Big East Baller Update No. 19: Recognizing the seniors of an outstanding season 


The Big East turned out to be the top conference in college basketball unlike what some critics may suggest. The UConn Huskies men’s basketball team won its fifth national championship. All the hype was on Creighton coming into the season, while the biggest story was Villanova’s first season without legendary head coach Jay Wright. The stories were not limited to just those, as Marquette won the conference outright after being projected as a bottomfeeder coming in. With the Golden Eagles winning the Big East, head coach Shaka Smart has not only cemented himself as one of the top coaches in the conference, but was also recognized nationally, winning the AP National Coach of the Year award. 

However, we cannot close the chapter on an incredible season in the Big East without recognizing some of its players departing the conference. 

Butler Bulldogs: 

Manny Bates: An efficient shooter that’s now testing the NBA Draft waters. 

Eric Hunter Jr.: Was arguably Butler’s best defensive player this season. 

UConn Huskies: 

Jordan Hawkins: One of the all-time greats leaves with a ring and many 3-pointers. 

Adama Sanogo: One of the greatest players in program history and will be in the Huskies of Honor soon. 

Tristen Newton: No one at UConn has more triple-doubles in a season than Newton. 

Andre Jackson Jr.: The heart and soul of the team. The best athlete since Stanley Robinson (rest in peace Sticks). 

Joey Calcaterra: Joey California for 3. 

Creighton Bluejays: 

Ryan Kalkbrenner: Two-time Big East Defensive Player of the Year. 

Trey Alexander: Has NBA written all over his game. 

DePaul Blue Demons: 

Umoja Gibson: One of the best scorers and shooters in program history. 

Javan Johnson: Absolute sniper who could thrive as a pro. 

Nick Ongenda: A block machine that could return as he tests the NBA Draft waters. 

Yor Anei: A block machine, finishing his career with 246. 

Eral Penn: The LIU transfer finished his career as a rebounding machine. 

Brendan Favre: Will be an excellent engineer after graduation. 

Georgetown Hoyas: 

Akok Akok: Will always be a UConn Husky, but finished his career at Georgetown. 

Marquette Golden Eagles: 

Olivier-Maxence Prosper: Enters the NBA Draft as a scoring threat, but could come back. 

Michael Kennedy: One of the more academically-gifted players in the Big East. 

Providence Friars: 

Noah Locke: Entered the NBA Draft after being a double-digit scorer. 

Clifton Moore: Made his name known as an elite shot-blocker. 

Seton Hall Pirates: 

Tyrese Samuel: A terrific player who can take it to the next level at Florida or in the NBA. 

St. John’s Red Storm: 

Montez Mathis: After a successful college career, Mathis looks to turn pro. 

Esahia Nyiwe: Made an impact every time he stepped on the floor. 

Villanova Wildcats: 

Cam Whitmore: The Big East Freshman of the Year will be a top-10 pick in June. 

Caleb Daniels: The Tulane transfer was a home run for the Wildcats. 

Brandon Slater: Kept improving year after year. 

Xavier Musketeers: 

Souley Boum: One of the best guards in the country. 

Colby Jones: One of the best players in the Big East departs for the NBA Draft. 

Jack Nunge: Who says big men can’t hit threes? 

Adam Kunkel: The Belmont transfer was terrific all-around for the Musketeers. 

Cole Stefan has passed the keys down to me for next year’s Big East Baller Update. I can’t wait to get started next year, as I plan on keeping you all up to date on the best conference in college basketball. I wish everyone who has departed the Big East the best of luck. 

For the final time until November, this has been a Big East Baller Update. 

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