The Big East is known for it's excellent guards and classic big men, but this year featured a handful of wing players that were major contributors on their teams. This crop of swingmen was an eclectic group, which provided some very unique and exciting styles of play.
This season saw both established stars live up to their lofty expectations, and breakout performances in unexpected places. Before we touch on this year's performances, lets take a look at our list from before the season.
1) LaDontae Henton (Providence)
2) Sir'Dominic Pointer (St. John's)
3) Roosevelt Jones (Butler)
4) Brandon Mobley (Seton Hall)
5) Aaron Bowen (Georgetown)
Where BECB was right
It's hard to argue with the top three on this list. LaDontae Henton, Sir'Dominic Pointer, and Roosevelt Jones were in a class of their own within the position. These three players entered the season with high expectations and they all met or exceeded them. All three of these players were integral parts of NCAA Tournament teams.
LaDontae Henton led Providence with 19.7 points and 6.5 rebounds this past season. Henton eclipsed 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds for his career, an impressive accomplishment in the era of the one and done. In the year where Kris Dunn emerged as dominant force for the Friars, Henton provided the Friars with explosiveness, leadership, and consistent scoring.
While Henton's leadership was an important cog in the Friars machine, no player in the Big East provided his team with the spark that Sir'Dominic Pointer gave St. John's. Pointer was a one man fast break all year, his coast-to-coast transition game was likely the best in the country. Pointer led St. John's with 7.7 rebounds per game, and was second on the team with 2.4 blocks per game. Above all, Pointer was a constant energizer for his team. Pointer played 34.6 minutes per game in 2014-15, a significant increase over the 21.2 he played the year before. Pointer embraced his increased role on the team, as he was the most important force in the St. John's offense.
While Pointer certainly plays an unique style, nobody has a game that compares to Roosevelt Jones. The Butler junior chooses to kill his opponents slowly. He doesn't overwhelm anybody with his athleticism, but his efficiency is unparalleled. Jones specialized in getting to the basket, particularly when his team desperately needs him to do so.
Where BECB was wrong
Even though we got the top three wing players right, we didn't do so well with the rest of the list. Here is how I would rank the top five today:
1) Roosevelt Jones (Butler)
2) Sir'Dominic Pointer (St. John's)
3) LaDontae Henton (Providence)
4) Trevon Bluiett (Xavier)
5) Myke Henry (DePaul)
Trevon Bluiett completely exploded onto the scene for Xavier. The Freshman from Indianapolis exhibited his scoring prowess right off the bat, scoring over 15 points each of his first five games. Bluiett gave Xavier much needed balance, as his scoring could allowed the team to spell Matt Stainbrook and Jalen Reynolds at times. Although Bluiett faded toward the end of the season, the Xavier wing should enter next season with lofty expectations.
Not many people expected DePaul to be competitive this year. The Blue Demons won their first three league games, and five of their first seven, in large part due to the play of Myke Henry. The Illinois transfer was second on the team in scoring with 12.0 points per game, as he helped DePaul remain far more competitive than anyone expected.
While the differences between Jones, Pointer, and Henton are negligible, I had to rank Jones first because of how he was able to lead his team to victory. Pointer and Henton could both ignite their teams for stretches of games, but Jones had an extra instinct that could lead his team to victory. When the game was on the line, Butler would run their offense through Jones and his ability to get to the basket.