NEW YORK – Jay Wright and his fellow Big East coaches are hoping that the basketball season runs as smoothly as possible and that they can make it to March.
They know they'll have to adapt to bumps along the way due to the coronavirus that may cause games to be postponed or canceled and teams to have to pause basketball activities.
“This year, as we’ve all learned, anything can happen. We’ve been shut down and we all learn is it’s not 14 days. It’s guys get shutdown in different increments,” Villanova's coach Wright said. “Then have to get heart tests and it could affect your team for 21-23 days. That’s just part of it. How do you handle all the challenges? There are more than any seasons in history of college basketball.”
Marquette has already had a setback having to quarantine for two weeks because of a positive test and can't get back on the court until Nov. 4.
Wright's team does have some normalcy already as the Wildcats are the preseason pick to win the conference for the sixth time in seven years. They received nine of the 11 first-place votes from the league's coaches on Wednesday.
“I hope we live out the predictions too,” Wright said. “As we all know, we got a lot of work to do.”
Creighton, led by preseason player of the year Marcus Zegarowski, was picked second. It's the highest preseason position for the Bluejays since they joined the conference for the 2013-14 season. They received the other two first-place votes from the coaches. Zegarowski's season ended before the start of the Big East Tournament last March as he was sidelined with a torn meniscus in his right knee.
“Marcus ended up having surgery in New York City the day before we opened in the Big East Tournament. He was able to go home for a month and we were able to get him back here in the middle of April,” Creighton coach Greg McDermott said. “He’s in a great spot. body looks great. Now it’s a matter of getting timing back from being out three to four months.”