Updated: Oct 21
The Big East is becoming one of the country’s most exciting and arguably the most competitive league, and includes a spectacular group of young guys entering the show. This incoming class features four incredible guard talents in Solomon Ball, Stephon Castle, Garwey Dual, and Simeon Wilcher, all of which will make a winning impact and see plenty of minutes this upcoming season.
Stephon Castle, one of the most coveted guard recruits in this year’s class and the lone 5-star on this list, will join the defending national champion UConn Huskies. Ranked 12th in ESPN Top 100, his 6’6” frame allows him to tower over the competition. Considering his size, Castle is still crafty with the ball in his hands. His extremely tight handle makes it seem like he has the ball on a string. He also possesses the innate ability to get into his jumper quickly on the dribble; something many defenses struggle to defend. His size also allows him to finish strongly around the rim. Dan Hurley’s squad was top 15 in the nation in perimeter defense. Castle’s wingspan will play a huge part in replicating this dominance in making their opponents uncomfortable. There is no doubt in my mind that he will be in the starting rotation.
Joining Castle at UConn is 6’3” guard from Brewster Academy, Solomon Ball. Before choosing Dan Hurley, Ball’s top 5 featured two other Big East schools: Providence and DePaul. He played in the AAU circuit with Team Melo and during his stint, he proved that he was able to get buckets at will and impressively got himself open off the ball. Ball averaged almost 18 points in 27 minutes per contest through the entirety of the 2022 circuit. He also shot the ball from the field at a very efficient clip. His efficiency and athleticism are good enough to earn himself Big East All-Freshman honors. UConn is set for more success with this exciting, young backcourt and Tristen Newton showing them the ropes.
In March, Providence announced its’ programs new leader in Kim English. About a month later English earned the rights to Garwey Dual, his highest rated recruit as a head coach and the third highest in program history. The 44th best recruit in this class is lanky, quick, and athletic. Dual reopened his commitment and considered other schools after the coaching change, but in the end decided Friartown was his home. Dual competed at SoCal Academy and stood out alongside fellow phenoms Drew Fielder and AJ Johnson. Like Castle, Dual’s length is something that cannot be taught and is an attribute that will make him one of the league’s best on-ball defenders for years to come. Another alarming aspect of Dual’s game is that he is a dangerously confident shooter from behind the arc. Dual is quickly becoming a fan favorite in Providence and has a chance to make a name for himself on a guard-heavy Friar roster. Definitely a name to watch in this year's upcoming NBA Draft.
Former Roselle guard Simeon Wilcher announced that he is joining the legendary Rick Pitino, who seemed to effortlessly form a prolific group of newcomers in Queens. The former UNC commit is up there with the best high school talents coming out of the Northeast. Wilcher will get plenty of tick on the most stacked Johnnies squad in recent memory. He gets up and down the floor quickly and finishes the ball surprisingly well over taller defenders. His scoring and athleticism set him apart from many guards of his size in this class. Wilcher’s game interestingly drew plenty of comparisons to Caleb Love throughout Roselle’s season. He is also arguably the most electrifying high school guard recruit the Red Storm program has seen since Shamorie Ponds.
The Big East is oozing with star power this year and there is no such thing as an easy game. Moreover, the future of the Big East is in good hands. Look out for these names in '23-'24.