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Posted: Tuesday November 02, 1999 09:25 PM
Big East overview
UConn thinking repeat; Orange, 'Canes looking up
By Ron Chimelis, Special to CNN/SI
Huskies point guard Khalid El-Amin has his sights set on a repeat. Aric Crabb/Allsport
A repeat national championship is possible for Connecticut if the Huskies can replace scoring star Richard Hamilton and defensive wizard Ricky Moore. At the other end of the league standings, just how far can Troy Murphy and new coach Matt Doherty carry Notre Dame? Speaking of rebuilding, The New York market would love to see Rutgers, an adopted son, emerge as a true Big East first-tier program, and it's not impossible that this could be the year
How they will spend Selection Sunday
Players to Watch
| Top Three Frontcourt Players |
Troy Murphy, Notre Dame |
Averaged 19.2 points and Big East-leading 9.9 rebounds as a freshman.
Etan Thomas, Syracuse
Went from league's Most Improved Player to Defensive Player of Year.
Johnny Hemsley, Miami
points last year while playing second fiddle to Tim James.
| Top Three Backcourt Players |
Khalid El-Amin, UConn |
Possibly the mentally toughest player in the
league, if not nation.
Erick Barkley, St. John's
Difficult to guard one-on-one; double him up and he'll find
the open man.
Jason Hart, Syracuse
One of the
reasons 'Cuse allowed only 63.2 points a game last year.
| Top Three Newcomers |
Ajou Ajou Deng, Connecticut |
Six-foot-11 with perimeter offense; could help right away.
Anthony Glover, St. John's
Targeted to replace Ron Artest but may be rusty after year off.
Matt Carroll, Notre Dame
Two-time Pennsylvania player of year is an outside threat.
| Hot Coach |
Jim Calhoun, UConn |
Proved after 27 years of coaching that he can win the big one after all.
| Coaches on the Hot Seat |
Craig Esherick, Georgetown; Al Skinner, Boston College |
Both programs were down before they got there; fans just want progress.
| Toughest Schedule |
Notre Dame |
Opens with Ohio State in NIT, which could mean one and done.
| Quickest-Way-to-20-Wins Schedule |
Opens with Charleston Southern and Murray State; Elon and Albany later.
Mark Your Calendar
Jan. 16, St. John's at UConn |
Without Artest, are Johnnies good enough to still be second or third best?
Feb. 5, UConn at Michigan State
Could become nation's best regular-season matchup this year.
Feb. 13, UCLA at Syracuse.
Winner could burst out of the 10-20 rankings and into nation's elite.
Feb. 26, St. John's at Duke
Rematch of one of last year's most thrilling games.
Mar. 4, Syracuse at UConn
We'll find out which one may be more ready for March
Ron Chimelis covers college basketball for the Springfield (Mass.) Union-News. Look for his CNN/SI conference insiders during the season.
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