Published Wednesday, January 22, 2014 at 12:01 am / Updated at 1:19 am
basketball
Pivovar's Big East rankings, Jan. 23

World-Herald staff writer Steven Pivovar ranks the Big East men's basketball teams (with national RPI rankings from NCAA.com).

* * *

1. Creighton (16-3, 6-1, 15th)

This week: Georgetown. Bluejays had never won a game against a ranked foe by more than 12 points before their 28-point rout of No. 4 Villanova.

1. Villanova (16-2, 5-1, 2nd)

This week: at Marquette. Wildcats had 13-game home winning streak snapped in lopsided loss to Creighton.

3. Providence (14-5, 4-2, 48th)

This week: Xavier. Friars own the conference's longest winning streak (four) and are 10-1 at home this season.

4. Xavier (15-4, 5-1, 24th)

This week: at Providence. Musketeers have won 10 of their last 11 but will be tested in trip to Providence to play Friars for first time since 1987.

5. Marquette (11-8, 3-3, 110th)

This week: Villanova. Golden Eagles pick up first road of season with dramatic overtime victory at Georgetown.

6. Seton Hall (11-7, 2-3, 116th)

This week: at St. John's, DePaul. Ten-point victory over Georgetown was Pirates' first in Washington, D.C., since 2003.

7. Georgetown (11-7, 3-4, 58th)

This week: at Creighton. Hoyas' inability to close games has cost them, and led to a 1-4 record in the past five games.

8. Butler (11-8, 1-6, 89th)

This week: St. John's. The schedule is working against a struggling team as the Bulldogs play three of their next four games on the road.

9. DePaul (10-10, 2-5, 86th)

This week: at Seton Hall. The Blue Demons left at least 16 points at the foul line (22 of 38) in six-point loss to Xavier.

10. St. John's (10-8, 0-5, 97th)

This week: Seton Hall, at Butler. The Red Storm can block shots (nation-leading 8.8 per game) but are doing little else positive on the court.

Weekly honors

Player of the week: Providence guard Bryce Cotton. The senior averaged 22 points and 7.0 assists in leading the Friars to wins over St. John's and Creighton. He nearly had a triple-double (21 points, nine rebounds and eight assists) in the double-overtime win over St. John's.

Rookie of the week: DePaul guard Billy Garrett Jr. The junior scored a career-high 21 points and had five assists in the win over St. John's. He averaged 16 points and 4.0 assists as the Blue Demons split a pair of games.

Stat of the week

Seton Hall held Georgetown without a field goal in the final 9 minutes and 44 seconds of its 67-57 win over the Hoyas. Earlier this season, Xavier held Georgetown scoreless for the final five minutes in closing a win over the Hoyas with a 16-0 run.

Bits and pieces

Eugene Teague had 10 points and nine rebounds against Georgetown as he returned after missing four games with a concussion. Teague leads the Big East in field-goal percentage (.612) and is second in rebounding (9.4).

DePaul lost center Tommy Hamilton IV to a chest injury and guard Charles McKinney to an ankle injury in its loss to Xavier. Their status for Saturday's game against Seton Hall is uncertain.

Three Big East teams are leading the nation in this week's NCAA statistics. Creighton is first in assists (18.5 per game) and assists-to-turnovers ratio (1.82 to 1), Providence is first in free-throw percentage (.796) and St. John's is No. 1 in blocked shots (8.8 per game).

The snowstorm that hit the East Coast on Tuesday limited the crowd for Providence's win over Bulter to 2,022. The Friars had drawn 11,026 for their previous home game against Creighton.

Creighton's Doug McDermott is on pace to challenge Kyle Korver's school record for free-throw percentage in a season. McDermott is shooting 90.3 percent from the line. Korver set the record during the 2002-03 season when he made 90.8 percent of his free-throw attempts.

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