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2015-16 Season Preview: Top Mid-Major Big Men to Watch

Who are the most feared players in the paint heading into the 2015-16 season?

Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

There is plenty of beef in the lanes in mid-major gyms around the country, but who are some of the best big men to keep an eye on with the 2015-16 season almost here?

Jameel Warney, Stony Brook Seawolves: When you talk about mid-major bigs you have to start with Stony Brook senior Jameel Warney. Warney finished last season second in the country with 11.7 rebounds per game, lead the America East in blocks, and posted 24 double-doubles on the year. Warney, who averaged 16.4 points per outing last year, might become even more of an offensive threat this year with Lucas Woodhouse now running the point for the Seawolves.

Shevon Thompson, George Mason Patriots: The Jamaican native has quickly established himself as one of the best big men in the Atlantic 10 after transferring in from Harcum College. Thompson will be Dave Paulsen's top weapon in his first year as he's the Patriots leading returning scorer (12.5 ppg) and rebounds (11.3 rpg). Thompson has already been pegged to the A10 Preseason Second Team.

Chris Horton, Austin Peay Governors: Chris Horton makes our list for the second year in a row after averaging 13.1 points and 11 rebounds for Austin Peay. He's the Ohio Valley's most dominant big man and Govs fans are hoping his steadiness translates to more wins this season.

Lotanna Nwogbo, Longwood Lancers: Longwood's big man had his season cut short last year due to injury but before he went out he was on a tear in the Big South averaging 19.3 points, 12 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game. Nwogbo was picked as a member of the conference's preseason second team. Nwogbo will have to be a bully in the paint all season in a conference that includes Zac Price and John Brown.

Shawn Long, Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns: Shawn Long did just fine a last season without Elfrid Payton feeding him and he's now scored over 1,600 points and averaged over 10 rebounds per game every season for the Ragin' Cajuns. Look for more of the same this year for the 6'9 senior.

John Brown, High Point Panthers: John Brown reversed course last spring and returned to High Point for his senior season. After averaging 18.7 points and 4.9 rebounds throughout the course of his career it will be interesting to see if the Florida native moves out of the post and refines his game as a possible threat from the wing to increase his pro prospects. Scott Cherry still hasn't provided Brown with much help in the paint this season.

Justin Tuoyo, Chattanooga Mocs: Tuoyo left VCU to follow Will Wade to Chattanooga. Now Wade is back at VCU and Tuoyo stuck with the Mocs. Tuoyo is the SoCon's best big man and finished last year 10.2 points and 6.4 rebounds. His presence on the defensive end is where he's unmatched though, averaging 3.3 blocks per game a year ago which ranked fourth nationally.

Hassan Martin, Rhode Island Rams: If Rhode Island is going to get to the NCAA Tournament for the first time this century then it's going to be because of Hassan Martin. Martin gets overshadowed by EC Matthews a bit but the big man is just as important and averaged 11.5 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 3.1 blocks per game last season.

Adrian Diaz, FIU Panthers: Diaz might be one of the most overlooked bigs in the nation.  Last year he posted 13 points and nearly 7 rebounds per game for FIU and was about as consistent as it gets in Conference USA. He's looking to send the Panthers to just their second winning season in 16 years.

Egidijus Mockevicius, Evansville Purple Aces: Evansville might just be the team to watch this season in the Missouri Valley. Mockevicius is a key cog in their success after averaging nearly a double-double per game last year with 12.5 points and 9.9 rebounds.

Mamadou Ndiaye, UC Irvine Anteaters: You didn't think we'd forget about the Big Anteater did you? Ndiaye refined his offensive game a bit last year leading the Anteaters to the NCAA Tournament behind 10-plus points per game. He was plagued by injury last year though, only appearing in 14 games. Look for his rebounding and blocking numbers to shoot back up if he's healthy this season.