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Discussion Starter #1
I’ve been keeping my usual close eye on every team through the preaseason. Here’s some thoughts and observations as the season gets set to begin.

LEAGUE

*The A-10 doesn’t have a clearly identifiable team that looks prepared to make deep postseason run (chance at Elite 8). All our best teams have obvious weaknesses, at least on paper, to start the year.

That said, I like Temple, VCU, SLU and St. Joe’s – in that order.

PLAYERS

*Frosh power forward Jalen Robinson at DAYTON has been extremely impressive in the preseason. Big, strong, can score some inside, and seems to have some inside nastiness.

*Combo forward Andre Marhold looks ready for a breakout season at Duquesne. The Dukes are going to get beat up some, but the 6-7 Marhold could be a poor man’s Damian Saunders this year. Very athletic, strong for his size, quick to the ball.

*Lot of buzz around redshirt frosh Jeff Short at Fordham, but I like sophomore WG Bryan Smith. Every time he had a great game the Rams won. Needs more of them.

*Soph combo forward John Kopriva at GW isn’t flashy or super athletic, but he’s always productive. One of those guys who doesn’t look like a basketball player. He just finds a way to help his team.

*Sam Mills at LaSalle is one of my favorite players to watch. Unsung hero of the team. One of the league’s best perimeter defends but he also shot 40%-plus on treys. Ultimate glue guy.

*Bigmen Jerrell Wright (LaSalle), Cady LaLanne (UMass) and Derrick Williams (Richmond) are set for breakout years. All three are strong and physical, horses inside with good interior skills. Williams can also step out and drop the treyball.

*Jesse Morgan is about to show the rest of the league that he’s one of the better 2-guards. Probably the best defender on UMass, backs up Williams at point and he’s a darn good shooter and scorer, too.

*Juco transfer Xavier Munford is generating a lot of talk at Rhody. Aggressive wing guard who could end up being of the team’s top scorers.

*Richmond has a ton of guards who can play, but they need someone to help Williams inside. Keep an eye on Wayne Sparrow, a 6-3 shooting guard who had a fine preseason.

*Ronald Roberts at St. Joe’s is the most exciting player in the league to watch outside of Chaz Williams. Some of his throwdowns have a Jerome Lane quality to them. Explosive!

*Forward Dwayne Evans is an everyman for St. Louis. He will do a lot to help fans forget about Brian Conklin. Evans won’t score as much but he does pretty much everything well. Rugged rebounder and excellent post defender.

*Will Cummings is a big key for Temple. Hardly played as a frosh, but he’s the only speedy guard on the team. Owls can win even if he doesn’t come on strong, but they will be much better if Cummings makes the usual sophomore leap under Dunphy.

*VCU’s Juvonte Reddic might be another budding frontcourt star in the A-10. Super athletic and packed on lots more muscle. He is the key, IMO, for VCU in its attempt to win the A-10 in its first year. He might be the best two-way bigman in the league.
 

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Tay Jones (SJU) suspended for 3 games (Wheeling-Yale-Notre Dame) for unspecified violations of community standards(??)-privacy issues, of course. Extremely thin at the guard spot, plus takes out your leader scorer. Ouch. Is this a drib or drab?
 

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Very excited to see what Munford and Malesevic can do on the scoring end at Rhody. Two years ago, Malesevic shot incredibly well (except at the line): 51% FG, 46% 3FG, 54% FT.
 

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Glad someone beside Dayton fans has seen Jalen Robinson and sees his talent. Yes, it was against D2 teams, and yes he will have his ups and downs as a freshman, but his talent is real. He has All League written all over his game. And perhaps sooner rather than later.
 

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What? Duquesne has a good player?! Rejoice!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I had SJU beating ND. Without Jones I don't see it. If A-10 players are not getting injured they are doing stupid things. Geez.


Feel free to add more dribs and drabs for Bona or anyone else in this thread. I'd be curious to know which whose your favorite player on another team, or which player you dislike the most but would take in a nanosecond on your team.
 

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Conger is the man this year. He'll average close to 17ppg. That being said, I'm most excited about Ndoye having a breakout year. He'll have some tough games here and there, but by the time he is a senior he is going to be a force to be reckoned with.
 

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Conger is the man this year. He'll average close to 17ppg. That being said, I'm most excited about Ndoye having a breakout year. He'll have some tough games here and there, but by the time he is a senior he is going to be a force to be reckoned with.
I think Kloof is going to have a big year and I really hope Simmons does. He deserves it.

As for players I'd like to have...definitely Aiken (no slight on our big guys).
 

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La Salle is a sleeper this year. They're going to be a formidable squad. Lots of talent.
La Salle is only a sleeper for those not paying attention. If La Salle is not within a game of the conference champion then I will forever consider La Salle an A10 failure.
 

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La Salle is only a sleeper for those not paying attention. If La Salle is not within a game of the conference champion then I will forever consider La Salle an A10 failure.
Agreed. Unfortunately they don't get a lot of the press many other members enjoy. I wouldn't be surprised if they won the league.
 

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Briante Weber had 13 points and 10 steals in 18 minutes in last night's game for VCU. Former NBA and ACC assistant Andy Enfield had this to say after the game:
I’ve coached in the NBA and in the ACC, he’s as quick and can change direction and cover ground as well as anyone I’ve ever seen,” Eagles’ Coach Andy Enfield, just the first of many to heap praise on Weber Friday, said. “He’s got long arms, but it’s his anticipation and quickness to get his hands on the basketball. I’ve been coaching 17-18 years and he’s as good as I’ve ever seen.”
http://aroundthehorns.wordpress.com/2012/11/10/war-of-webers-proves-historic/

In his 1st game as an A-10 player, Briante took the 2nd-most steals of any player in A-10 history in 18 minutes. Mark Macon of Temple holds the record with 11. Briante's steal percentage was 31.3% last night, which is basically every 3 possessions he was on the court. He led the country in steal percentage last year as a freshman and his 7 percent mark was the highest of any individual player in college basketball since the 2002-2003 season.

He's very special on defense...and he's just a sophomore. I'm pretty excited about his future here.
 

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Loved the Bonnies defense. They shotoorly yet were in control the whole game. Defense wins when your shot is not falling. I really love this years edition!
 

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The Bonnies are going to be better than expected because they gained invaluable confidence and experience last year and, just as importantly, the returning players are under-appreciated because Nicholson was so good. Seems that way from afar at least.
 

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Broken record time for me, but I think we'll see Bona's this year in the same way we saw La Salle last year. Very low expectations, but talent all over the court. Conger will be the man, but as we saw last night, there will be points coming from all over the court.

As for La Salle this year, I'm worried about them having high expectations. The talent is there, but I get the feeling that we're underrating the loss of Pettis. Pettis was the guy when they needed a stop or a score all year last year. He also allowed them to go four guard because he was able to rebound some as the fourth guard. There is far greater depth this year, but a lot will be riding on Wright (who we definitely be able to handle it) since he will get more attention this year. Zach and the freshman Davis will have to make up a lot of the minutes and production Pettis had last season.

I wouldn't be surprised to see La Salle have a similar season to Bona's last year, where they struggle for a while, then get it together late.

I also think N'Doye will be on that list with Wright, LaLanne, and Williams by the end of the year. I don't expect over 10 ppg, but I think we'll see a lot of the 7 points, 7 rebounds, 5 blocks type of games that we saw last night. I can also see him staying out of foul trouble since he seems more willing to give up buckets (not a bad thing in some situations) and avoid the foul rather than contest everything.
 
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