Preview: Marquette Golden Eagles

Chris Otule is one of the Big East's top interior defenders. He had a 6.7 block percentage in 2012-13. AP Photo/John Bazemore

Marquette Golden Eagles

2012-13: 26-9 (14-4)
In-conference offense: 1.07 points per possession (1st)
In-conference defense: 0.99 points allowed per possession (8th)

Coming off an Elite Eight run and a share of the regular season conference title, there are many who favor the Golden Eagles to claim the crown in the reborn Big East. Those who do must be banking on the acumen of head coach Buzz Williams to extract every ounce of ability from a roster that doesn't feature any obvious NBA-level talent. How else can you explain such optimism around a team that loses Vander Blue, Junior Cadougan and Trent Lockett -- Marquette's top three players in terms of minutes per game last season and team leaders in scoring (Blue, 14.8 points per game), playmaking (Cadougan, 3.8 assists) and rebounding (Lockett, 5.1). The trio also accounted for 47.8 percent of Marquette's points in 2012-13, with Blue contributing over 21 percent on his own.