This Week in the BIG EAST - Weekly Overview of NCAA College Basketball's Top Conference

#TWITBE Ep. 9.5 - Guests Jordan Hawkins, Thad Matta and Jon Rothstein

February 03, 2023 John Rooke & Kevin McNamara Season 9 Episode 5
This Week in the BIG EAST - Weekly Overview of NCAA College Basketball's Top Conference
#TWITBE Ep. 9.5 - Guests Jordan Hawkins, Thad Matta and Jon Rothstein
Show Notes

This Week In The BIG EAST Radio Show, distributed by Westwood One, continues its ninth season with guests Connecticut sophomore guard Jordan Hawkins, Butler head coach Thad Matta and CBS Sports Network analyst Jon Rothstein.

The fifth episode of TWITBE reviews the past week of BIG EAST basketball, taking a deep dive into the league past the halfway point. As the home teams continue to dominate, the top four teams in the standings–Marquette, Xavier, Providence and Creighton–are currently 8-0 against each other on their home floors. On Wednesday, the 16th-ranked Musketeers protected their home court in overtime against No. 17 Providence, despite losing Zach Freemantle to an injury. On the same night, No. 14 Marquette came back to secure a home win over Villanova.

The BIG EAST Spotlight is on UConn guard Jordan Hawkins, who discusses the growth in his game in his sophomore season with the Huskies. Ranking second on the squad with 16.6 points per game, in addition to knocking down a team high 61 shots from deep on a .399 clip, Hawkins explains how his confidence is through the roof compared to his freshman year. He also mentions how the game has slowed down for him and how he is making better decisions on both ends of the court. 

The BIG EAST Focus shines on Butler head coach Thad Matta, ahead of the Bulldogs’ showdown with Marquette Saturday at 2 p.m. ET on FS1. Returning to the Butler sidelines after taking some time away from coaching, it has been a rollercoaster first season for Matta and the Bulldogs, but one they look to build upon as the program looks to regain national prominence.

CBS Sports Network analyst Jon Rothstein gives a view on the national perspective. Rothstein points out the outstanding seasons both Providence and Marquette are putting together, despite low expectations by outsiders prior to the season. With Providence, Rothstein discusses how the Friars lost all five starters a season ago, but have replenished the lineup and now are in position to get back to the NCAA Tournament with a quality seed. As for Marquette, he explains how this is the best offensive team Shaka Smart has coached, comparing to his 2012 VCU team, as well as how Marquette looks the part of a team that can win multiple games in the tournament.

The episode’s “Who’s Hot” segment features the return of “Blast from the Past”, rewinding the tape to just a season ago, February 2nd, 2022. Marquette beat Villanova 83-73 at Fiserv Forum. Coupled with their win over the Wildcats in December, the Golden Eagles became the first BIG EAST team to take down Villanova four straight times since the league’s reconfiguration 10 years ago.

The returning hosts for This Week In The BIG EAST (#TWITBE) are John Rooke, a longtime BIG EAST play-by-play voice, and Kevin McNamara, BIG EAST radio host, columnist and author. Rooke and McNamara give a comprehensive look at the teams, coaches, players and storied tradition of the top basketball conference in America in each episode.

To join the conversation and send questions to Rooke (@JRbroadcaster) and McNamara (@KevinMcNamara33), use #TWITBE on Twitter. Fans may submit questions to be featured on the show. 

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This will air Saturday, Feb. 4 at 11 a.m. ET on Sirius 134 XM 201 Online 964 leading into the Georgetown broadcast of UConn @ Georgetown.