Its finally here, the Big East conference season. As a wise person once said, 'Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it' --- now it's time for MU to host the Big East's most dominant program, the UConn Huskies.
The Huskies have won two national championships in the last six years, and will welcome back point guard extraordinaire Marcus Williams for the conference opener. Williams is expected to be the rudder for this UConn team, which greatly exceeded expectations without him (11-0, #2 national ranking). Last season Williams led the Big East in assists at nearly eight per game. His return will only strengthen the effectiveness of UConn's frontline led by Josh Boone, Hilton Armstrong and Ed Nelson. Forward Rudy Gay, likely the top pick in the 2006 NBA draft, as well as guards Rashad Anderson and Denham Brown promise to stretch the floor for the Huskies, creating matchup problems for the Golden Eagles in the paint -- if not everywhere else.
At 10-3, the Golden Eagles enjoyed a promising start to the season, but will take the court for the first time since an injury to super freshman Wesley Matthews. One advantage MU might have had in many conference games this year was its deep, athletic and productive backcourt. Without Matthews, senior Joe Chapman will have to re-emerge as a productive contributor for the Golden Eagles. The big men? Well, let's just say they have their work cut out for them against the Huskies, although Ryan Amoroso's strength and versatility on offense could prove to be an important asset.
Here's a few links to previews on the inaugural conference opener.
The Big East Basketball Report filed this in-depth preview of tonight's game.
The award-winning Husky Blog.
John Dodds' Marquette Hoops site at Scout.com
Andy Katz interviews UConn's Marcus Williams on the eve of his return.