Touted as little more than a superb rebounder with developing post skills and great upside coming out of The Patrick School (N.J.), Angel Delgado played second fiddle to McDonald's All-American guard Isaiah Whitehead coming into Seton Hall's 2014-15 season.
30 games later, Delgado has been named Big East Rookie of the Year, is the conference's best rebounder as a freshman and has been undeniably Seton Hall's most important player this season.
Delgado is also in unchartered territory.
He's only the second freshman in the Big East's 36 season history to lead the conference in rebounding (10.7 rpg in Big East play), following in the footsteps of Notre Dame's Troy Murphy, who pulled down 10.3 per game in 1998-99.
Delgado is the first-ever Seton Hall player to lead the conference in boards and is just the second Seton Hall freshman to be named Rookie of the Year after the late Eddie Griffin was honored for his 17.8 ppg, 10.8 rpg and 4.4 bpg production in 2000-01.
Even further, Angel is averaging a double-double (10 ppg, 11.6 rpg) over his last seven games, has recorded 10 double-doubles on the season (leads Big East) and pulled down 10-plus rebounds on 15 occasions this year including a 19-point, 19-rebound showing against DePaul. Last but probably the most telling stat attached to him, Delgado's offensive boards have resulted in 118 second chance points for Seton Hall this season, or just under four per game.
Angel's unmatched energy and emotion on the court sets him apart from most players while his uncanny ability to attack the offensive glass (22nd-best OReb% in NCAAs) has warranted Seton Hall head coach Kevin Willard to compare him to Dennis Rodman several times, starting in the pre-season.
He wasn't the most hyped recruit coming into the season and even now Hall players like Sterling Gibbs and Isaiah Whitehead are talked about more than Angel, but Seton Hall would have been simply lost this season without his presence in the paint.
This two-minute post-game interview after Seton Hall's home win over Creighton just about sums up Delgado's passion and season.