Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Atlantic-10 Conference Preview


The Atlantic-10 Conference featured a very exciting conference race last season, despite Xavier never falling more than a half-game out of the league race. The Musketeers won the title by one game, with three teams tying for second place behind them: Dayton, Rhode Island and Temple. A quartet of teams finished at 9-7 and Saint Louis was 8-8. Temple made a run in the conference tournament and won the automatic bid, while Xavier and Dayton received at-large bids. Once there, Temple was knocked off in the first round, but Dayton and Xavier each advanced, with the Musketeers getting to the Sweet Sixteen. Rhode Island and Duquesne went to the NIT and Richmond was sent to the CBI. This season, Xavier might fall back a notch, and there are several teams looking to take its place. 

1. Dayton: The Flyers are ready to take the next step and win the conference title this season, behind high-flying Chris Wright, Marcus Johnson and plenty of role players. Prediction: NCAA
2. Xavier: The Musketeers lose their top three scorers from last season, but get Indiana transfer Jordan Crawford and return several guys looking to have breakout seasons. Prediction: NCAA

3. Richmond: The Spiders could be a contender in the A-10 this season; guards Kevin Anderson and David Gonzalvez form an outstanding backcourt, and Dan Geriot is also back. Prediction: NIT
4. La Salle: This is a team poised for its best season in almost two decades. Rodney Green leads four double-figure scorers, and freshman Aaric Murray will make an impact down low. Prediction: NIT
5. Duquesne: The Dukes lose do-everything guard Aaron Jackson, but all-around forward Damian Saunders, Bill Clark and Melquan Bolding form a solid core trio. Prediction: NIT

6. Temple: Without Dionte Christmas, the Owls will have to rely on guards Ryan Brooks and Juan Fernandez, and big man Lavoy Allen, a double-double threat. Prediction: CBI/CIT
7. Charlotte: The arrival of Boston College transfer Shamari Spears will help the frontcourt, and assist-man extraordinaire DiJuan Harris anchors the backcourt. Prediction: No Postseason
8. Rhode Island: The Rams are very likely to take a step back from last season because of the loss of Jimmy Baron and Kaheim Seawright, but they still have talent. Prediction: No Postseason
9. Massachusetts: Ricky Harris and Anthony Gurley return in the backcourt, but freshman Terrell Vinson and Memphis transfer Hashim Bailey have to make an impact. Prediction: No Postseason

10. St. Bonaventure: Behind the return of center Andrew Nicholson and two double-figure scorers on the perimeter, the Bonnies are ready to take some steps forward. Prediction: No Postseason
11. Saint Joseph's: The Hawks are undoubtedly going to fall in the league, as they lose Ahmad Nivins and Tasheed Carr. Darrin Govens will have to be the go-to-guy. Prediction: No Postseason
12. Saint Louis: Guard Kwamain Mitchell is a potential all-conference guard, but he is going to need some support from the role players if the Billikens are going anywhere. Prediction: No Postseason
13. George Washington: The Colonials finished next-to-last a year ago, and lose forward Rob Diggs. All-conferene forward Damian Hollis has to carry the load. Prediction: No Postseason
14. Fordham: The Rams were just 3-25 last season, and Mike Moore and Trey Blue transferred. Jio Fontan is back, though, and he has a chance to lead the league in scoring. Prediction: No Postseason

Player of the Year: Chris Wright, F, Dayton

All-Conference Team:

G- Rodney Green, La Salle
G- Ricky Harris, Massachusetts
G- Kevin Anderson, Richmond
F- Chris Wright, Dayton
F- Lavoy Allen, Temple

Second Team:
G- David Gonzalvez, Richmond
G- Jordan Crawford, Xavier
G- Marcus Johnson, Dayton 
F- Damian Saunders, Duquesne
C- Andrew Nicholson, St. Bonaventure 

Third Team:
G- Jio Fontan, Fordham
F- Shamari Spears, Charlotte 
F- Damian Hollis, George Washington 
F- Dan Geriot, Richmond
C- Jason Love, Xavier

No comments:

Post a Comment