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Home-run hitters in the Big East

Tonight is the Home Run Derby in Major League Baseball. Those guys can swing for the fences against no defense. What's more impressive is the players who do it with 11 guys trying to knock their heads off.

Here's my list of the top home-run hitters (i.e., big-play threats) in the Big East:

  • Noel Devine, West Virginia: The Hank Aaron of the Big East. Devine had seven runs of 50 or more yards last season, including three for touchdowns. He can go the distance on any play.

  • Jonathan Baldwin, Pittsburgh: The wide receiver averaged 22.4 yards per catch last season and had three catches of more than 50 yards. There's no better deep threat at wideout in the country.

  • Dion Lewis, Pittsburgh: Lewis can wear you down by breaking tackles, and he can also rip off a long-distance score, like he did on his 58-yard touchdown against Rutgers or his 85-yard scamper to pay dirt versus Buffalo.

  • Jordan Todman, Connecticut: The Huskies tailback had two runs of 45 yards or more last year and also scored on a 96-yard kickoff return.

  • Armon Binns, Cincinnati: Mardy Gilyard was more of the Bearcats' deep receiver last year, but Binns can do many of the same things and has a 6-foot-4 frame. Ask Syracuse, whom Binns burned for an 81-yard catch last year.

  • Victor Anderson, Louisville: Injuries slowed him down last year, but the speedy 2008 Big East rookie of the year should be a big-play threat in a variety of ways for the Cardinals this year.

  • Lindsey Lamar, South Florida: A member of the Bulls' sprint team, Lamar will try to stretch the field while playing the slot and lining up other places this season.

Others to watch: Tavon Austin, West Virginia; Ray Graham, Pittsburgh; Isaiah Pead and Vidal Hazelton, Cincinnati; Dontavia Bogan, South Florida; Mark Harrison, Rutgers; Averin Collier, Syracuse.