RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition. He does have an amazing PATREON, but also *normal* ARTIST WEBSITE too.

Monday, March 8

S14: Top 14 Scorers From Last Four Big East Conference Tournaments

The Big East Conference, and this pains me to admit as a lifelong ACC loyalist, has to be considered the top basketball conference in college basketball. Maybe that's questionable historically, but in the past decade, for the sheer amount of great teams and hotly contested seasons, everything else is at least half a step behind the Big East. Of course, being an ACC fan growing up, the Big East was always considered overrated and some yankee bullshit. However, if I was picking college basketball tournaments to go attend live, this one would be near the top of the list, playing in Madison Square Garden, a four day clusterfuck of knockout games, stars shining on the big stage to get their NBA credentials on display... it's a great environment. And here are the 14 dudes who scored the most the past four Big East tournaments, along with where they are nowadays...
#1: Eric Devendorf (Syracuse guard; 168 points in Big East tourneys '06-'09) - Man, Devendorf was the perfect little shithead semi-thug rap generation whiteboy to play for a college basketball team located in upstate New York. Perfect. His freshman year, they won the Big East tournament in shocking fashion and he was on the All-Rookie team in the Big East. And then last year, he led the Orange to a tourney championship game loss, and was first team All-Big East. But mostly he was great for relentlessly and heartlessly shooting threes. If you could get away with making a white underclass version of the Harlme Globetrotters, Devendorf would be one of my first picks, along with Jason Williams. Devendorf dabbled in the D-League last year, for the Reno Bighorns, and currently kicks it in the land of the kiwis, playing for the Waikato Pistons in New Zealand.
#2: Sam Young (Pittsburgh forward; 157 points in Big East tourneys '06'-09) - Oh man, Sam Young was a fucking monster presence on the court, taking shit over with a fury. My interest in the Big East is casual at best, so when I see guys like him back in the day when he was still in college, I can latch on and off without any emotional attachment. But he was awesome. He helped take Pitt to tourney finals in '06 and '07, and won the MVP award helping them win the Big East tournament in 2008. After finishing college last year, he got drafted by the Memphis Grizzlies, where he currently is getting his young, black, and wealthy on to this day.
#3: DaSean Butler (West Virginia forward; 129 points in Big East tourneys '07-'09) - Still in college; will speak upon him tomorrow.
#4: Wesley Matthews (Marquette guard; 105 points in Big East tourneys '06-'09) - Marquette kind of falls off my radar, to be honest. I know they are the Al McGuire school that won titles in the '70s, and then one of the Hoop Dreams kids went there, but that's it for me and my mental bank regarding Marquette. Matthews I don't even remember, but he's earned a slot in the NBA as a starter for the Utah Jazz, probably because he is a solid guard that stands 6'6". Guys that size who can play like a guard tend to get paid.
#5: Alex Ruoff (West Virginia guard; 104 points in Big East tourneys '07-'09) - West Virginia has a long tradition of balling ass whiteboys. Ruoff's time in West Virginia, which included two Sweet 16 runs, is nothing compared to winning the Belgian Supercup last year with his Belgacom Liege Basket team.
#6: Jeff Green (Georgetown forward; 102 points in Big East tourneys '06 and '07) - You know, I love John Thompson III as much as anybody, but seriously, the fact Georgetown was rocking Jeff Green and Roy Hibbert there for a few years and never made more March Madness noise. I guess they went to the Final Four, but that seemed like a line-up that was bound to bring another title to D.C. They did win the Big East tourney in '07, and Green was MVP, and he went on to be NBA All-Rookie in 2008, and is still a solid starter second fiddle to Kevin Durant on the Oklahoma City Thunder.
#7: Jerel McNeal (Marquette guard; 102 points in Big East tourneys '06-'09) - Oh man, Jerel McNeal was gonna be the hottest shit ever until he had some injuries last year in his senior season. Still he got a preseason roster slot with the Clippers, but didn't make the team, and now is Belgium of all places, starting for Dexia Mons-Hanaut.
#8: Levance Fields (Pittsburgh guard; 101 points in Big East tourneys '06-'09) - Fields was the braided cornrowed happy faced sharpshooter on the outside to complement Sam Young's Incredible Hulkness on the inside. They were at Pitt the same four-year period, and were a tough tag team to tackle. Still, to break into the NBA as a 5'10" guard is much harder than as a 6'6" forward, so while Young is in the NBA, Levance Fields runs the offense for Spartak St. Petersburg in the Russian Superleague. I would imagine with the Russian Mafia and just the general oddball nature of east Europe post-fall of Communism, the Russian Superleague is a wacky fucking hodgepodge of personalities.
#9: Scottie Reynolds (Villanova guard; 98 points in Big East tourneys '07-'09) - Still in college.
#10: Demetris Nichols (Syracuse forward; 97 points in Big East tourneys '06 and '07) - On Syracuse teams that won the Big East title in 2005 and 2006, and was drafted by the Trailblazers into the NBA. Since 2007, he bounced between short-term contracts in the NBA (mostly with the Bulls) and the D-League (mostly with the Iowa Energy - where he helped them win a coveted D-League Central Division Championship last year), but finally I guess got tired of not catching on long-term in the NBA, and now stars for BCM Graverlines Dunkerque Grand Littoral in France. Once again, I am reminded of how boring our American sports team names are. Instead of franchises, we should have institutes.
#11: Earl Clark (Louisville forward; 96 points in Big East tourneys '07-'09) - Helped lead Louisville to a Big East regular season/tournament title double award season last year, and then bolted for the NBA, where he's buried on the Phoenix Suns bench.
#12: Roy Hibbert (Georgetown center; 95 points in Big East tourneys '06-'08) - Hibbert is the perfect example of a big dude with a soft heart, which is not a negative thing necessarily, but it certainly means a lack of killer jugular jabbing instinct that makes for dominant players. Hibbert is a starting center for the Indiana Pacers, and will probably have a long and inillustrious career, doing just about what is expected of him, and not much more, if at all.
#13: Lazar Hayward (Marquette forward; 95 points in Big East tourneys '07-'09) - Still in college.
#14: Jonny Flynn (Syracuse guard; 95 points in Big East tourneys '08 and '09) - Last year was his sophomore sensation year at Syracuse, where he led them to a tourney title and a tournament MVP trophy for his self. He got drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves, and he's averaging nearly 30 minutes a game with them, and played on the NBA All-Rookie team at All-Star weekend.

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