Whether they are great shooters or have the knack for taking it to the hoop, the Big East has a wealth of great off guards. Some get by on athleticism, while some get by on size and/or by moxie. Either way you slice it, this conference has a good core of shooting guards that could put points on the board in a hurry.
What you will read here is a ranking of each of the Big East team’s projected starting shooting guards from 1-10. Granted, there will be some fluidity with what players will play what positions. As in the point guard rankings, some players can play multiple positions and will switch playing on and off the ball.
So let’s get to ranking the Big East’s shooting guards.
10. Eli Cain, Freshman, DePaul
DePaul’s open shooting guard slot has a few candidates to claim the job, and 6’6” freshman Eli Cain may be just the one to fill it. He started every game in DePaul’s recently-completed France trip and he showed a nice overall game that could take him places. Cain can play two or three positions and he does a little bit of everything well. As a freshman, he’ll likely have his ups and downs, but his versatility is something to monitor this season.
9. Federico Mussini, Freshman, St. John’s
At 6’0”, Mussini, does not have the height that will win you over, but his stroke from deep more than makes up for it. As will be the case with the many guards listed here, Mussini is technically a point guard, but look for Red Storm head coach Chris Mullin to employ both his star recruits (including Marcus LoVett Jr.) in the same backcourt. Considering the range of Mussini, who hails from Italy, it will be him who plays more off the ball, as LoVett is the more established passer. Mussini will likely battle inconsistency this season, but he could be a star in the making.
8. Kyron Cartwright, Sophomore, Providence
Cartwright is another point guard listed here, but he can play well off the ball, too. Obviously, the Friars are led by stud point guard Kris Dunn, but Cartwright has a very capable skill set in his own right. Cartwright played in all 34 games for the Friars last season and averaged 3.5 points, 2.6 assists and 1.5 rebounds per game. The combo guard can get up and down the court with ease and can be an effective scorer if given the opportunity. Look for Cartwright to have an improved season and have decent numbers across the board.
Kyron Cartwright was good last year & fast pace will be right in his wheel house. #pcbb
— Welcome to Friartown (@FriarFrenzy) August 16, 2015
7. Derrick Gordon, Senior, Seton Hall
There is a chance that Gordon could get ample minutes at point guard too, as the Pirates don’t really have a true point on the roster with Isaiah Whitehead likely to get the lion’s share of time there. The UMass transfer will nevertheless get a lot of playing time in Seton Hall’s backcourt and he has the requisite experience to lead the team, which will be needed with the departure of Sterling Gibbs. The 6’3”, 205-pound guard is coming off a 2014-15 season that saw him average 9.8 points, 2.7 assists and 4.9 rebounds per game with the Minutemen. Gordon will no doubt add some stability to Pirates’ backcourt and is a reliable shooter.
6. James Milliken, Senior, Creighton
Listed here in my breakout column, Milliken is ready to make his senior year one to remember. Considering the troubles Creighton endured last season, Milliken will be needed to step up his game. He is a versatile scorer who can shoot from deep, but is also not afraid taking it to the rim. Milliken averaged 9.6 points per game last season, but expect that number to increase as Creighton head coach Greg McDermott puts more trust in Milliken.
5. Traci Carter, Freshman, Marquette
There is a chance Carter plays point guard and moves Duane Wilson to off guard. Either way, there is a great likelihood that they ill play in the same backcourt. With the way Carter played on Marquette’s trip overseas, the chances he makes an immediate impact looks promising. Carter averaged a robust 13.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 3.3 steals per game in four games in Europe. The freshman looks like he has star appeal written all over him.
4. Myles Davis, Junior, Xavier
As the Musketeers second leading returning scorer (10.6 points per game), Davis is one of the more familiar names on this list. Put simply, Davis is one of the best shooters in the conference and is as dependable as they get from the perimeter. Davis shot .384 percent from three-point range while .872 percent from the free-throw line. With his experience and dead-eye marksmanship, Davis is as solid as it gets from the off-guard position.
— Banners on the Park (@BannersParkway) April 10, 2015
3. Jalen Brunson, Freshman, Villanova
Brunson is yet another point guard listed here, but the McDonald’s All-American is not your ordinary point guard. He has such a vast array of skills in his holster that he could flourish at the two spot, as he can drive to the rim with ease and drill jumpers with regularity. Brunson is just an explosive force on offense and he and Ryan Arcidiacono in the same backcourt figures to be a matchup nightmare for Big East teams. He probably has the most NBA potential of any guard listed here. Brunson only takes a backseat to the next two guards listed here because of what they have accomplished thus far in their careers.
2. Kellen Dunham, Senior, Butler
As one of the more dangerous shooters and overall scorers in the Big East, there is a lot to like about Dunham’s game. He is coming off a season in which he averaged 16.5 points, while shooting .429 percent from the floor, .850 percent from the free-throw line and .410 percent from the three-point line and being named to the all-Big East First Team. The senior is about as money as they get, and when you need a big shot late in the game, look no further than Dunham. He is cold blooded. If all goes all well, Dunham could contend for All-America honors.
Holtmann says he talked with Kellen Dunham about losing weight to maximize fitness level. Said KD has lost a few pounds, lowered body fat %.
— Tyler Hicks (@THicksBH) July 28, 2015
1. D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Senior, Georgetown
Like Dunham, Smith-Rivera also made all-Big East First Team last season after averaging 16.3 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game while shooting .387 percent from three-point range. With him wisely rescinding his name from NBA draft consideration, Smith-Rivera is poised to make his senior campaign a memorable one. The hard-nosed guard is so smooth yet tough, and there are not may players who possess his clutch gene. The Hoyas success this season begins and ends with how Smith-Rivera plays.