Big East Basketball: Top Six Players

October 22nd, 2008

The battle to get onto the Big East’s top player list is about as fierce as the battle for this year's conference title.  The Big East is truly a beast this season, and it has the players to prove it.


Pick Six: Big East

Throughout the week, check back for articles highlighting the Top 6 players in each BCS league. Then next week we’ll be rolling out the Top 6 at each position.


1. Luke Harangody – Notre Dame – Junior

The fact that Luke Harangody was a no-brainer pick for top spot on this list attests to how much he has progressed from being a three star high school prospect.  The basketball player trapped in a football player’s body is a perfect match for the rough and tough Big East.  Mark him down for another 20 and 10 and conference player of the year award this season.


Stats: 20.4 ppg, 10.6 rpg, 1.7 apg


2. Hasheem Thabeet – Connecticut - Junior

Hasheem Thabeet is another junior who has improved immensely from the time he was a high school prospect.  Once considered a project, Thabeet’s game has improved each season in Storrs to the point that he is now a threat at both ends of the court.  This should be the Tanzanian Terror’s last season in college before becoming a rich man via the NBA lottery.


Stats: 10.5 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 0.4 apg


3. A.J. Price – Connecticut – Senior

After a myriad of off-the-court issues, it seemed like highly touted A.J. Price’s UConn career would never get underway.  Well the patience has paid off as Price is arguably the best point guard in a conference with more than its share.  While Thabeet controls the inside for the Huskies, Price controls the rest of the court, running the show and taking great care of the ball.


Stats: 14.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 5.8 apg


4. Jonny Flynn – Syracuse – Sophomore

Price’s top challenger for top point guard honors is the ‘Cuse’s Jonny Flynn.  While fellow frosh Donte Greene got more attention than Flynn last season, the point guard arguably had a better season.  With injuries decimating the backcourt, the Niagara Falls native was forced to play almost 36 minutes a night.  While he probably won’t have to log as much burn this year, he should be even more effective and will be the key to his team’s success.


Stats: 15.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 5.3 apg


5. Sam Young – Pittsburgh – Senior

Just as Harangody seems to be made especially for the Big East, the same can be said for Pitt’s Sam Young.  Young’s style of play is also perfect for his blue collar adopted home of Pittsburgh.  An inside-outside threat, Young will look to improve on the 18 and 6 he averaged last year and should lead the Panthers to the top regions of the conference standings.


Stats: 18.1 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.2 apg


6. Terrence Williams – Louisville – Senior

Terrence Williams is the undisputed leader of a Cardinals team looking to crash the Final Four this season.  A 6’6’ swingman, Williams can do-it-all on the court, as his numbers from last year show – 11.1ppg, 7.2rpg, 4.5apg, 1.3spg.  Unfortunately he isn’t a very straight shooter, shooting for a poor percentage from the floor and the charity stripe.


Stats: 11.1ppg, 7.2rpg, 4.5apg


-- Next in line:  Earl Clark, Louisville; DeJuan Blair, Pittsburgh; Jerel McNeal, Marquette; Jeff Adrien, Connecticut. 


-- Tomorrow: Big Ten