Discussion in 'VCU Mens Basketball' started by Natty, Apr 6, 2014.
Who ya got, in what order and why?
U got Mason & Bonnie at 4 & 5? You really think SLU & Richmond are gonna drop that far?
And isn't Davidson joining the A10 this year or did that not pan out?
GW- returning players
VCU- young players will take time
from here out I'm guessing:
Rhode Island- Hare will be back
Did I miss something? Is "Sienna" joining the Atlantic 10 this season, or are you just some kind of conference realignment soothsayer? Also, where is Duquesne? Do we kick them out?
Here are my preseason rankings.
3. George Washington
4. St. Joseph's
6. St. Louis
7. Rhode Island
9. George Mason
10. St. Bonaventure
12. La Salle
I'm curious about so many people having St Joe's so high. They're losing four seniors who played, including three that averaged over 30 mins. Bembry's a bad man, but is he really going to carry the team by himself? I think next year he'll struggle a little bit with defenses suddenly focusing on him.
The top three will clearly be VCU, GW and Dayton - in that order.
Rhode Island is another team not to sleep on.
Fordham also has all but one player coming back.
No way Richmond finishes in the top half of the conference with everything they are losing, including Sparrow transferring.
Until Hewitt "transfers", Mason will continue to be a bottom feeder.
Here I go...
1. VCU - Hard to believe VCU could be picked to finish first after losing Juvonte Reddic and Rob Brandenberg? Take a look around the rest of the league. VCU returns about 68% of their scoring including the only returning A-10 First-Team player in Treveon Graham. Only three All A-10 players -- Graham (First Team), Kendall Anthony (Second Team), Patricio Garino (Third Team) -- return next season. VCU loses Reddic but upgrades defensively with Mo Alie-Cox who leads the team in blocks %. Alie-Cox also shot 51.9% last season, tops on the team, so while it's unfair to expect the point production the Rams got from Reddic, Alie-Cox was a surprisingly efficient offensive player as a freshman. And obviously, speaking of freshmen...VCU adds the nation's 15th-ranked recruiting class that includes three top-100 players (VCU's lowest rated player is ranked higher than every other A-10 team's recruit minus one player), all of whom are 6'7 or taller. I think the other teams you'll hear up there with VCUare Dayton and GW. I give the Rams the edge over both because the black and gold won at Dayton by 14 points, then went 2-1 against GW including two wins of 17+ points.
2. GW - Only reason I give them the edge over Dayton is because I believe they'll host the Flyers next season with no return game, which could potentially give them the tie-breaker/edge. Larson, Garino, McDonald and Savage are a solid core and they play that annoying tricky 1-3-1 defense often.
3. Dayton - Like GW they lose some really good pieces, Oliver in particular, but Sanford and even Kavanaugh I think will be missed. They do however return Jordan Sibert and Dyshawn Pierre, two players I really like, and I still think Jalen Robinson is CAPABLE (but not likely?) of a breakout season. Incoming freshman, Darrell Davis, as well as rising soph, Schoochie Smith, are capable young guys but won't be leaned upon because the Flyers backcourt will remain relatively unchanged.
4. UMass - Everyone will focus on the graduation of PG Chaz Williams, and rightly so after what he's done there, but I think West Virginia transfer, Jabarie Hinds, should help ease that loss and is probably next year's big breakout performer. Dude adds a slight bit of size at that position, and knows how to put the ball in the hoop. Minutemen return a really good A-10 big in Cady Lalanne as well as two nice guards in Gordan and Davis, plus you've got the 6'8 Maxie Esho who's an efficient scorer and not a bad rebounder either. Truth be told, I won't be surprised if they finish in the top three but I think that all depends on what Hinds can do.
5. Richmond - For starters, we're all familiar with what they'll look like next season since we saw that lineup for half of the season. They also bring in a classic 6'8 Richmond player (big guy who can shoot) in Niagara transfer TJ Cline. I think their biggest challenge is figuring out what to do with that backcourt because both Anthony and Jones are potentially deadly scorers, but just so happen to both be under 5'10. Hard to start a backcourt of that size because you get matchup problems galore. They have one of the best big man duos in my opinion with Nelson-Ododa (great defender) and Terry Allen (very good all-around player). Mooney is a good coach so I trust he figures out how to best use the pieces he's got. They had a rough end to last season but had three road games and two games against us.
6. Rhode Island - I pretty much have to talk myself in to ranking them this high because they were supposed to break out last season but honestly pretty much sucked (or well, were very mediocre). 5-11 in conference, 14-18 overall, it's hard to believe this group is going to somehow climb to the top of the conference after losing Xavier Munford, but I'll go with it because other teams are such question marks. Matthews, Biruta and Martin are a solid group, but still very skeptical of putting them at No.6.
7. St. Bonaventure - They lose their top two scorers but I believe in Youssou Ndoye plus they've got some other decent pieces returning.
8. St. Joe's - The Hawks lose a TON. Galloway, Roberts Jr and Kanacevic are major losses because they hurt you everywhere. I love Bembry's game but remembered them finishing 10th the season before this past one with a darn talented roster, so imagine them falling back down toward that after losing so much talent is probably a given.
9. La Salle - I feel like teams 6-9 are are damn close, so feel bad putting them this low with a talent like Jerrell Wright. Wright has a solid front court partner in Steve Zack and they've got a former top-100 player, Jordan Price, who'll be eligible after sitting out a year after leaving Auburn. I definitely think they are capable of surprising some folks, but seeing how far they dropped after losing one good guard (Ramone Galloway), it's hard to rank them high after losing two more (Duren and Garland...not to mention Sam Mills).
10. Duquesne - Similar to La Salle from last season, Duquesne loses their best player but returns pretty much the rest of their production. Just hard to have much faith in them at this point.
11. George Mason - Patriots have some decent front court pieces but will rebuild their backcourt this season. Hard to imagine that working out well for them in a conference where you need good guard play to get it done.
12. Davidson - Tough seeding them this low after such a nice season in the Southern conference, but they lose three of their top five scorers and are stepping up in weight class. I think they could end up being much better than this ranking, hopefully they will be.
13. Saint Louis - Maybe their system ends up surprising me and proves to be what made them so good. But hard to imagine them getting it done after losing all five starters and replacing them with guys that didn't get a ton of burn (hardly any in fact). Just can't imagine a team led by Austin McBroom really tearing it up in the A-10. Villanova transfer, Achraf Yacoubou, is gonna have to be a lot better than he was in the Big East if he's gonna help them stay out of the A-10 cellar a season after winning the regular season title.
14. Fordham - With Frazier graduating I imagine Severe will average 40 minutes per game and 20+ points...and they'll continue to lose. It's not often that I see a team in our gym and think, "man, those guys just don't look like they belong on this level". That's exactly what I thought when I watched Fordham warmup last season shortly before we went up 17 on them at the half before killing clock the rest of the game. This is probably the Tom Pecora farewell tour.
and only the top 3 get to NCAA tournament (VCU goes 17-1 in conference)
VCU will win 15 games in the league and win the A10 regular season title. The rest is just details.
A10 only gets two bids next season. VCU and GW. You heard it here first.
I say four -- the three we'd be expecting (VCU, Dayton, GW) and one surprise team that emerges (not sure who that might be, but GW played the role this season)
It appears as if the league will take a bit of a dip next season (after 6 bids, it pretty much has to).
This year you had seven All-Atlantic 10 guys return whereas you've got just three next season, and you probably would have had more this season except last year's winners included guys from Temple, Xavier and Butler. Obviously what it will come down to is how well the league does in the non-conference.
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