Sunday, July 18, 2010

A10 Basketball Preview and Prediction

Posted by CoHoops Isaiah Clark

Xavier won last years A10 regular season and conference championship. Dayton who was a favorite to win the conference to start the season ended up winning the NIT Championship instead. Temple tied for the regular season title with Xavier. All three teams lost some key players, but all three still sit atop the A10 for the upcoming season.


1. Temple- Last season ended roughly for the Owls as they lost in the first round to 12 seed Cornell in the NCAA Tournament. They may have lost leading scorer Ryan Brooks from last year’s team but they are returning Juan Fernandez and Lavoy Allen. Both will be key parts to the success of this upcoming season. However, the player that will make a huge impact and will probably surprise a few people is guard Ramone Moore. He is going to be that spark plug that this team needs to win the Atlantic 10 title this year. Again they will be under the radar as they always are but Fran Dunphy will have this team ready to play when it comes game time. Expect them to win the Atlantic 10 regular season and conference title, plus a few tournament wins during March Madness.

2. Richmond- They lost David Gonzalez but are returning Kevin Anderson who was the leading scorer on last year’s team. He put his name in the potential draftees for the NBA draft but withdrew his name and will return for his senior season. This was great news for the Spiders, considering Head Coach Chris Mooney was talking about potentially going elsewhere to coach until he received word that Anderson would be coming back. There is plenty of potential on this team and they very well could upset Temple for the Atlantic 10 title. Do they have what it takes to make a run next March though?

3. Xavier- Losing Jordan Crawford and the 20 plus points a game he provided the Musketeers is something that will be hard to deal with. The only other player they lost was their low post threat, Justin Love. There may not be one single player on this team that can replace those individuals themselves but as a complete team they again can make another run like last year. Terrell Holloway, Jamel Mclean and Dante Jackson will need to do the bulk of the scoring for this team to succeed. They also have incoming freshman Jordan Latham and Justin Martin that could make quite the impact in their first year of college ball. Head Coach Chris Mack will have this team back and ready to play even without Crawford and Love.

4. Dayton- Many thought the Flyers were going to be the team to beat in the conference before last season. That didn’t turn out the way many had thought or even the way the team had thought. While they had a solid 25-12 record and went on to win the NIT against North Carolina, they struggled within their own conference. Finishing at 8-8 and in the middle of the pack was a disappointment for Head Coach Brian Gregory and his Flyers. Even though they are losing eight seniors they still have their two leading scorers, Chris Wright and Chris Johnson returning. Their top two recruits Juwan Staten and Branden Spearman should make this team much stronger from the time they step foot on campus. This year’s team could be hit or miss, but they could also be a very dangerous team. They will finish no worse then they did last year at 8-8.

5. Saint Louis- Finishing the season in fourth in the conference last year for the regular season was pretty impressive for this team. Not only did they finish the conference at 11-5 but they had an overall record of 23-13. This is coming from a team that didn’t have a single upperclassman on it. That is right, 8 freshman and 4 sophomores led this team to a 23-13 record. Rick Majerusis going to be my coach of the year in this conference and for good reason. This team will be exciting to watch as they return all their starters and for those freshmen, gained some playing experience. Look for them to be the surprise team in the conference.

6. Charlotte- This is another team that lost quite a few seniors but is returning their main scoring from last season. Led by the triple threat of Shamari Spears, Derrio Green, and Chris Braswell this years 49ers should finish better then 19-12. They may not finish better then 9-7 in the conference though. New Head Coach Alan Major comes from Ohio State where he coached along side Thad Matta. No one is sure how well he will do in his first season with the 49ers. Let me assure you though, he has accumulated a lot coaching knowledge from working under Matta and should serve well for the 49ers.

7. Rhode Island- For the Rams this season very well could be a rebuilding one at that. They lost their three leading scorers and don’t have a lot of proven talent coming back. Akeem Richmond and Will Martell are going to need a miracle to keep this team a float this season. They do have two quality recruits in Tashawn Mabry and P.J. Lockridge but I am not sure how much immediate impact they will have on this year’s team. It could be a sub-par season finishing at one or two games under .500 in the conference or they could end up towards the bottom of the pack. This all depends on how well the incoming freshman can play and whether or not Richmond and Martell can carry the load.

8. Duquesne- It should be an interesting season at that for the Dukes. They have the core of their team returning with leading scorers Damian Saunders and Bill Clark leading the way. Melquan Bolding is the most intriguing playing on this team. He is a combination of a shooting guard and small forward but also can play a little at point guard if needed. The potential for him is through the roof as is for this team. They could finish towards the top of the conference if they stay healthy and get contributions from elsewhere on the court.

9. St. Bonaventure- Losing two seniors and both of them being your leading scorers is tough to replace. Especially for a team like St. Bonaventure’s where it is already difficult to recruit. Repeating this season with a 15-16 record is unlikely. There is a sigh of relief for the Bonnies and that is leading scorer Andrew Nicholson will be returning for them this season.

10. UMass- They are pretty much in the same boat as St. Bonaventure, only they have a stronger recruiting class. With only one double digit scorer returning from last year’s team it is difficult to see this team improving on last season. Maxie Esho an incoming freshman could provide the team with some quality minutes and by playing a little mop up duty but he won’t be enough to help this team. They are without a leader and a proven scorer. It is going to be a long season for Head Coach Derek Kellogg and his Minutemen.

11. G. Washington- Will they be better then last year? I say so, they have Lasan Kromah returning, and who will be a key to their success. They also have Nemanja Mikic, an underrated power forward coming from United Faith Christian Academy. He will help with his low post presence and his rebounding ability. The Colonials will see minimal improvements from last years team, but never the less they are still improvements.

12. Saint Josephs- Fortunately for them they have a solid recruiting class coming in. C.J. Aiken, Langston Galloway and even Daryus Quarles are going to be called on a lot and early. Aiken is listed as a 6’9, 190 pound center but needs to put on a lot of muscle and weight before season starts if he wants to compete down low. There is some potential for this team with Idris Hilliard and Carl Jones, but they will need to improve on their efforts from last season if this team has any hopes of climbing out of the cellar in the Atlantic 10

13. La Salle- Having 6’10 center, Aaric Murray coming back and a decent recruiting class coming in they should finish around the same place they finished last season. With the losses of leading scorers Rodney Green and Kimmani Barrett, incoming freshman Tyreek Duran and Cole Stefan are going to be given the opportunity to play early and possibly start. Though it is doubtful they will be able to produce the way Barrett and Green did, a nice spark should come from the two young freshmen.

14. Fordham-The good news is they can’t get any worse then last year. Finishing 0-16 in conference play is something they hope to improve on. They do have Chris Gatson and Jio Fontan returning which is a bright side for them. But the big question is, will they win a conference game this season or finish at 0-16 once again?

A10 Champion: Temple

Coach of the Year: Rick Majerus, Saint Louis

Player of the Year: Kevin Anderson, Richmond

Rookie of the Year: Justin Martin, Xavier

ACC Preview coming next..........


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