Big East newcomers will be tested
Four new coaches are rebuilding -- two may already be tourney worthy
Twenty-five percent of the Big East's head coaches are new to their positions this season, with four programs bringing in new talent: The DePaul Blue Demons hired Oliver Purnell away from Clemson, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights tapped Robert Morris coach Mike Rice as their new man, the St. John's Red Storm lured former UCLA coach Steve Lavin away from his duties as an ESPN analyst and the Seton Hall Pirates brought in Iona head coach Kevin Willard.
These programs have all faced difficult times recently, of course, but the task facing these four new coaches is even more daunting than it first appears. And it can take time for teams to acclimate to new coaches. So should we be talking about the NCAA tournament for any of these squads? Turns out, we should.
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John Gasaway's 'Poll Position'
John Gasaway has written for Basketball Prospectus since its inception in 2007. His college hoops commentary appears weekly on ESPN Insider. John's writing has also appeared at SportsIllustrated.com, as well as in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Playboy.