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Big East 2015 rankings: Small Forwards

Big East Coast Bias continues its rankings series today with a look at the best small forwards in the conference, headlined by a familiar face

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Hello! You may remember last year we did a series of rankings for Big East players. Well, today, we're starting that up again! It's time to delve into the realm of the conference and see who the best small forward is based upon the votes of the BECB staff.

5. Jajuan Johnson (Marquette Golden Eagles)


Not to be confused with the former Purdue Boilermaker, Marquette's Jajuan Johnson kicks off this edition of the top 5. It's easy to see why Johnson cracked the top 5, here. After a pedestrian freshman season under Buzz Williams in which he averaged 4.3 points per game in limited minutes, Johnson had a strong sophomore campaign under Steve Wojciechowski, averaging 7.3 points per game.

Johnson should crack the starting lineup this season, and with most of the opposition's focus on Henry Ellenson and Luke Fischer, Johnson should see his scoring average increase yet again. He'll also be assisted by the fact that, apparently, he spent the offseason working on his jump shot.

4. Remy Abell (Xavier Musketeers)


It's easy to see why Abell is in our top 5. In his first season in the Big East, the Indiana transfer put up impressive numbers: 8.4 points per game in 34 starts. Perhaps even more impressive, though, is Abell's defending. He was matched up against some of the best scorers in the Big East, and shut them down. There's a good reason he was named to CBS Sports' "Glue Guys" list this summer.

How will Abell follow his great season up? Likely with another one. Although the Musketeers lost Matt Stainbrook and Dee Davis, they retained a lot of great players. Abell will be, once again, starting from the beginning of the season. Being his senior season, there's likely some extra motivation to improve his draft stock and also to leave a legacy at Xavier with a big final year.

3. Isaac Copeland (Georgetown Hoyas)


Copeland, from the famed Brewster Academy, had one of the best freshman seasons in the Big East last season. It was lost in the fold, though, due to Georgetown's incredible depth and great freshman all around the conference. This year, however, Copeland will be noticed.

As our Sean Saint Jacques notes, "Copeland can provide some scoring, rebounding and efficient shooting from the field. As a freshman, the forward shot 45.1 percent from the floor and made 80.9 percent of his free throws."

Those numbers should both inevitably rise this season and make the Hoyas a very tough team, thanks largely to Copeland.

2. Josh Hart (Villanova Wildcats)


One of the things you start to notice after you do enough of these top 5 lists, Villanova will always have a player featured. It's easy to see why, too. Josh Hart won the Big East Sixth Man of the Year last season, and then led Villanova to their first Big East Tournament title since 1995. Hart, the Big East Tournament's Most Outstanding Player, averaged 17.6 points on 77% shooting in Villanova's three victories.

Like Remy Abell, Josh Hart also found himself on CBS Sports' "Glue Guys" list this past summer. On an incredibly talented Villanova team, Hart may shine brighter than any other Wildcat this season.

1. Roosevelt Jones (Butler Bulldogs)


When Butler's Roosevelt Jones returned from a wrist injury that cost him his 2013-14 campaign last October, the Bulldogs immediately became a force to be reckoned with in the Big East.

Jones can do it all for the Bulldogs, as he averaged 12.7 points and 5.2 rebounds per game last season, and those rebounding numbers will likely rise this season with the graduation of Kameron Woods.  Jones also had 10 games with at least two steals last year, and four games with at least two blocked shots.

Jones is also pretty much always on the court. He averaged 35.5 minutes per game last season, second in the Big East to LaDontae Henton's 36.6. If Jones can replicate that this season, he'll still be holding this top spot when we take another look at these rankings in March.