A-10 Conference Deep Dive

1.Richmond Spiders

Lineup:

PG: Jacob Gilyard

SG: Blake Francis

SF: Nick Sherod

PF: Nathan Cayo

C:Grant Golden

Bench: Djimon Bailey, Connor Crabtree (Tulane), Andre Weir, Andre Gustavson, Tyler Burton

This team returns all five starters, they won 24 games before the A-10 Tournament was canceled. Led by Gilyard and Golden they should be the runaway favorites for the 2020-21 season. The Spiders can dominate this season and get top-3 seed in the NCAA Tournament. I’m higher than most on Richmond having them #10 in my Way-Too-Early Top-100, They have everything you want in a team, senior leadership, elite guard play, good enough bench they have what it takes to be at the top of College Basketball in 2020-21. They have three of the best players in the conference in Gilyard, Francis, and Golden. You won’t find many better guards than Jacob Gilyard, he’s a fantastic offensive player, and defender, who’s very efficient that’s exactly what you need. He was tied at 46th in the country in BPM per Bart Torvik with 7.7. I can easily see him nearing 10 on that this season and is one of the tops in the nation. You have a very good shooter in Blake Francis, who shot 36% from three, who is joined by another elite shooter in Nick Sherod, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better shooter, he shot 43% from three. They have Grant Golden who will be a first-team All-A10 player possibly this season, they run a lot through him, he scores very well and developed as a defender this season. On the bench, they have a real game changer with Connor Crabtree, a knockdown shooter who transferred over from Tulane and sat out last season. There’s such a high ceiling for this squad this year.

2.Saint Louis Billikens

Lineup: 

PG: Yuri Collins

SG: Fred Thatch Jr

SF: Jordan Goodwin

PF: Javonte Perkins

C: Hasahn French

Bench: Gibson Jimerson, Jimmy Bell Jr, Markhi Strickland, Demarius Jacobs, Terrance Hargrove Jr, Marten Linssen

Additions: Markhi Strickland, Marten Linssen

Departures: Tay Weaver

The Billikens return a vast majority of their squad they lose just bench guard in Tay Weaver. They return the two stars of the team in Hasahn French and Jordan Goodwin but there’s a similar issue with the two. They just don’t have any versatility when it comes to shooting, French has never made a three, shot 34% from the charity stripe this season, late in the season opposing A-10 Teams starting fouling French inside rather than letting French get comfortable on the block. The elite defense of French makes him so a difficult player to gameplan for he has such a high level of strength. They have Jordan Goodwin, a hefty guard who’s a good defender but man he really can’t shoot at all 27% from three, and only 53% from-the-line. Goodwin plays far bigger than his 6’3 frame also. He should be a first-team A-10 guy once again. Travis Ford’s squad received a big blow early after losing breakout candidate guard in Fred Thatch Jr after only six games, Thatch is so similar to Goodwin though just not nearly as developed as a scorer. There is a different kind of player who is an offensive first guy, Javonte Perkins who had 15 points per game, with 44% from-the-field, 35% from deep, and a team-best 76% from the line. In Gibson Jimerson’s freshman season he got hurt and only played 10 games but he shot 42% from three he adds a different dimension to this squad that makes them a far more versatile team the shooting is horrendous. The Billikens will be an NCAA Tournament team once again. 

3.Dayton Flyers

Lineup: 

PG: Jalen Crutcher

SG: Rodney Chatman

SF: Ibi Watson

PF: Chase Johnson

C: Jordy Tshimanga

Bench: Dwayne Cohill, Moulaye Sissoko, Lukas Frazier, R.J. Blakney, 

Departures: Obi Toppin, Ryan Mikesell, Trey Landers

When losing your best player in Obi Toppin, who won National player of the year, that’s irreplaceable. Besides Toppin they lose glue-guys Trey Landers and Ryan Mikesell, they were both integral parts to last season’s historic team. The Flyers’ do return their best non-Obi Toppin player in Jalen Crutcher, who is #1 on my list of top mid-major players in the nation for this season. Crutcher averaged 15.1 points and 4.9 assists per game while shooting 46% from-the-field, and 42% from deep. One of the more efficient players you’ll find in the nation is Ibi Watson, the Guard had 10 points per game while shooting 49% from-the-field and 38% from three. Anthony Grant’s squad received big news when Forward, Chase Johnson decided to come back to the program, following the season he decided to leave Dayton but a month ago announced he re-enrolled and was back on the team. Johnson has played only 11 games in three seasons with both Florida and Dayton but will be given his first real opportunity this season. The biggest X-Factor on this team is the 5-man, Jordy Tshimanga, he started his career at Nebraska and is in his final season at Dayton. An elite defender who’s very strong and can definitely fulfill the obligations of his new role. Can the Flyers return to the Big Dance? I think so.

4.Rhode Island Rams

Lineup:

PG: Fatts Russell

SG: Jalen Carey (Syracuse)

SF: Malik Martin (Charlotte)

PF: Jermaine Harris

C: Mahki Mitchell

Bench: Jeremy Sheppard, Ishmael Leggett, Mehki Long, Mahkel Mitchell, 

Additions: Jalen Carey (Syracuse), Mahki Mitchell (Maryland), Malik Martin (Charlotte), Mahkel Mitchell (Maryland)

Departures: Cyril Langevine, Jacob Toppin (Kentucky), Jeff Dowtin, Tyrese Martin (UConn)

Just a few weeks ago, the Rams looked to be in trouble this season, but then they received huge news in getting waivers for transfers in Malik Martin, Jalen Carey, Mahkel Mitchell, Mahki Mitchell those are all huge additions. With Fatts Russell is a great player but, there are still some concerns for me. He wasn’t super efficient even though his three-point percentage got a huge boost. Shooting below 40% isn’t good at all. He really became a great defender also but there’s more work to be done before I fully buy-in on him being a star. Getting Jalen Carey from Syracuse a guy who was once a Top-100 recruit to Rhode Island is a fantastic move for the program. With the Mitchell’s they were both highly touted recruits and left Maryland during the season and decided to come to play for the Rams. Malik Martin is such an under-the-radar get for Rhode Island, he averaged 9 points per game with Charlotte with 47% from-the-field, and 37% from three, and made the C-USA all-defensive team. Can Rhode Island make their first NCAA Tournament under David Cox? We’ll have to see.

5.Duquense Dukes

Lineup:

PG: Sincere Carry

SG: Tavien Dunn-Martin

SF: Maceo Austin

PF: Marcus Weathers

C: Michael Hughes

Bench: Lamarr Norman Jr, Austin Rotroff, Tyson Acuff, Chad Baker, Jeff Roesing

Additions: Chad Baker, Jeff Roesing

Departures: Baylee Steele, Frankie Hughes (San Diego)

Keith Dambrot has himself quite the squad this season. The Dukes have one of the best defenders in the country with Michael Hughes, an old-school big who is a defensive-minded player, an eye-popping 6.1 DBPM last season. Hughes isn’t a slouch on offense by any means he averaged 10.3 points per game while shooting 57.3% from-the-field but he has quite the limited offensive game. A player that was a disappointment last season was Sincere Carry he got worse in his Sophomore season which wasn’t something many saw coming. Carry needs to make the step back in the right direction this season. With Marcus Weathers, they have another very experienced player given that it’s his fifth season started at Miami (OH) then moved onto Duquense now in his third season there. He’s more of an offensive force than anything that’s not a bad thing though given the change of pace between him and Hughes. This team can certainly open some eyes and make an NCAA Tournament run.

6.Saint Bonaventure Bonnies

Lineup:

PG: Jaren English

SG: Kyle Lofton

SF: Dominick Welch

PF: Quintin Metcalf

C: Osun Osuniyi

Bench: Eddie Creal, Justin Winslow, Alpha Okoli, Jalen Shaw

Additions: Quintin Metcalf

Departures: Matt Johnson

The Bonnies are in for another successful season. With Mark Schmidt’s squad, he returns two big scoring guards in Dominick Welch, he averaged 11.9 points per game while shooting 36.9% from three last season. The go-to scorer being Kyle Lofton in his Sophomore season he had 14.1 points per game and was an All-A10 guy during the 2019-20 season. The most integral piece of the team though is Osun Osunniyi who’s an outstanding defender. This year he also became an above-average offensive player with 10.8 points per game while shooting an eye-popping 61% from-the-field. The unsung hero of the team is Jaren English as a Freshman he was a super-efficient scorer he averaged 11.9 points per game while shooting 45 from-the-field and 40% from deep that’s quite good as a Freshman now it’s time to make the next jump. The Bonnies should win a good amount of games and could be an NIT team.

7.Davidson Wildcats

Lineup:

PG: Carter Collins

SG: Kellan Grady

SF: Hyunjung Lee

PF: Nelson Boachie-Yiadom

C: Luka Brajkovic

Bench: Mike Jones, Bates Jones, Emory Lanier, Grant Huffman, Samuel Mennenga 

Additions: Emory Lanier, Grant Huffman

Departures: Jon Axel Gudmundsson, Keyshawn Pridgett, Luke Frampton (Western Kentucky)

Carter Collins has the lofty expectations of stepping into Jon Axel Gudmundsson’s role. The now Senior in Collins averaged 10 points per game while shooting 42% from-the-field, and a good 35% from three. He developed into a serviceable defender last season and should only improve on that. You still have a star in Kellan Grady, he had such a great Freshman season that he subsided since then but it was hard to do better than his outstanding True Freshman season. Grady averaged 17.2 points per game while shooting 46% from-the-field, 37% from three and he will continue to be a force in the A-10. The biggest key on this team for me is Hyungjung Lee, he averaged 8.4 points per game while shooting 46% from-the-field and 37% from deep as a True Freshman. He could quite easily be a star in the near future. The issues with this team are on the defensive end and overall play down-low, while Luka Brajkovic had 10 points per game, he only had a 0.2 BPM which is easily replaceable. Bates Jones had a -0.4 BPM and he played solid minutes, there’s too many question marks with this team to feel comfortable.

8.UMass Minutemen

Lineup: 

PG: Noah Fernandes (Wichita State)

SG: Carl Pierre

SF: T.J. Weeks

PF: Preston Santos

C: Tre Mitchell

Bench: Kolton Mitchell, Dibaji Walker, Cairo McCrory, Mark Gasperini (American), Javohn Garcia, Ronnie DeGray III

Additions: Javohn Garcia, Mark Gasperini, Ronnie DeGray III

Departures: Samba Diallo, Sean East II, Sy Chatman (Illinois State)

UMass won 14 games last season, now this season the Minutemen are vastly improved. I’m excited to see how this team plays this season. Coach McCall adds a big-time transfer in former Wichita State guard, Noah Fernandes, the local product returns home and will play a massive role. His offensive stats aren’t eye-popping by any means, but he wasn’t asked to do much on the offensive side of the ball with players the likes of Erik Stevenson, Jamarius Burton, Dexter Dennis, and Trey Wade that wasn’t his role. At the very least Fernandes will be an elite defender just like he showed last season. At this level, he will be a fantastic addition. UMass also has a burgeoning star with T.J. Weeks in his 10 in his Freshman season Weeks averaged 14.7 points per game and shot 48% from three while shooting nearly seven of them a game. With Preston Santos, you have another solid stretch-forward who can develop into a big piece himself this season. The name with all the buzz and rightfully so, Tre Mitchell averaged 17.7 points per game while shooting 48% from-the-field, 33% from deep. He needs to develop as a defender I have no doubts Mitchell will get there as he develops. This UMass team can surprise people this season.

9.Virginia Commonwealth Rams

Lineup:

PG: Bones Hyland

SG: Keshawn Curry

SF: Vince Williams

PF: Levi Stockard (Kansas State)

C: Mikael Brown-Jones

Bench: Jamir Watkins, Ace Baldwin, Tre Clark III, Hasan Ward, Josh Banks, Jaren McCallister

Additions: Levi Stockard (Kansas State), Mikael Brown-Jones, Ace Baldwin, Jamie Watkins

Departures: Marcus Santos-Silva (Texas Tech), Isaac Vann, Marcus Evans, De’Riante Jenkins, Mikael Simms

The Rams of Virginia Commonwealth are a tough team to place. They finished in 8th place last season in the A-10 and lost Marcus Evans, Marcus Santos-Silva, DeRiante Jenkins, and Isaac Vann. Four of the top players on the team, while the pedigree of the VCU program and the coaching of Mike Rhoades could make them a better team. There’s just too many “Will Vince Williams breakout” and, “Maybe Corey Douglas can breakout” I don’t think any of the guys returning other than Bones Hyland have the kind of potential to make this a great team. The two big Freshmen, Mikeal Brown-Jones and Jamir Watkins will play significant roles this season. A big transfer add is Levi Stockard from Kansas State, he’s a guy I’m pretty confident will get a waiver. He wasn’t very good last season at K-State but dropping down a level should benefit him. I could end up being wrong here and if so I’ll take that one.

10.George Washington

Lineup:

PG: Jameer Nelson Jr

SG: James Bishop (LSU)

SF: Maceo Jack

PF: Jamison Battle

C: Chase Parr

Bench: Ace Stallings, Sloan Seymour (Siena), Noel Brown, Matthew Moyer (Vanderbilt)

Additions: James Bishop (LSU), Noel Brown, Matthew Moyer (Vanderbilt), Sloan Seymour (Siena)

Departures: Armel Potter, Arnaldo Toro (St John’s)< 

When Jamion Christian left Siena to head to George Washington he had a difficult task on his hands. The Colonials in his First Season won 12 games. Now, this season they return Jameer Nelson Jr, Jamison Battle, and Chase Parr who now are all Sophomores. Last season Battle was arguably George Washington’s best player. As a Freshman Battle averaged 11.2 points per game while shooting 36% from deep. Jameer Nelson Jr averaged 10.4 points per game in his Freshman season but he lacked efficiency but had some injuries down the stretch which hampered his play at the end of the season. Then Jamion Christian’s squad had a big-time addition late in the season when Chase Paar came onto the scene with his superb defense and should come on with his offense this season. A few transfers that will play significant rules this season are Sloan Seymour, who’s an elite shooter he shot 37% from three in 2018-19 for Siena. Then they landed LSU Guard in James Bishop, A former top-150 recruit in the class of 2019. He didn’t play a ton for Will Wade’s squad this past season but returns home to DC and is expected to play a significant role for GW. The Colonials will have a huge improvement in 2020-21.

11.George Mason Patriots

Lineup:

PG: Jordan Miller

SG: Javon Greene

SF: Xavier Johnson

PF: Josh Oduru

C: A.J. Wilson

Bench: Jamal Hartwell II, Malik Henry, Greg Calixte, Ronald Polite, Otis Frazier

Additions: Ronald Polite, Otis Frazier

Departures: Justin Kier (Georgia)

George Mason has quite the talented big-man in A.J. Wilson. He’ll play a huge role once more this season following his 12.2 point 7.4 rebound per game average in 2019-20. There’s still a ton of questions regarding this team can Javon Greene be more consistent? Also, can they get Jordan Miller the opportunities to put up more points? He shot ten times per game last season but being that he had a very good 44% from-the-field, you’d like to see him get the ball more. The Patriots will sit near the bottom of the A-10 this season.

12.St Joseph’s Hawks

Lineup:

PG: Rahim Moore

SG: Ryan Daly

SF: Dahmir Bishop

PF: Myles Douglas

C: Anthony Longpre

Bench: Lorenzo Edwards, Chareef Knox, Taylor Funk, Cameron Brown, Anton Jansson

With the Hawks, have to start with Ryan Daly. The Delaware transfer who had his first season at St Joe’s this past one was the lone bright spot on the team. Daly averaged 20.5 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game, which means he filled up the stat sheet though that team was a complete mess therefore they were empty stats. The Hawks add a big transfer in Dahmir Bishop, who was a top-120 and four-star recruit in the 2019 class Bishop, opted to go to Xavier but hardly played and transferred back home. Billy Lange’s squad will sit at the bottom of the Atlantic 10 once again.

13.La Salle Explorers

Lineup:

PG: Ayinde Hikim

SG: David Beatty

SF: Scott Spencer

PF: Tegray Iza

C: Jared Kimbrough

Bench: Clifton Moore Jr, Jhamir Brickus, Chrsitian Ray, Anwar Gill, Tegray Iza, Brandon Stone

Additions: Jhamir Brickus, Anwar Gil, Tegray Iza

Departures: Ed Crosswell (Providence) Isiah Deas

The bottom of the A-10 is an utter disaster. That’s how it usually is but it certainly won’t change. The Explorers at the very least, have quite the talented player in Scott Spencer, who started his career playing for Clemson. Another player who started at a power five school is guard David Beatty, a double-figure scorer in his first season at La Salle will likely lead the Explorers in scoring once more. Ashley Howard’s squad won’t finish last, so they have that to hang their hat on.

14.Fordham Rams

PG: Jalen Cobb

SG: Josh Colon

SF: Ty Perry

PF: Chuba Ohaams

C: Joel Soriano

Bench: Ivan Raut Cameron Cohn, Julian Dozier, Chris Austin, Mason Williams, Yame Butler

Additions: Julian Dozier, Yame Butler

Departures: Antwon Portley Ethan Gazi

1.Richmond Spiders

Lineup:

PG: Jacob Gilyard

SG: Blake Francis

SF: Nick Sherod

PF: Nathan Cayo

C:Grant Golden

Bench: Djimon Bailey, Connor Crabtree (Tulane), Andre Weir, Andre Gustavson, Tyler Burton

This team returns all five starters, they won 24 games before the A-10 Tournament was canceled. Led by Gilyard and Golden they should be the runaway favorites for the 2020-21 season. The Spiders can dominate this season and get top-3 seed in the NCAA Tournament. I’m higher than most on Richmond having them #10 in my Way-Too-Early Top-100, They have everything you want in a team, senior leadership, elite guard play, good enough bench they have what it takes to be at the top of College Basketball in 2020-21. They have three of the best players in the conference in Gilyard, Francis, and Golden. You won’t find many better guards than Jacob Gilyard, he’s a fantastic offensive player, and defender, who’s very efficient that’s exactly what you need. He was tied at 46th in the country in BPM per Bart Torvik with 7.7. I can easily see him nearing 10 on that this season and is one of the tops in the nation. You have a very good shooter in Blake Francis, who shot 36% from three, who is joined by another elite shooter in Nick Sherod, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better shooter, he shot 43% from three. They have Grant Golden who will be a first-team All-A10 player possibly this season, they run a lot through him, he scores very well and developed as a defender this season. On the bench, they have a real game changer with Connor Crabtree, a knockdown shooter who transferred over from Tulane and sat out last season. There’s such a high ceiling for this squad this year.

2.Saint Louis Billikens

Lineup: 

PG: Yuri Collins

SG: Fred Thatch Jr

SF: Jordan Goodwin

PF: Javonte Perkins

C: Hasahn French

Bench: Gibson Jimerson, Jimmy Bell Jr, Markhi Strickland, Demarius Jacobs, Terrance Hargrove Jr, Marten Linssen

Additions: Markhi Strickland, Marten Linssen

Departures: Tay Weaver

The Billikens return a vast majority of their squad they lose just bench guard in Tay Weaver. They return the two stars of the team in Hasahn French and Jordan Goodwin but there’s a similar issue with the two. They just don’t have any versatility when it comes to shooting, French has never made a three, shot 34% from the charity stripe this season, late in the season opposing A-10 Teams starting fouling French inside rather than letting French get comfortable on the block. The elite defense of French makes him so a difficult player to gameplan for he has such a high level of strength. They have Jordan Goodwin, a hefty guard who’s a good defender but man he really can’t shoot at all 27% from three, and only 53% from-the-line. Goodwin plays far bigger than his 6’3 frame also. He should be a first-team A-10 guy once again. Travis Ford’s squad received a big blow early after losing breakout candidate guard in Fred Thatch Jr after only six games, Thatch is so similar to Goodwin though just not nearly as developed as a scorer. There is a different kind of player who is an offensive first guy, Javonte Perkins who had 15 points per game, with 44% from-the-field, 35% from deep, and a team-best 76% from the line. In Gibson Jimerson’s freshman season he got hurt and only played 10 games but he shot 42% from three he adds a different dimension to this squad that makes them a far more versatile team the shooting is horrendous. The Billikens will be an NCAA Tournament team once again. 

3.Dayton Flyers

Lineup: 

PG: Jalen Crutcher

SG: Rodney Chatman

SF: Ibi Watson

PF: Chase Johnson

C: Jordy Tshimanga

Bench: Dwayne Cohill, Moulaye Sissoko, Lukas Frazier, R.J. Blakney, 

Departures: Obi Toppin, Ryan Mikesell, Trey Landers

When losing your best player in Obi Toppin, who won National player of the year, that’s irreplaceable. Besides Toppin they lose glue-guys Trey Landers and Ryan Mikesell, they were both integral parts to last season’s historic team. The Flyers’ do return their best non-Obi Toppin player in Jalen Crutcher, who is #1 on my list of top mid-major players in the nation for this season. Crutcher averaged 15.1 points and 4.9 assists per game while shooting 46% from-the-field, and 42% from deep. One of the more efficient players you’ll find in the nation is Ibi Watson, the Guard had 10 points per game while shooting 49% from-the-field and 38% from three. Anthony Grant’s squad received big news when Forward, Chase Johnson decided to come back to the program, following the season he decided to leave Dayton but a month ago announced he re-enrolled and was back on the team. Johnson has played only 11 games in three seasons with both Florida and Dayton but will be given his first real opportunity this season. The biggest X-Factor on this team is the 5-man, Jordy Tshimanga, he started his career at Nebraska and is in his final season at Dayton. An elite defender who’s very strong and can definitely fulfill the obligations of his new role. Can the Flyers return to the Big Dance? I think so.

4.Rhode Island Rams

Lineup:

PG: Fatts Russell

SG: Jalen Carey (Syracuse)

SF: Malik Martin (Charlotte)

PF: Jermaine Harris

C: Mahki Mitchell

Bench: Jeremy Sheppard, Ishmael Leggett, Mehki Long, Mahkel Mitchell, 

Additions: Jalen Carey (Syracuse), Mahki Mitchell (Maryland), Malik Martin (Charlotte), Mahkel Mitchell (Maryland)

Departures: Cyril Langevine, Jacob Toppin (Kentucky), Jeff Dowtin, Tyrese Martin (UConn)

Just a few weeks ago, the Rams looked to be in trouble this season, but then they received huge news in getting waivers for transfers in Malik Martin, Jalen Carey, Mahkel Mitchell, and Mahki Mitchell are all huge additions. With Fatts Russell is a great player but, there are still some concerns for me. He wasn’t super efficient even though his three-point percentage got a huge boost. Shooting below 40% isn’t good at all. He really became a great defender also but there’s more work to be done before I fully buy-in on him being a star. Getting Jalen Carey from Syracuse a guy who was once a Top-100 recruit to Rhode Island is a fantastic move for the program. With the Mitchell’s they were both highly touted recruits and left Maryland during the season and decided to come to play for the Rams. Malik Martin is such an under-the-radar get for Rhode Island, he averaged 9 points per game with Charlotte with 47% from-the-field, and 37% from three, and made the C-USA all-defensive team. Can Rhode Island make their first NCAA Tournament under David Cox? We’ll have to see.

5.Duquense Dukes

Lineup:

PG: Sincere Carry

SG: Tavien Dunn-Martin

SF: Maceo Austin

PF: Marcus Weathers

C: Michael Hughes

Bench: Lamarr Norman Jr, Austin Rotroff, Tyson Acuff, Chad Baker, Jeff Roesing

Additions: Chad Baker, Jeff Roesing

Departures: Baylee Steele, Frankie Hughes (San Diego)

Keith Dambrot has himself quite the squad this season. The Dukes have one of the best defenders in the country with Michael Hughes, an old-school big who is a defensive-minded player, an eye-popping 6.1 DBPM last season. Hughes isn’t a slouch on offense by any means he averaged 10.3 points per game while shooting 57.3% from-the-field but he has quite the limited offensive game. A player that was a disappointment last season was Sincere Carry he got worse in his Sophomore season which wasn’t something many saw coming. Carry needs to make the step back in the right direction this season. With Marcus Weathers, they have another very experienced player given that it’s his fifth season started at Miami (OH) then moved onto Duquense now in his third season there. He’s more of an offensive force than anything that’s not a bad thing though given the change of pace between him and Hughes. This team can certainly open some eyes and make an NCAA Tournament run.

6.Saint Bonaventure Bonnies

Lineup:

PG: Jaren English

SG: Kyle Lofton

SF: Dominick Welch

PF: Quintin Metcalf

C: Osun Osuniyi

Bench: Eddie Creal, Justin Winslow, Alpha Okoli, Jalen Shaw

Additions: Quintin Metcalf

Departures: Matt Johnson

The Bonnies are in for another successful season. With Mark Schmidt’s squad, he returns two big scoring guards in Dominick Welch, he averaged 11.9 points per game while shooting 36.9% from three last season. The go-to scorer being Kyle Lofton in his Sophomore season he had 14.1 points per game and was an All-A10 guy during the 2019-20 season. The most integral piece of the team though is Osun Osunniyi who’s an outstanding defender. This year he also became an above-average offensive player with 10.8 points per game while shooting an eye-popping 61% from-the-field. The unsung hero of the team is Jaren English as a Freshman he was a super-efficient scorer he averaged 11.9 points per game while shooting 45 from-the-field and 40% from deep that’s quite good as a Freshman now it’s time to make the next jump. The Bonnies should win a good amount of games and could be an NIT team.

7.Davidson Wildcats

Lineup:

PG: Carter Collins

SG: Kellan Grady

SF: Hyunjung Lee

PF: Nelson Boachie-Yiadom

C: Luka Brajkovic

Bench: Mike Jones, Bates Jones, Emory Lanier, Grant Huffman, Samuel Mennenga 

Additions: Emory Lanier, Grant Huffman

Departures: Jon Axel Gudmundsson, Keyshawn Pridgett, Luke Frampton (Western Kentucky)

Carter Collins has the lofty expectations of stepping into Jon Axel Gudmundsson’s role. The now Senior in Collins averaged 10 points per game while shooting 42% from-the-field, and a good 35% from three. He developed into a serviceable defender last season and should only improve on that. You still have a star in Kellan Grady, he had such a great Freshman season that he subsided since then but it was hard to do better than his outstanding True Freshman season. Grady averaged 17.2 points per game while shooting 46% from-the-field, 37% from three and he will continue to be a force in the A-10. The biggest key on this team for me is Hyungjung Lee, he averaged 8.4 points per game while shooting 46% from-the-field and 37% from deep as a True Freshman. He could quite easily be a star in the near future. The issues with this team are on the defensive end and overall play down-low, while Luka Brajkovic had 10 points per game, he only had a 0.2 BPM which is easily replaceable. Bates Jones had a -0.4 BPM and he played solid minutes, there’s too many question marks with this team to feel comfortable.

8.UMass Minutemen

Lineup: 

PG: Noah Fernandes (Wichita State)

SG: Carl Pierre

SF: T.J. Weeks

PF: Preston Santos

C: Tre Mitchell

Bench: Kolton Mitchell, Dibaji Walker, Cairo McCrory, Mark Gasperini (American), Javohn Garcia, Ronnie DeGray III

Additions: Javohn Garcia, Mark Gasperini, Ronnie DeGray III

Departures: Samba Diallo, Sean East II, Sy Chatman (Illinois State)

UMass won 14 games last season, now this season the Minutemen are vastly improved. I’m excited to see how this team plays this season. Coach McCall adds a big-time transfer in former Wichita State guard, Noah Fernandes, the local product returns home and will play a massive role. His offensive stats aren’t eye-popping by any means, but he wasn’t asked to do much on the offensive side of the ball with players the likes of Erik Stevenson, Jamarius Burton, Dexter Dennis, and Trey Wade that wasn’t his role. At the very least Fernandes will be an elite defender just like he showed last season. At this level, he will be a fantastic addition. UMass also has a burgeoning star with T.J. Weeks in his 10 in his Freshman season Weeks averaged 14.7 points per game and shot 48% from three while shooting nearly seven of them a game. With Preston Santos, you have another solid stretch-forward who can develop into a big piece himself this season. The name with all the buzz and rightfully so, Tre Mitchell averaged 17.7 points per game while shooting 48% from-the-field, 33% from deep. He needs to develop as a defender I have no doubts Mitchell will get there as he develops. This UMass team can surprise people this season.

9.Virginia Commonwealth Rams

Lineup:

PG: Bones Hyland

SG: Keshawn Curry

SF: Vince Williams

PF: Levi Stockard (Kansas State)

C: Mikael Brown-Jones

Bench: Jamir Watkins, Ace Baldwin, Tre Clark III, Hasan Ward, Josh Banks, Jaren McCallister

Additions: Levi Stockard (Kansas State), Mikael Brown-Jones, Ace Baldwin, Jamie Watkins

Departures: Marcus Santos-Silva (Texas Tech), Isaac Vann, Marcus Evans, De’Riante Jenkins, Mikael Simms

The Rams of Virginia Commonwealth are a tough team to place. They finished in 8th place last season in the A-10 and lost Marcus Evans, Marcus Santos-Silva, DeRiante Jenkins, and Isaac Vann. Four of the top players on the team, while the pedigree of the VCU program and the coaching of Mike Rhoades could make them a better team. There’s just too many “Will Vince Williams breakout” and, “Maybe Corey Douglas can breakout” I don’t think any of the guys returning other than Bones Hyland have the kind of potential to make this a great team. The two big Freshmen, Mikeal Brown-Jones and Jamir Watkins will play significant roles this season. A big transfer add is Levi Stockard from Kansas State, he’s a guy I’m pretty confident will get a waiver. He wasn’t very good last season at K-State but dropping down a level should benefit him. I could end up being wrong here and if so I’ll take that one.

10.George Washington

Lineup:

PG: Jameer Nelson Jr

SG: James Bishop (LSU)

SF: Maceo Jack

PF: Jamison Battle

C: Chase Parr

Bench: Ace Stallings, Sloan Seymour (Siena), Noel Brown, Matthew Moyer (Vanderbilt)

Additions: James Bishop (LSU), Noel Brown, Matthew Moyer (Vanderbilt), Sloan Seymour (Siena)

Departures: Armel Potter, Arnaldo Toro (St John’s)

When Jamion Christian left Siena to head to George Washington he had a difficult task on his hands. The Colonials in his First Season won 12 games. Now, this season they return Jameer Nelson Jr, Jamison Battle, and Chase Parr who now are all Sophomores. Last season Battle was arguably George Washington’s best player. As a Freshman Battle averaged 11.2 points per game while shooting 36% from deep. Jameer Nelson Jr averaged 10.4 points per game in his Freshman season but he lacked efficiency but had some injuries down the stretch which hampered his play at the end of the season. Then Jamion Christian’s squad had a big-time addition late in the season when Chase Paar came onto the scene with his superb defense and should come on with his offense this season. A few transfers that will play significant rules this season are Sloan Seymour, who’s an elite shooter he shot 37% from three in 2018-19 for Siena. Then they landed LSU Guard in James Bishop, A former top-150 recruit in the class of 2019. He didn’t play a ton for Will Wade’s squad this past season but returns home to DC and is expected to play a significant role for GW. The Colonials will have a huge improvement in 2020-21.

11.George Mason Patriots

Lineup:

PG: Jordan Miller

SG: Javon Greene

SF: Xavier Johnson

PF: Josh Oduru

C: A.J. Wilson

Bench: Jamal Hartwell II, Malik Henry, Greg Calixte, Ronald Polite, Otis Frazier

Additions: Ronald Polite, Otis Frazier

Departures: Justin Kier (Georgia)

George Mason has quite the talented big-man in A.J. Wilson. He’ll play a huge role once more this season following his 12.2 point 7.4 rebound per game average in 2019-20. There’s still a ton of questions regarding this team can Javon Greene be more consistent? Also, can they get Jordan Miller the opportunities to put up more points? He shot ten times per game last season but being that he had a very good 44% from-the-field, you’d like to see him get the ball more. The Patriots will sit near the bottom of the A-10 this season.

12.St Joseph’s Hawks

Lineup:

PG: Rahim Moore

SG: Ryan Daly

SF: Dahmir Bishop

PF: Myles Douglas

C: Anthony Longpre

Bench: Lorenzo Edwards, Chareef Knox, Taylor Funk, Cameron Brown, Anton Jansson

With the Hawks, have to start with Ryan Daly. The Delaware transfer who had his first season at St Joe’s this past one was the lone bright spot on the team. Daly averaged 20.5 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game, which means he filled up the stat sheet though that team was a complete mess therefore they were empty stats. The Hawks add a big transfer in Dahmir Bishop, who was a top-120 and four-star recruit in the 2019 class Bishop, opted to go to Xavier but hardly played and transferred back home. Billy Lange’s squad will sit at the bottom of the Atlantic 10 once again.

13.La Salle Explorers

Lineup:

PG: Ayinde Hikim

SG: David Beatty

SF: Scott Spencer

PF: Tegray Iza

C: Jared Kimbrough

Bench: Clifton Moore Jr, Jhamir Brickus, Chrsitian Ray, Anwar Gill, Tegray Iza, Brandon Stone

Additions: Jhamir Brickus, Anwar Gil, Tegray Iza

Departures: Ed Crosswell (Providence) Isiah Deas

The bottom of the A-10 is an utter disaster. That’s how it usually is but it certainly won’t change. The Explorers at the very least, have quite the talented player in Scott Spencer, who started his career playing for Clemson. Another player who started at a power five school is guard David Beatty, a double-figure scorer in his first season at La Salle will likely lead the Explorers in scoring once more. Ashley Howard’s squad won’t finish last, so they have that to hang their hat on.

14.Fordham Rams

PG: Jalen Cobb

SG: Josh Colon

SF: Ty Perry

PF: Chuba Ohaams

C: Joel Soriano

Bench: Ivan Raut Cameron Cohn, Julian Dozier, Chris Austin, Mason Williams, Yame Butler

Additions: Julian Dozier, Yame Butler

Departures: Antwon Portley Ethan Gazi

There’s no better tradition in College Hoops than Fordham finishing at the bottom of the A-10. They just simply never have the talent to compete at this level, and when they do have a very talented player, like in the case of Nick Honor, he transfers to Clemson. I like Joel Soriano to have a breakout season but he’s not a guy that can carry the team though. Fordham will not be favored to win any game they will play this season. 

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