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Ranking Top 10 Big East Small Forwards

While we have seen some star appeal in the backcourt with the point guards and shooting guards of the Big East, when we get to the frontcourt the talent kind of seems to wane.

That’s not to say, the players listed here are chopped liver. Quite the contrary. There is some great wing talent at the top mixed in with some intriguing players stepping into a new opportunity. So, there’s room for growth among the ten players listed here.

What you will read here is a ranking of each of the Big East team’s projected starting small forwards from 10-1. Granted, there will be some fluidity with what players will play what positions, as some can play both forward spots, while some could also play at shooting guard.

Alas,  let’s rank the Big East’s small forwards.

10. Sandy Cohen III, Sophomore, Marquette

Cohen is coming off a pedestrian freshman campaign in which he averaged just 3.8 points and 1.6 rebounds in 15 minutes per game. However, the athletic wing has the chance for increased production this season as a vital role player for Golden Eagles’ head coach Steve Wojciechowski. Cohen will have some nice momentum heading into the season, as in his last game in Marquette’s European excursion he recorded nine points, seven assists and six rebounds.

9. Durand Johnson, Senior, St. John’s

Johnson, a grad transfer from Pitt, is expected to come in and help Chris Mullin’s transition in his first year on the job. With not a lot of star power on the Red Storm roster, Johnson will add some much needed stability. He was a dependable role player at Pitt and while he missed the whole 2014-15 season with a torn ACL, his last season (2013-14) with the Panthers he averaged 8.8 points and 3.0 rebounds per game in 16 games. Solid, dependable, trustworthy. Those are the words that define Johnson and he’s someone Mullin will look to for veteran leadership.

8. Jalen Lindsey, Sophomore, Providence

With LaDontae Henton moving on from the program, the Friars will need some additional scoring punch and they could get it in 6’7” wing forward Jalen Lindsey. He is coming off a modest season in which he averaged 3.8 points and 1.5 rebounds per game while shooting just .361 percent from the field. The former four-star prospect just needs an opportunity to showcase himself, as he is a very capable scorer. Look for Providence coach Ed Cooley to give him ample opportunities this coming season.

7. Cole Huff, Junior, Creighton

The Nevada transfer is expected to come in and give the Bluejays some scoring punch from the wing. As someone who sat out all of last season, Huff looks like he is raring to go as he is coming off a great Italy trip, where he averaged a team-high 14.3 points with the Bluejays. As the epitome of smooth, Huff may be able to raise some eyebrows in the Big East this season as he has the necessary athleticism to thrive in this league.

6. Khadeen Carrington, Sophomore, Seton Hall

With a lot of veterans exiting the Seton Hall program, a few members of the Pirates’ exciting sophomore class will have to step up and Carrington is one such player. He is profiled in my breakouts column, and with more responsibility he can be in line for a big season. Carrington is coming off a freshman season where he showed a lot of promise and averaged 8.8 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game. He gets by on athleticism, and as he matures into complete player, he will be a fun player to watch.

5. Myke Henry, Senior, DePaul

Henry requited himself quite well in the Big East last season after transferring over from Illinois. He is coming off a season in which he averaged 12 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. Henry is a versatile combo forward who can take it inside as well as connect from long distance. Plain and simple, Henry is a natural-born scorer and just has a nose for the hoop. He is also an above-average rebounder.

4. L.J. Peak, Sophomore, Georgetown

Another player who was detailed in my breakouts column, Peak is ready to leave his imprint on this conference, as he possesses a versatile hodgepodge of skills. He is coming off a season in which he averaged 7.9 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game. Peak also participated in the FIBA U19 World Championships and gained valuable experience there. Expect him to be big time scorer for John Thompson III and company.

3. Roosevelt Jones, Senior, Butler

Unorthodox in delivery but super effective in results is how you would describe Jones’ game. Jones is a proverbial bull in a China shop, as he loves barreling to the hoop. Although not much a shooter, he thrives in transition while playing much bigger than his size. Jones made second team all-Big East last season after averaging 12.7 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game. With the heart of a Lion, Jones is one of the more entertaining players to watch in the Big East.

2. Trevon Bluiett, Sophomore, Xavier

Playing on a team with veterans, Bluiett took a backseat at times but he would not be kept under the radar for long, as he had a terrific frosh campaign. He is coming off a season where he averaged 11 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game, while being named to the all-Big East Freshman Team. After having helped Xavier get to the Sweet 16, the bulls eye will be Bluiett’s back this season. But he’ll be ready, as not many players play with the edge Bluiett does, as he is one of the most fearless players in the conference.

1. Josh Hart, Junior, Villanova

If you have been reading my columns, specifically this one, you would know about my Josh Hart man crush. It seems like it’s all coming together for Hart to have a special year. He averaged 10.1 points (second on the team), 4.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game while shooting .515 percent from the field and a scorching .464 percent from three-point range last season, while being named the conference’s 6th Man of the Year. Hart can slash to the basket, knock down jumpers all day and play with a tenacity like few others in the conference. Expect a great year from the emerging junior wing.

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