Big men are hard to find.
That statement has been gaining traction in basketball circles for years, and the mantra holds true when it comes to centers in the Big East.
That’s not to say that there aren’t talented centers in the Big East. However, some of the players listed in these rankings are probably better suited to play power forward.
Considering that most of the players listed here are their team’s best player down low, for better or worse they will be defined as centers for this exercise.
5. RaShid Gaston, Xavier
A lot will be expected out of the Norfolk State transfer, because Xavier head coach Chris Mack is losing both Jalen Reynolds and James Farr from the frontcourt.
While Gaston shouldn’t be expected to live up to what Reynolds and Farr did last year, Gaston is an interesting case. In his last season with the Spartans, he averaged 15.5 points, 9.6 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game while shooting 62.6 percent from the field.
True, the MEAC is no Big East, but Gaston still learned valuable lessons practicing against Reynolds and Farr last season. Look for him pick up the slack.
4. Yankuba Sima, St. John’s
Although not much of a threat to score, there is probably no better defensive big man in the Big East than Sima—except for sidekick Kassoum Yakwe (they ranked one and two in the Big East in blocks).
Down low St John's has two very good defensive players in Yankuba Sima(2.4bpg) and Kassoum Yakwe(2.5bpg). 5bpg combined? Wow. #RedStorm
— Tony Patelis (@CollegeHoopNews) September 28, 2016
If a team needs more upside on offense, the more well-rounded Govan is the guy who needs to be on the floor. Govan has the size and athleticism to fully blossom this season.
Together, they make a talented and intimidating duo.
2. Luke Fischer, Marquette
There is not a lot of sexiness to Fischer’s game, but he is nonetheless one of the more effective and polished big men in the Big East.
The best word to describe Fischer is efficient. Fischer was second in the Big East in field goal percentage (60.8) last season and has shot over 60 percent in his two years at Marquette, all this while averaging double figures in scoring both seasons.
With Henry Ellenson gone, Fischer will have to be the main anchor down low. Golden Eagle head coach Steve Wojciechowski has little depth up front. As a senior who has been through the wars, Fischer knows what to expect; he shined even before Ellenson stepped foot on campus.
1. Angel Delgado, Seton Hall
For two years there has been no more consistent and dependable big man in the Big East than Delgado.
The former Big East Freshman of the Year was second in the league in rebounding (9.4 per game) last season and is a threat to go for a double-double every time he takes the floor. Delgado has averaged just north of nine points and nine rebounds in both years at Seton Hall.
If that’s not consistency, I don’t know what is.
While rebounding and defense are his specialties, Delgado has a developing offensive game that has to be recognized. With Isaiah Whitehead now gone, Delgado should get more looks in head coach Kevin Willard’s offense.