Busting Brackets

Big East Basketball: St. John's, Villanova rise in updated 2024-25 WTE power rankings

NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament   - National Championship
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament - National Championship / Christian Petersen/GettyImages
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1. UConn Huskies

The biggest offseason storyline in all of Big East Basketball somehow happened twice. And that’s the saga with Coach Dan Hurley and whether he would stay with the Huskies. He said no to Kentucky months ago and in the past two weeks, decided to turn down the Los Angeles Lakers job.

Now that Hurley is 100% at UConn for next season, it’s safe to look at the roster for next season. Four starters are gone and all could get drafted, including likely NBA Draft lottery picks, Donovan Clingan and Stephon Castle. Losing starting guards Tristen Newton and Cam Spencer were just as big of blows.

At least UConn returned Alex Karaban, the starting forward who averaged 13.3 ppg and 5.1 rpg, shooting 50% from the field, 38% from deep, and 86% from the FT line. He’ll be the go-to scorer and could be an All-American with a much larger role. Joining him in the frontcourt is Tarris Reed, a transfer center from Michigan with a high-scoring upside.

The other transfer newcomer is Aidan Mahaney, an all-conference scorer from Saint Mary’s. He averaged 14 ppg on a slow-paced team and in a new system could have a big offensive campaign. They also added 5-star wing prospect Liam McNeeley, who very well could start on Day 1 and be a “one and done” pro prospect.

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UConn will need some of the returning role players to have big years, including guard Hassan Diarra and sophomores, Solomon Ball, Jayden Ross, and Youssouf Singare. But even if there are some questions about whether the roster is good enough to win Big East Basketball yet again, the most important person in the conference is back for another year (Dan Hurley) and that alone should make them the team to beat again.