The Big East has had a dossier of great big men walk through its doors in its history. The likes of Patrick Ewing, Derrick Coleman, Alonzo Mourning, and in recent years Emeka Okafor, Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe, among others have had their reigns of dominance in one of college basketball's most revered conferences.
While the big men who stand tall in this conference today may not measure up to those standards, there are certainly more than capable competitors in the Big East, some greater than others, and each still find a way to make a huge (no pun intended) impact on their squads.
And with all that said, let's jump into the final rankings of this preseason series.
5. Ben Bentil (Providence Friars)
AVERAGE: 5.58 || HIGHEST RANKING: 4 || LAST YEAR: N/A
Starting our top five, and edging out Creighton center Geoffrey Groselle is Providence Friars big man Ben Bentil. Bentil, 6-foot-9, isn't the "traditional center" by size but he'll likely log lots of minutes at the 5 with Paschal Chukwu's departure this past offseason. He'll likely have his hands full with the other big men of this conference but there's no denying that Bentil is very athletic player with lots of potential. A season ago, Bentil averaged 6.4 points and 4.9 rebounds per game while being used at a rate of 18.2 percent. He should see a bit of an increase in those numbers this year with the departures and CBS Sports' Jon Rothstein is expecting a breakout year for this Friar this season.
4. Luke Fischer (Marquette Golden Eagles)
AVERAGE: 3.33 || HIGHEST RANKING: 2 || LAST YEAR: N/A
Fischer, who came in midway through the 2014 season, checks in at No. 4 on our rankings. BECB thought highly of the MU big man, receiving four No. 2 votes and no vote lower than fifth. Fischer recently said that he and Ellenson could be the best 4 and 5 in the country and you'd be hard pressed to find a more talented combination down low. The Germantown, Wisconsin native scored 11 points and collected 4.8 rebounds per game in the 2014-15 season, and in conference play he shined, picking up an OR% of 6.3 percent,a block percentage of 7.8 percent, and was very efficient, averaging 53.8 percent and 55.1 percent in eFG% and TS%. If he keeps that up this coming year, Marquette is going to be very tough to handle in the frontcourt and could quickly turn into a formidable threat in the Big East and beyond.
3. Angel Delgado (Seton Hall Pirates)
AVERAGE: 3.17 || NO. 1 VOTES: 1 || LAST YEAR: N/A
The reigning, defending BIG EAST Rookie of the Year Angel Delgado is the No. 3 center in the conference according to the BECB staff. The anchor for the SHU frontcourt received no vote lower than fifth amongst the pack and received one vote as the best big man in the conference amongst the 12 votes tabulated. This double-double machine is primed for yet another prolific season in South Orange as the standout for a Pirates team that is attempting to put the fire out that was ignited at the end of last year. The interesting thing is that Delgado was not even high on the usage rate scale, carrying a rate of 19 percent last year. If he sees that total increase this season - and in all likelihood he should - the Dominican Republic native could have a monstrous sophomore season.
2. Jalen Reynolds (Xavier Musketeers)
AVERAGE: 2.50 || NO. 1 VOTES: 1 || LAST YEAR: N/A
Checking in at No. 2 on our rankings this preseason is Xavier Musketeers big man Jalen Reynolds. Reynolds has monster potential for X and flashed some of it in his sophomore season, especially so on the defensive side of the ball, collecting a DR% of 24.6 percent and a Block% of 5.6 percent. In conference play, Reynolds had a DR% of 28.3 percent, and a Block% of 6.0 percent, even better numbers than the ones he put up through the entire of the season. Reynolds remains a bit raw offensively but showed promise on 2-point makes, collecting a 2-point FG% of 62.0 percent. If his offensive game takes a jump in his junior year, Reynolds could challenge for the top spot at the end of the year. Jalen received no vote lower than fourth in the voting process and one first-place vote.
1. Daniel Ochefu (Villanova Wildcats)
AVERAGE: 1.33 || NO. 1 VOTES: 10 || LAST YEAR: 2
But the best center in the BIG EAST, as voted by our staff, is Villanova Wildcats center Daniel Ochefu. Ochefu received a staggering 10 first-place votes, falling two short of a unanimous selection as the best big man in the conference, a second-place vote and one vote that had Ochefu as the fourth-best center in the league. The 6-foot-11 Nigerian was a key piece for the 'Cats, who won the BIG EAST regular season title and the BIG EAST Tournament to boot a season ago and is one of the key returnees for Villanova as they walk into the 2015-16 as the prohibitive favorites again in the conference. In conference play, nobody was more efficient than Ochefu, who put up eFG% and TS% numbers of 66.7 percent respectively on 90 field goal attempts. That means, yes, that Daniel Ochefu connected on two-thirds of the 90 field goal attempts he had. Few were better in BIG EAST play on the rebounding end either, as Ochefu collected OR% and DR%s of 15.1 and 28.1 percent respectively. Ochefu is the most complete center in the conference and is primed for another spectacular season in southeastern Pennsylvania if all goes well.