In today’s college basketball landscape, talented seniors are a rare commodity at the higher levels. The Big East has a solid group, though, and here are the Top 5 Senior Leaders- for the Big East.
5. Peyton Siva, Louisville - Louisville has high expectations for 2012-13. If they’re going to repeat their trip to the Final Four, however, they’ll need to do so with Siva. His play tends to be erratic, but he is really talented and can carry his team, like he did in the 2012 Big East Tournament. Yes, Siva turns the ball over a bit too frequently, but if he were to go down with an injury, would you really want Russ Smith running the point? Siva is a real playmaker and this should be a big year for him.
4. Brandon Triche, Syracuse - Triche and James Southerland are Syracuse’s two prominent seniors, making both of them extremely valuable to a team that lost quite a bit of talent after last year. Triche is more valuable, though, because of his play-making and scoring abilities. Excelling in transition, Triche can also shoot and use his quick first step to beat defenders off the dribble. If he could get to the foul a few more times per game than he did in 2011-12, he could emerge as a real threat to opposing defenses.
3. Tray Woodall, Pittsburgh - Pitt has a good crop of incoming talent, but after the graduation of Ashton Gibbs, Woodall needs to lead the Panthers in 2012-13. We got a glimpse of what Woodall can do for this team last year when he returned from an injury to propel struggling Pitt to four straight wins with averages of 18.5 points and 6.5 assists. Woodall has the bonus of being a fifth-year senior, and now that he’s healthy, expect big things from him.
2. Vincent Council, Providence - Ed Cooley said Council is the Big East’s best point guard, and the former Fairfield coach definitely has a case. Council, who played a ridiculous 38.7 minutes per game as a junior, led the conference with 7.5 assists per game last year. He also knows how to put points on the board, averaging 15.9 and topping 20 seven times a season ago.
1. Jack Cooley, Notre Dame - Cooley is your classic blue-collar player, leading his team by example. He plays hard all the time and his numbers are a testament to that because without his hard work, Cooley wouldn’t produce nearly as much. With 8.9 rebounds per game, he’s the conference’s second returning rebounder behind Louisville’s Gorgui Dieng, and his 62.5 percent field goal percentage easily led the Big East last year. Cooley will continue to lead by example and his Fighting Irish will continue to follow.