It is probably safe to say that the Big East will be defined by its guard and wings this season. Once we start getting into the big men in the conference, the depth does not match up with the other positions in the league.
Furthermore, some power forwards listed here can play small forward while some can play center, too, which just complicates the issue.
Plus, once we get into the centers, some of the players listed there are probably more suited to play power forward. So, it’s a very fluid situation when trying to rank power forwards—as well as centers—in an exercise like this.
Nevertheless, what you will read here is a list of the five best projected power forwards of the Big East conference.
5. Andrew Chrabascz, Butler
Chrabascz has had to handle a big load for the Bulldogs the last couple of years. He was one of the few frontcourt players Butler head coach Chris Holtmann could rely on. However, with Holtmann bringing in freshman center Joey Brunk, his addition should allow Chrabascz to play his natural four spot.
Considering Chrabascz averaged 19 points (on 13-21 shooting) in the Bulldogs’ two NCAA Tournament games against Texas Tech and Virginia last season, he is definitely looking for some carryover. The rugged senior loves to patrol the paint and has developed a deft touch from the perimeter over the years.
While Kelan Martin is Butler’s alpha dog, the Bulldogs will need a big senior season out of Chrabascz to make it back to the NCAA Tournament. He has the goods to deliver.
4. Kassoum Yakwe, St. John’s
After being ruled eligible to play for the Red Storm about a month into last season, Yakwe turned some heads with his play down the stretch.
Kassoum Yakwe has added 15 pounds since April. Going to be virtually impossible to keep off the floor. Has his offense matured? #SJUBB
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) September 8, 2016
The bouncy, athletic forward has one of the more active motors in the Big East. While his offense is coming along, Yakwe is lauded for his work on the defensive side of things — his long arms and agility are a great asset on that side of the ball.
As he combines all the great physical tools he has been given, Yakwe is in line for a breakout season.
3. Isaac Copeland, Georgetown
Along with fellow junior L.J. Peak, Copeland is expected to make a big jump in production with the Hoyas, shifting towards a more balanced offense with the departure of D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera.
Copeland, who averaged a solid 11.1 points and 5.4 rebounds last season, has the talent to be an All-Big East performer. Blessed with a strong frame and a versatile skill set, Copeland is a huge matchup problem for opposing head coaches.
Hoya coach John Thompson III loves what he has in the blossoming junior. Anticipate JT III to find more inventive ways to get Copeland involved.
2. Rodney Bullock, Providence
A lot will be asked of Bullock this season in light of Providence losing stars Kris Dunn and Ben Bentil.
After Dunn and Bentil hogged all the glory last year, Bullock’s fine season got lost in the shuffle. Bullock averaged a solid 11.4 points and 6.8 rebounds per game last year.
Opponents’ game planning and preparation will now aim to shut down Bullock. That said, Bullock is one tough hombre (remember his game-winning shot in last year’s NCAA Tournament win over USC?) who can handle the extra burden being thrown his way.
1. Kris Jenkins, Villanova
Who else would get the top spot here but the NCAA championship game hero Jenkins?
With the Wildcats recently losing the services of stud freshmen center Omari Spellman, Jenkins will likely have to spend more time in the paint this season. But don’t get fooled into thinking that Jenkins won’t be doing what he does best and that is taking and — more often than not — making countless three pointers.
As someone with a derriere that has its own gravitational pull (and I say that with the utmost sincerity and admiration), Jenkins uses his wide frame to get work done on the low blocks.
Although it will be hard for his encore to be as good as his last hit, Jenkins will be a driving force in trying to get the Wildcats back to the Final Four in Phoenix next April.