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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Pre-Season Conference Champions: The Spiders of the University of Richmond University (narrative to follow)

As many of you are aware my predictions be based on very little research, but I have been fairly accurate, and will point out that I predicted the Bonnie’s to be 1 or 2 last year, and I correctly pointed out that VCU was a “sleeper” that shouldn’t be overlooked. Let’s face it, the A10 is compromised of too many programs that don’t change year over year, and its not difficult to come up with the 5 or 6 teams that have a chance of finishing in the top 4.

My model relies on four metrics. One, a team needs a POY candidate. Two, talent overcomes suspect coaching in the A10. Three, teams with little roster turn over usually succeed in the A10, and four, the ””winning” programs tend to be at the top year over year despite players leaving, injuries etc.

Without further ado, my predictions.

The Bonnie’s of St. Bonaventure:
1. All five starters return from last years conference and tournament team
2. Osun Ossunniyi and Kyle Lofton should be POY candidates
3. Schmidt has quietly developed a winning culture in the Cascades … doing more with less
4. The Bonnie’s roster is filled with top shelf A10 level talent

Alejandro Vasquez seemingly is the only player of importance to leave the Bonnie’s, Quadry Adams and Abdul Karim Coulibaly are quality former P5 players transferring in and JUCO Linton Brown brings a high character and ability to score.

The Rams of Virginia Commonwealth University:
1. Always one of the top programs
2. VCU recruits as well or better than any other A10 team - there is P5 talent on the roster
3. Roster continuity - Bones departure and Ace’s injury requires someone on the roster to step up … see point 2
4. It’s unclear if VCU has a clear POY favorite, but VCU’s talent and HAVOC style of play will allow multiple players to play roles.

The winning program, recruiting and returning players ensure that the Rams will be near the top again. A lot depends on Ace Baldwin returning but Jamir Watkins, Hason Ward, Vince Williams, Levi Stockard, KeShawn Curry and Josh Banks are good. Adding high level P5 transfers in Jimmy Nichols and Marcus Tsohonis, and former Iowa State recruit Jayden Nunn to an already talented roster means it would be a mistake to overlook VCU.

The Billikens of SLU:
1. POY Candidate Javonte Perkins
2. TFord recruits at the top level of the A10 and despite losing Goodwin and French there is still talent on the roster
3. Roster continuity - see two above. Collins, Perkins, Hatch and Jimerson return
4. SLU has struggled to regain its status as one of the winning programs

Having Perkins return was huge for SLU. He could easily be POY and then add transfers Okoro (former top 40) from Oregon and Rashad Williams (former starting guard at Oakland) and Jordan Nesbitt (former top 50) from Memphis there is enough talent to overcome Travis Ford‘s coaching.

The Spiders from the University of Richmond:
1. Have four 1,000 point scorers returning
2. Have several players that could be POY candidates
3. Have above average A10 talent
4. well … not one of the historically winning programs

I think that the Spiders are going to be no different than what they have been the past three years. I’ll leave it at that

The Flyers from the University of Dayton - Sleeper Pick

I am fully prepared to be called a homer, but I have good reason to be optimistic about this year’s Flyer squad, so EYOA.

1. The roster, on paper, is loaded. The most talented from top to bottom that I can remember in my 58 years.
2. POY Candidate in Toumani Camara
3. UD has lost some ground, but the program has had more success over the past ten years than any other A10 program except for VCU.
4. The Flyer’s lose 4 starters from last years team including Jalen Crutcher but there are some pieces returning.

Anthony Grant is easily the best recruiter in the A10 and having the best team on the floor overcomes many sins and wins games in the A10. Look for the Flyers to resemble the 2019/2020 team going forward vs. what we saw this past season. Toumani Camara a 6’8” transfer from Georgia led the SEC in double doubles and averaged 12/7 last year, and started 48 games for Georgia over the past two years. Camara and 6’9” DaRon Holmes a top 40 recruit from Arizona are athletic PF’s in the mold of Obi Toppin. Elijah Weaver a former top 50 recruit will man the point. He became eligible the second half of last year and played well particularly when Rodney Chatman wasn’t in uniform. Other new comers include DePaul transfer CG Kobe Elvis and East Tennessee State transfer PF Richard Amaefule (former top 150 recruit) and high school players F Kaleb Washington (top 100 recruit), PG Malachi Smith (top 150 recruit), and CG Lynn Greer III. There is also Mustapha Amzil who was named to the A10 all rookie team. The challenge for Grant will be to get all the talent to gel.
 

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I think Watkins is going to be a big time player for VCU. His classmate a Philly guy named Brown-Jones should be more in the mix this year. I love his toughness but he did not play as aggressive as he should have last season. JAF mentioned Nunn and he will be important with the loss of Bones and Ace being injured. I think Kern a freshman from St Louis is going to get time as a freshman. DeLoach is another freshman who could help right away. The issue is that there are only so many minutes to go around and McAllister is coming back from injury that kept him out all of last season.
 

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As always, I expect Davidson—especially given this year’s conference H/H pairings—to finish up around the top 4-5.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Suspect coaching....hmmmm.
Fire Grant.

I don’t get too wound up by his coaching. Some of the Faithful want him to call more timeouts, make more adjustments and be more emotional on the bench. My point was that if you have someone like Obi Toppin you can roll over the A10
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
As always, I expect Davidson—especially given this year’s conference H/H pairings—to finish up around the top 4-5.
That could be true. DC is still the most over-hyped program in college basketball. Duquesne and URI could be in the mix as well. My issue with URI is David Cox is the HC and I don’t have a flow chart to follow Karla’s roster moves in Pittsburgh.

I’m looking forward to including FU and Mason in my reviews in near future. I think they both made good hires. Kim English will bring in some talent.
 

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True, but that’s res. I mean He enjoys Patriot League sports
"Enjoy" is a relative term. Don't get me wrong, I greatly admire the PL stance on intercollegiate athletics. It should be more widely if not universally adopted. But, I am a hypocrite, and therefore I spend a lot more time here than there.
 

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"Enjoy" is a relative term. Don't get me wrong, I greatly admire the PL stance on intercollegiate athletics. It should be more widely if not universally adopted. But, I am a hypocrite, and therefore I spend a lot more time here than there.
Wait, what's the PL stance on intercollegiate athletics?
 

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Prettty solid synopsis and I dont think Dayton is a homer pick at all. They could easily crash that top 4 party. My concern with Davidson is they dont seem to have a PG and in this league that will get you buried. I'll never count out McKillop because he is a fantastic coach. I would have the same top 5.
 
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