Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Wayne Blackshear, G, Louisville — The freshman guard missed much of last season with a shoulder injury, but is expected to be fully healthy entering his sophomore year. A McDonald’s All-American, he averaged 32.6 points and 14.6 rebounds his senior year at Chicago’s Morgan Park High School.
Ryan Boatright, G, UConn — Despite missing games on two occasions due to NCAA inquiries, Boatright averaged 10.4 points, 4.0 assists and 3.3 rebounds. An explosive guard who reminds some of Allen Iverson, Boatright and teammate Shabazz Napier must handle a heavy scoring load this season.
Eli Carter, G, Rutgers — Carter was left off the All-Big East Rookie Team a year ago despite averaging 13.8 points and 3.1 rebounds for Mike Rice’s team. With the transfer of Gillie Biruta to Rhode Island, Carter will be relied upon even more as an offensive force, along with fellow guards Myles Mack and Jerome Seagears.
DaJuan Coleman, F, Syracuse — At 6-foot-9 and 275 pounds, Coleman figures to add power and size to an Orange front line that already includes C.J. Fair, Baye Keita and Rakeem Christmas. He was a McDonald’s All-American this past season and chose the hometown Orange over Kentucky and Ohio State.
Jack Cooley, F, Notre Dame — A second-team All-Big East selection as a junior, Cooley averaged 12.5 points and 8.9 rebounds last season. With much of the Irish roster back again, Cooley should have another big year.
Vincent Council, G, Providence — Arguably the top returning point guard in the league, Council averaged 15.9 points and 7.5 assists last season en route to being named to the All-Big Third Team. Armed with new weapons like Ricky Ledo, Kris Dunn and Josh Fortune, Council will be asked to help take the Friars up a notch.
Gorgui Dieng, C, Louisville — A contender for Big East Defensive Player of the Year last season, Dieng averaged 9.1 points, 9.1 rebounds and 3.2 blocks a year ago for the Big East Tournament champs and Final Four team.
Fuquan Edwin, F, Seton Hall — The Big East leader in steals a year ago, Edwin must now take on a leadership role with the Pirates following the graduation of Jordan Theodore and Herb Pope. He averaged 12.5 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.0 steals a year ago.
C.J. Fair, F, Syracuse — With the departures of Kris Joseph, Scoop Jardine and Dion Waiters from the Orange, Fair will be asked to take the next step in terms of leadership and production. After averaging 8.5 points and 5.4 rebounds, Fair is capable of a breakout season.
D’Angelo Harrison, G, St. John’s — A member of the All-Big East Rookie Team, the Texas native averaged 16.8 points and 3.9 rebounds last season. With Moe Harkless now gone to the NBA, Harrison could be even more of an offensive force for the Johnnies.
Sean Kilpatrick, G, Cincinnati — The man known as “SK” is coming off a season in which he averaged 14.3 points and 4.6 rebounds to earn second-team All-Big East honors. If he takes the next step, he could be a Player of the Year candidate.
Trent Lockett, G, Marquette — After transferring to the Golden Eagles from Arizona State, Lockett should help make up for the losses of Darius Johnson-Odom and Jae Crowder. He averaged better than 13 points per game and shot 50 percent or better from the field each of the past two seasons at Arizona State.
Cleveland Melvin, F, DePaul — An All-Big East Honorable Mention selection last season, Melvin averaged 17.5 points and 7.4 rebounds as a sophomore on an improving DePaul club.
Shabazz Napier, G, UConn — After averaging 13.5 points and 5.8 assists, even bigger things will be expected of Napier this coming season following the departures of Andre Drummond, Jeremy Lamb and Alex Oriakhi. Napier will also have teammate Ryan Boatright back in the fold with the Huskies, who are ineligible for the postseason due to APR issues.
JayVaughn Pinkston, F, Villanova — After sitting out a season and then battling injuries last year, Pinkston could be a force in the Big East if he gets healthy and motivated. He averaged 9.6 points and 5.2 rebounds but had three games of 20+ points.
Otto Porter, F, Georgetown — The 6-foot-9 small forward averaged 9.7 points and 6.8 rebounds last season but was left off the All-Big East Rookie Team. He should become a force this year in the Big East and is projected by DraftExpress.com as a Top 25 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.
Peyton Siva, G, Louisville — One of the top returning point guards in the league, Siva will have plenty of weapons at his disposal, with Behanan, Blackshear and Gorgui Dieng among those back. He averaged 9.1 points and 5.6 assists a year ago, when the Cards won the Big East Tournament and reached the Final Four.
Brandon Triche, G, Syracuse — Triche has been able to play a supporting role in past years playing alongside Scoop Jardine and Dion Waiters, yet this year it will be his team from the get-go. After averaging 9.4 points and 2.6 assists, can he step it up to the next level?
Trey Zeigler, G, Pittsburgh — Pitt coach Jamie Dixon scored a major coup when Zeigler received a waiver to play immediately this season after his father, Ernie, was fired as head coach at Central Michigan. In just two years at Central Michigan, Zeigler scored 1,011 points, or 16.0 per game.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.