s set this straight once and for all. There are 3 levels of D1 college basketball conferences: Majors (aka High-Majors), Mid-Majors, and Low-Majors.

Many people think there are only 2 designations (majors and mid-majors) and that all non Power 6 conferences are mid-majors. Those people are wrong. This is just like a fast food place offering medium, large, or extra-large drinks. We all know that is a lie and the sizes are: small, medium, and large no matter how big their cups are.

So, let’s make this real simple and settle this. We will use average number of NCAA Tournament bids per year as the defining metric as that is easily quantifiable and well known. There are far more scientific metrics we can use but the fact of the matter is that the college basketball world defines conferences by the number of March Madness bids they are able to earn in a given year. See the definitions and conferences below.

Majors – Numerous Bid Conferences

Definition: Conferences that send 4 or more teams to the NCAA Tournament per year on average (evaluated within a 5 year period). I settled on 4 bids as the cut off as this is double the mid-major requirement. This means generally that a conference had at least 4 teams within the top 44 in the country in that 5 year timespan.

Qualifying Conferences: B1G, SEC, ACC, Big 12, Pac 12, Big East, AAC.*

Mid-Majors – Multi Bid Conferences

Definition: Conferences that send between 2-3 teams to the NCAA Tournament per year on average (evaluated within a 5 year period). This means generally that a conference has 2 or 3 teams within the top 44 (depending on seeding) in that 5 year timespan though it is very possible that these conferences have an auto-qualifier (AQ) that pulled an upset.

Qualifying Conferences: A10, MWC, WCC, MVC.*

Low-Majors – Single Bid Conferences

Definition: Conferences that send only 1 team to the NCAA Tournament per year on average (evaluated within a 5 year period). These are usually AQ teams only.

Qualifying Conferences: All others.

Notes

  • A team can be very good, or elite even, and play in a mid-major or low-major conference (Gonzaga for example in the WCC). This is a conference wide designation and does not have a bearing on any individual team in that conference.
  • A conference can raise or lower its status with performance or by schools joining/leaving the conference.
  • I chose to evaluate this in 5 year time periods as that is the length of time in which you would expect a full recruiting class to process all the way through to graduation (factoring in red-shirts, medical issues, etc.).
  • *The conference size rule* – I am equalizing conferences of varying size by seeing how many bids would be expected if the conference had 16 teams. To do this, I multiply their average tournament bids by 16/their # of conference members. I’m using 16 as the cutoff here as the new SEC will have 16 teams so that seems like a good limit for conference size (the old Big East had 15 basketball schools fwiw). If we move to super conferences in the future we will have to adjust this formula.
  • The AAC and all of the mid-majors aside from the A10 (which has 14 teams) would not have qualified for their current designations without the 16 team conference multiplier but it doesn’t seem fair to penalize smaller conferences and to reward large conferences with a hard line. See the below sheet for the last 5 years for applicable conferences.

Conference2021
Bids
2019
Bids
2018
Bids
2017
Bids
2016
Bids
Avg # of Bids# of TeamsMultiplierExpected Bids in a
16 Team Conference
AAC243243111.454.35
A10223332.6141.142.96
WCC221211.6101.62.56
MWC222111.6111.452.32
MVC211121.4111.452.03
There was no NCAAT in 2020, as we all know 🙁


Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics Hub

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Baseline Times Olympic Leaderboard

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CountryGoldSilverBronzeBT Points
USA141711224
China18911192
ROC (Russia)101410175
Japan1746165
Top performing countries will be filled in as medals are awarded

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Views from the Baseline: 2021 March Madness Recap

Chevy brings back the College Experts Cody and John in a bittersweet episode. The madness is OVER! Sure enough, they share the embarrassing news that Cody’s Texas pick for the Final Four still won him a bracket challenge. Cody and John share their thoughts about the Men’s and Women’s tournaments, praise Gonzaga’s future, and give their draft prospect stock updates post-tournament. Finally, the duo goes for a round of “Shoot or Pass” to close out the NCAAB season. They give us an insight on if Gonzaga is frauds, the Men’s AND Women’s PAC-12 Conference dominance, and decide on if the Blue Bloods of College Basketball can bounce back next season.

Check out The Baseline Bet$ for daily expert picks!



2021 NCAA Basketball Tournament Hub Page

All of our 2021 March Madness NCAA Basketball coverage and updates!

Round-by-Round Picks

Podcasts

Idols of March (Madness)

March Madness Insights:

Top players to watch in the 2021 tournament

Related 2021 March Madness content

Underseeded:

I consider these teams ‘underseeded’ in that I expect that they will perform better than their seed indicates in the NCAA tournament. This has less to do with their overall resume and more to do with how well they have been playing recently.

TeamKenPomNetSeedConfNotes
OK State30294B12Hot! May be the hottest team in the country. 
Uconn16307BELikely NBA lottery pick James Bouknight missed 8 games earlier in the season with an elbow injury.  The Huskies are 10-3 with him in the lineup and have been clicking at the right time.  
Oregon36347P12The Ducks got a boost with G Will Richardson back from injury in Feb. 
Loyola-Chi9108MVCSeeding Inequality
Wisconsin10279B1GSeeding Inequality
St Bona25239A10Seeding Inequality
Georgetown556412BEThe Hoyas are on a roll, went 10-4 down the stretch & won the BET!
‘Underseeded’ 2021 NCAA Tournament Teams


Overseeded:

Note that I consider these teams ‘overseeded’ in terms of how I expect the to perform in the tournament. This is not a reflection of their resumes per se, though in some cases that became relevant.

TeamKenPomNetSeedConfNotes
Michigan241B1GKey G Isiah Livers may be out. The Wolverines have also lost 3 of their last 5 games. Tough competition in the B1G but still not a good look.  
Kansas22113B12Recent positive Covid test, unclear effect.
Texas26213B12Seeding Inequality
WVU27343B12Seeding Inequality
Virgina11124ACCRecent positive Covid test, unclear effect.
FSU15244ACCWaning down the stretch. FSU has lost 3 of 5 against mediocre teams. 
Nova12165BESenior All-American PG Collin Gillespie is out of the tourney. Nova looked poor in his absence.  G Justin Moore may also be out.
Clemson42417ACCSeeding Inequality
Wichita St.747211AACSeeding Inequality
‘Overseeded’ 2021 NCAA Tournament Teams

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NCAA Basketball Coaching Moves: Williams Retires, Beard Moves from Lubbock to Austin

While the NCAA Tournament continues to steal most headlines due to the fact, well, it’s the first in two years, and it’s been must-see TV on both the men’s and women’s side this year, there have also been many moves off the court.

The biggest story came today out of Chapel Hill when legendary head basketball coach Roy Williams announced his retirement from North Carolina.

The 70-year-old leaves the Tar Heels after 18 seasons with an overall record of 485-162, leading North Carolina to National Championships in 2005, 2009, and 2017. Before coming to Chapel Hill, Roy Williams coached 15 seasons at Kansas, leading the Jayhawks to four Final Four appearances.

Williams retires as the fourth all-time leader in wins in NCAA Division I with a complete record of 903-264 with a win percentage of .774. Williams’ also provided plenty of top-tier talent to the NBA as 21 of his former players were drafted in the first round of the NBA Draft.

Usually, we’d say the next stop: the basketball Hall of Fame. Still, Roy Williams is passed that as the legendary coach was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

North Carolina now has the hottest job opening in all of college basketball, especially now that Texas has hired their next head basketball coach.

According to sources to ESPN, the Texas Longhorns will be naming Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard as their next coach. Beard has become one of the biggest names in the coaching world after guiding the Red Raiders to an NCAA Runner-Up finish in 2019, and Elite Eight run in 2018.

While the move may rub some the wrong way, it was expected throughout the Big 12 as long as the buyout wasn’t outrageous. Beard began his coaching career at Texas as a student assistant under Tom Penders. Beard has been Red Raiders’ head basketball coach since 2016 and previously served as head coach at Arkansas-Little Rock.

Beard takes over from Shaka Smart, whose underwhelming tenure as Longhorns’ head coach came to an end after six seasons as he left to become head coach at Marquette.

Check out The Baseline Bet$ for daily expert picks!


2021 NBA Draft – Final Four Prospects

The Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament Final Four is set! In case you’ve been taking a break from March Madness because your bracket was busted, or now intrigued here are the 2021 NBA Draft Final Four prospects to watch this weekend!

No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 11 UCLA

An 11th seed out of the First Four makes the Final Four. UCLA marks the first time a First Four team makes the Final Four since Virginia Commonwealth University did in the 2011 Tournament. On the flip side, Gonzaga has won 30 straight games and their undefeated season continues.

Gonzaga

Jalen Suggs – Gonzaga (Guard)
Suggs is a Freshman who already is in the mix of top 5 pick considerations in the 2021 NBA Draft. The future star guard is said to have star potential further in the NBA. Suggs is shooting 50-percent from the field this season. His speedy ability and composure to finish well at the rim make him an offensive threat that is difficult to guard. He will be considered as one of the top guards in the 2021 NBA Draft.

Corey Kispert – Gonzaga (Forward)
Kispert is a 6’7 Senior that keeps the frontcourt for Gonzaga well balanced. If you look at this season you may not see Kispert’s name in the mix of season leaders in points or rebounds (that actually goes to Drew Timme). Kispert’s three-point shooting is the best on Gonzaga this season. He is shooting the three-ball at 43-percent which is the best out of Zaga’s starting five. The Forward is a long-range shooter but the expectation of him being an overall player especially on the defensive end is unlikely. He is projected to go as a late lottery pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.

UCLA

Johnny Juzang – UCLA (Forward)
A potential Idol of March according to our very own John Glowatz. Here is a guy that came back home and also was looking for an opportunity to elevate his game. Juzang spent his Freshman season at Kentucky primarily as a role player. He serviced the Wildcats as a spot-up shooter more than getting an opportunity to be the main attraction on offense. Juzang isn’t going to wow you with athleticism but he is more so a prolific scorer that makes it look easy. His Elite 8 game against Michigan surely helped his draft stock rise. He scored 28 points on 11-of-19 shooting (58-percent). Johnny is a 6’6 Forward that is projected in the second round of the 2021 NBA Draft at this time. This Final Four can make or break his draft stock.

Honorable mentions: Drew Timme – Gonzaga (Forward), Joel Ayayi – Gonzaga (Guard), and quite frankly mostly Gonzaga players are the best 2021 NBA Draft prospects in this Final Four

No. 1 Baylor vs. No. 2 Houston

The Midwest region featured No. 1 Illinois who was most likely projected as the winner of the region. However, Loyola-Chicago had other plans in the second-round and ended the Fighting Illini’s hopes of a Final Four run early. Houston returns to the Final Four for the first time since 1984 when a team dubbed “Phil Slama Jama” made the tournament’s Final Four. Clyde Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwon sound familiar? Both now retired from their respective NBA careers sure puts the time frame into perspective. Baylor enters the Final Four after last being there in 1950.

Baylor

Davion Mitchell – Baylor (Guard)
He wears 45 and his name is Mitchell across the back of his jersey. Could he be confused with a potential NBA look-alike? Probably not physically but I would say it’s fair to compare his game similar to a Donovan Mitchell from the Utah Jazz. A late bloomer for Baylor but nonetheless a difficult player to guard. His speed and ability to change pace quickly and finish the rim make it difficult for any team to defend. I sort of compare him to Kemba Walker as he’s a bit shorter listed at 6’2. His speed is getting attention and causing his draft stock to rise into a potential lottery pick. Mitchell as a top 10 lottery pick may be the highest ceiling for him but unlikely to be a franchise turnaround player.

Jared Butler – Baylor (Guard)
Here is the other guard in this game that the 2021 NBA Draft could possibly be kind to. He is not a “pass first” point guard but could make his way into the NBA first as a scoring guard. He’s a bit undersized at 6’3 for the two-guard spot but can knock down the three-ball. Butler’s 16.5 points per game led Baylor in scoring all season long.

Houston

Quentin Grimes – Houston (Forward)
Likewise Juzang, Quentin Grimes played his Freshman season elsewhere which happened to be in Kansas. Now in his Junior season, he’s making a slow climb into the 2021 NBA Draft boards. He averages 18 points on 40-percent shooting for the Cougars on the season. Grimes may not show up on any first-round draft boards but the Final Four could help him boost himself as a second-round pick at best.


Beyond the 2021 NBA Draft – Final Four Prospects see Glo’s Idols of March for this 2021 March Madness Tournament

2021 NCAA March Madness – Sweet 16 Expert Picks

The 2021 NCAA March Madness tournament is here! Dive in with our experts and their 2021 NCAA March Madness Sweet 16 Expert Picks. We are partnered with Tallysight.com where our very own experts are ranked in the top 10!

2021 NCAA March Madness – Sweet 16 Expert Picks included below!

Ohio State Collection at HOMAGE

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Baseline Times is partnered with Tallysight.com which tracks expert picks throughout the entire NCAAB season this year. Tallysight helps track our experts up against top industry experts and other platforms. Check out Tallysight.com for more information.


Views from the Baseline – Episode 30: 2021 March Madness – Sweet 16

Chevy is joined by Glo (John Glowatz) the go-to College Expert at Baseline Times this week to recap the opening weekend of the 2021 March Madness Tournament, share some busted bracket disappointment, and dub some “Cinderellas”. Glo shares his new “Idols of March” from the 2021 Tournament where he chooses top players that cement themselves in the NCAA Tournament history. The duo also gets a reset in the “Sweet 16 Second Chance” bracket where they share a new Final Four selection from the remaining field. Find out which number one see they feel may go down after this weekend!

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