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Discussion Starter #1
1)Khalif Wyatt, Temple

Most clutch shooter in the league. Wyatt (17 ppg) can rain treys or finish near the hoop and is deadly at the free-throw line (86%)..

2)Langston Galloway, St. Joseph’s.

Big, strong and explosive, Galloway (15.5 ppg, 47% 3PG) can score from anywhere on the floor. Foul him and he also knocks down his freebies. Good defender, too.

3)Ramon Galloway, LaSalle.

South Carolina transfer lit it up almost immediately upon suiting up for the Explorers. Leading returning scorer (14 ppg) and a deadeye (44% 3PG) from long distance. His stellar shooting helped make LaSalle a far more dangerous team.

4)Rotnei Clarke, Butler.

Another SEC transfer, the fifth-year senior Clarke averaged almost 16 a game as a Razorback and put up a number of 30-point games. Crafty getting open off the ball and has a hair-release trigger.

5)Kendall Anthony, Richmond.

Dynamic sophomore is a born shooter in a point guard’s body. Despite being under 6 feet, Anthony (13 ppg, 42% 3PG) can get his shot off almost anytime using his ligtening quickness and quick release. He’ll only get better at that with age and experience.
 

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6) Sean Johnson
 

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I hope that Vee Sanford can get his name somewhere in the mix. I have absolutely no idea what to expect from him, but if Dayton is going to exceed expectations, his play is going to have to be part of it.
 

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Sean is a veteran player who deserves any accolade he recieves. He is going to have to own the team this year and his role should lead to one of the all league teams (maybe honorable mention). Someone has to plug for Duquesne or people will forget they exist. WH already did that earlier.
 

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As a disclaimer up front. I don't believe anyone from VCU deserves to be on this list at all. Looking at the stats for the players listed I think that's a very good list.

*Second disclaimer: If you don't care about knowing what VCU is bring in at the positon, please feel free to skip the rest of this post.*

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As one of the newbies in the league, I figured I'd share what VCU is bringing to the table at this position which isn't so much star power as it is depth. Troy Daniels was a 6'4 SG who played 4.7 mpg on our Final Four squad and was given the reins as our starting shooting guard in 2011-2012. Shaka calls him the best shooter that he's ever coached, but frankly he hasn't really shown that kind of quality in games. He's a good player, but not a lights-out 40%+ guy, at least not to this point. Apparently he's lights-out in practice but that counts for little, and there always seems to be a guy on every team like that.

He was our 3rd leading scorer at 10 ppg and did lead our team in 3 point percentage at 38.1%. He made a school-record 94 3's last year, but he's a volume 3 point shooter and not nearly as good going to the rim. I don't know if his percentages were a result of inexperience from not playing much his first 2 seasons, or whether he's just a great practice player who wilted under the pressure of real games. He does have NBA range and great shot mechanics, but his percentages don't reflect the high praise that Coach Smart has used. He's one of our better rebounding guards however. Perhaps he breaks out this year and shoots the ball extremely well after a year of regular play, but he's a good, not elite 3 point shooter at this point.


Behind him is Treveon Graham who was a physical 6'5 215 pound freshman last year that SI's Luke Winn breakout formula predicts will be the #1 sophomore breakout player in the country(http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/20...NCAA-basketball-sophomore-breakout/index.html). He averaged 7.0 ppg in 16.8 mpg and drew a team-best 6 fouls per 40 minutes and crashes the glass well for a guard (Off Reb % of 9.5). He was recruited to be a scorer and Jon Rothstein has reported that he has done extremely well in off season workouts and could lead VCU in scoring this season. He could be a wild-card that makes some noise this year as a sophomore. He will have to improve his FT shooting (63%) if he wants to take advantage of his ability to get to the foul line so often but he certainly has a lot of upside.

Rob Brandenberg is our other 2 guard who averaged 9.0 ppg as a sophomore but frankly disappointed a bit given the expectations after his freshman year. He had a shooting slump for several games throughout the year and has a very unorthodox, line-drive looking 3-point shot. He is an excellent slasher to the rim and a real thoroughbred as far as running the floor. The majority of his points came off of drives to the rim. He had a better outside game his freshmen year where he shot 35% from 3, but his shooting slump dropped that to 29% in year 2. He's still a good player who will play plenty of minutes as he's a long athlete, but his lack of outside consistency makes him a bit one-dimensional as a driver until he can become more of a threat from the perimeter.


We also add a 2012 RCSI top 100 shooting guard (#84 overall behind only #46 Semaj Christon among 2012 A-10 recruits and ahead of #96 Kellen Dunham from Butler: http://home.roadrunner.com/~rsci/RSCI_100_Final_2012.htm) in Melvin Johnson who committed to the Rams late after de-committing from Miami. He has tremendous range from well beyond NBA 3 and set the scoring record for St. Benedict's (NJ) this year. He'll be a true freshman with a lot of competition at his position, but he's a very good recruit with impressive outside touch.

The group has potential, but they haven't proven to be an elite group yet. They were all either young or inexperienced players who progressed to good but not great players in their first years with regular rotation minutes. We'll see if they can make the jump in a high-powered offensive league like the A-10. Defensively I think our guards can more than hold their own, but I do think our offensive production from the group could stand to improve quite a bit. We have balanced scoring between the players, but I'd like to see a go-to guy emerge, something we needed sorely late in the season when we needed a bucket. Brad Burgess was a great college player, but he did not really embrace the role of star go-to guy in his senior season and it was something he was clearly uncomfortable with at several points during the year.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Excellent summary, dballer. I'd like to see someone do that for Butler's perimeter players.

Looking at VCU, I do wonder who's going to become that next go-to guy when you need a bucket in a tight game, like the VCU-Drexel showdown in the CAAs.

Wyatt is that guy for Temple, Williams for UMass, Galloway and Jones for SJU, Duren for LaSalle, Mitchell for SLU, and so forth.

VCU was in a lot of tight games last year and I suspect that will be the case in the A-10, too. I am strongly of the opinion that A-10 teams will do a better job of slowing the tempo vs. VCU than most teams in the CAA were capable of doing.

That's not to say VCU's style won't be successful. The system is proven and Smart is a fantastic coach. That's why I will be interested to see how the Rams fare in the new league.

The A-10 has never really had a team that embraced a style like VCU and was consistently successful. Eventually the best programs incorporate a strong halfcourt attack for when the games slow down.
 

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I hope that Vee Sanford can get his name somewhere in the mix. I have absolutely no idea what to expect from him, but if Dayton is going to exceed expectations, his play is going to have to be part of it.
I agree w/ this statement. If Dayton is to exceed expectations and challenge for a top 4 finish, either Vee or Darenbacker (who shouldn't be listed amongst the top 5 SF at season's start) will need to live up to their HS rankings and enter the mix for top 5 w/n the A-10 at their repective spot.

I have no idea if that is possible, having never seen Vee play, and only sparingly seen Darenbacker (and not particularly paying attention to a random (at the time) LSU frosh), but its what UD is going to need to jump out of the middle of the pack. Well that and a fully healthy Benson by the time A-10 play starts.
 

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as usual WH, thanks for all the thought and time put into these things, it makes the start of the season so much more fun.
 

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Excellent summary, dballer. I'd like to see someone do that for Butler's perimeter players.

Looking at VCU, I do wonder who's going to become that next go-to guy when you need a bucket in a tight game, like the VCU-Drexel showdown in the CAAs.

Wyatt is that guy for Temple, Williams for UMass, Galloway and Jones for SJU, Duren for LaSalle, Mitchell for SLU, and so forth.

VCU was in a lot of tight games last year and I suspect that will be the case in the A-10, too. I am strongly of the opinion that A-10 teams will do a better job of slowing the tempo vs. VCU than most teams in the CAA were capable of doing.

That's not to say VCU's style won't be successful. The system is proven and Smart is a fantastic coach. That's why I will be interested to see how the Rams fare in the new league.

The A-10 has never really had a team that embraced a style like VCU and was consistently successful. Eventually the best programs incorporate a strong halfcourt attack for when the games slow down.
I echo your thoughts on the need for the emergence of a go-to scorer. My contacts around the program say that Treveon Graham will be that guy this year. There are several candidates, but he was recruited specifically as a 2-time first-team WCAC guard for that role and it will be his to lose. He showed nice flashes last year and he'll have to step up and be the man this year.

I think there is a bit of a misconception about VCU because of what people see on TV when we play. Per Ken Pomeroy we had an adjusted tempo of 66.2 (159th in the country). That's behind UMass, La Salle, Charlotte, Duquesne, URI, Xavier, Fordham, Temple in the A-10 last year. We wouldn't have been in the top half of the A-10 in tempo last year, but most people wouldn't have predicted that without looking at the numbers.

We actually don't play fast or run the ball up and down the court at every opportunity contrary to the common perception out there. We play very hard and are active on defense which forces our opponents to play faster than they want to. Our half-court defense emerged as a major strength with the addition of Briante Weber. Because of the frenetic nature of how we play within the half-court and full-court, it gives the illusion that we are pushing the ball and trying to run, when in reality, we are just trying to wear down the opponent over the course of the game.

Teams that beat us up on the inside and hit the boards are generally the teams that give us the most trouble. Teams like ODU and Drexel have been very good at this in the past. For example ODU was the best rebounding team in the country in 2010-2011 and beat Xavier, Dayton and Richmond out of the A-10 that year in the OOC, and lost to Butler on a buzzer beater in the first-round before Butler met us in the Final Four and went to the championship game. Northeastern has also been a tough match-up for us with Bill Coen's flex offense and some of the teams we put out in the past. As CAA teams got familiar with our system and personnel, it was clear that kind of tough, grind it out game with 3rd, 4th, and 5th scoring opportunities and tough rebounding bigs give us trouble.

We definitely have to be more effective in executing half-court offense, and I'm hoping that is more a function of our youth and inexperience last year with so many role players and freshmen stepping into major roles. We will see how they improve on that this year. A better half-court offense would have put us in the Sweet Sixteen against Kentucky instead of Indiana.
 

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Kendall Anthony isn't the best shooting guard on Richmond. Consider that after an uneven start to the season (mirroring UR's season as a whole) Darien Brothers had the following 12 scoring games consecutively:

11 (Iona)
18 (@Bucknell)
38 (ODU)
25 (@UCLA)
17 (Liberty)
20 (UNC Greensboro)
14 (@Charlotte)
19 (@URI)
19 (Temple)
17 (@GW)
12 (UMass)
21 (Fordham)

Then after hitting a shooting slump for half a dozen games where he alternated aolid double-digit games with much worse ones, he finished the year with 15, 30 and 31 point efforts on 25-41 shooting from the floor in UR's last three games.

A guy who averaged almost 15 a game on a team in transition as a whole - I think he's going to improve his percentages this year and become more efficient and consistent, getting about 16 a game on about 47/40/88 shooting percentages. If that's not top 5 at this position in the A10, the league is loaded.

Don't get me wrong, I think Kendall has immense potential, but he hurt UR with his shot selection last year at times and had some games with multiple brutal, brutal turnovers that sparked huge opposing runs (think back to back breakaway hoops to take a 4 point game to 8 in 15 seconds type things).
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I went back and forth between Brothers and Anthony for the final spot, SDW. I cannot argue with you. By all rights, Brothers is the better shooting guard. He is steady, consistent and reliable.

Alas, he can't get his own shot off as easily as Anthony and the young fella is just so darn explosive. I expect him to either blow up this year - in a good way - or blow out his welcome at Richmond. High risk, high reward.
 

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I like to compare K Zero (Kendall Anthony) to Vinnie Johnson of the Pistons. VJ was quite thick and had a different style, but Anthony has the ability to enter a came off the bench on fire. He does not need any time to get in the flow on the offensive end. I really hope he can play some PG this year. With him and Brothers and Sparrow (at the 2 or 3) we are really dangerous from the arc. I would like to see Lindsay get some rest as I think he plays such a physical game that a few less minutes would be advantageous. With a year of A10 experience under his belt, Kendall should be more suited to distribute the ball and cut down on turnovers.




DB, Is Graham really a shooting guard, or is he more of a wing (3). What little I have seen of him is that he is more of a wing - though I admittedly watched very little of VCU last year. Also looking at the VCU roster, I am not seeing anyone else that resembles a small forward, though that could be Guest or someone. Seems like SG is quite crowded, so 3 would seem the logical place for Graham to me.
 

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spider23, Tre plays both the at the 2 and as a scoring wing, but you're right he probably fits better as a 3. We play a lot of 3 guard sets where the pieces are interchangeable. If you notice we have a bunch of guards with balanced scoring (Daniels: 10 ppg, Brandenberg: 9 ppg, Graham: 7 ppg, Weber: 5 ppg. We often have Rob or Troy play at the 3 as well.

You're right that we do have a lot of guards and I realize I didn't even mention Briante Weber in the last post who will be one of the top defensive guards in the A-10 next year. We are pretty crowded at the 2 though, I agree with that observation.

Jordan Burgess will also play at the 3 quite a bit. Guest has great size and a nice perimeter game for his size but I think of him more as a stretch 4.

Our depth chart should look something like this:

PG: Darius Theus/Teddy Okereafor/Briante Weber
SG: Troy Daniels/Rob Brandenberg/Briante Weber/Melvin Johnson
SF: Tre Graham/ Jordan Burgess
PF: Juvonte Reddic/Jarred Guest/Mo Ali-Cox
C: DJ Haley/ Justin Tuoyo/ David Hinton
 

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WH, every year I always look forward to your input. I can understand why no one from Dayton is in the top 5. Heck, we would have to go clear back to Brian Roberts in order to crack your top 5.

Vee Sanford and Matt Derenbecker are unknown talents right now but hopefully they can shoot the eyes out of the basket. One thing for sure, though, Kevin Dillard will get the ball into the hands of whoever is hot for the Flyers in any particular game and oftentimes is a streak shooter who goes on a run himself. He is a baller!

I have faith that one of Archie Miller's top priorities is to recruit shooters for the 2013 class as that has been a weakness which has kept the Flyers from making more frequent trips to the NCAA.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The Flyers could be a very interesting team. A healthy Benson, improved Gavrilovic and Kavanaugh give Miller a chassis and Dillard is the engine. If a few wing shooters emerge, then car has some nice body parts too. Definitely a darkhorse team.
 

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Lack of bigs who were athletic hurt us badly last year, contributing heavily to our poor defensive showing, IMO. I really have high hopes for Jalen Robinson and Devon Scott to fill that void. But I'm unsure if they will be able to play effectively at the A10 level as freshmen. They are reasonably physically mature for freshmen, but it's a big step up in competition for them.
 
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