Yukudukes A-10 Preview 2012-2013

It's getting close to the end of summer and God knows we want to be first to get an A-10 projection out there. This year, we had some help from Dan Bonsall from Spider Bandwagon to help balance out our Duquesne bias. Steve DiMiceli and rogabee from Yukudukes also participated. We each submitted our individual prediction of what the league standings would look like come March and then created a composite. Here's what we came up with:

1) St. Louis (High 1; Low 1)

"The class of the league, despite being seeded 7th in Joe Lunardi’s first Bracketology. The experts have acknowledged the depth of the league, but there’s still work to do in proving the quality of the A10. St. Louis belongs in the top tier."  Dan

"The league's defending champs return a load of talent, losing only Brian Conklin of significant value. Kwamain Mitchell, Cody Ellis, Dwayne Evans, McCall, Jett, Remekun, etc. are all solid players if not stars in the A10, coached by one of the nation's best. I don't see anyone else touching SLU." Rogabee

"St Louis will have a very good but not elite team. Likely they will see some time in the Top 25 and they're almost certain to dance." Steve

2 tie) St Joe's (High 2; Low 5)

"Remember when everyone thought Martelli should be fired a few years ago? Enter Messrs. Galloway, Aiken and Kanacevic. The Hawks put it all together and Martelli’s redemption squad has arrived." Dan

"Phil Martelli brings everyone back on an already strong team. They should be strong inside and outside." Steve   

Temple (High 2; Low 6)

"The Owls get a huge addition Dalton Pepper in and  they get Scootie Randall back. Cummings at PG seemed like a player even though he didn't play much last year. Temple also has a top 150 recruit at the 4. I don't see Temple out of the top 5 by any stretch. Then again, this is presuming Wyatt is back for A10 play....." Rogabee

"I had Temple much lower until the Jake O'Brien picked them. Really strong pick up who should be the difference between a top 4/NCAA and bubble team." Steve 

Umass (High 2; Low 5)

"They have Chaz and the most athletic team in the A10 as well as perhaps the deepest. However, Kellogg is still too much of a question for me to place them in a tier with SLU, as does their FT shooting with nobody on the team above 80% last year." Rogabee 

"This team will again be a match-up nightmare. Team’s will adjust to the lineups and Chaz Williams eventually, just not this season. Even Derek Kellogg can’t screw up this season too badly." Dan

5) VCU (High 3; Low 7)

"The newest Rams will be the women’s beach volleyball of the A10: fast, sexy, thoroughly entertaining. And still too gimmicky for the anchor spot in primetime, ala gymnastics and swimming." Dan 

"Had a young team last year and had some success with them. I think joining the A-10 will be an adjustment for the Rams, but I still think they will be tough." Steve 

6) Xavier (High 4; Low 7)

"While it pains me to put Xavier this low, I just don't see enough talent outside of Dez Wells to put the Muskies in the top 5 in the A10. And this is coming from someone who puts X first almost every year. While they have the best recruiting class in the A10, I'm worried also in part because their aura of invincibility at the top is over, and teams may be more likely licking their chops as this may be the most beatable Xavier team in a decade. I'm envisioning a bubble-out X team." Rogabee 

"A collection of generic power forwards, rising star Dez Wells, and one of the best PG recruits in the country not enough to reload a Xavier team that already struggled by X standards last season." Steve 

7) Butler (High 3; Low 10)

"The newbies to the A10 bring a ton of talent. I also like Brad Stevens's transfer in helping out where Butler faultered last year in three point shooting. Rotnei Clarke hit above 40% each of the last two years from three and Kellen Dunham was among the best high school three point shooters in the country. Any team coached by Stevens has always been strong defensively." Rogabee 

"Bulldogs will not have as easy a transition to A-10 basketball as many suspect. They have size in the post but not enough in the backcourt to hang." Steve 

8 ) Dayton (High 6; Low 10)

" Unfortunately, in a league this deep someone has to slip down the rankings, and I see Dayton being the ones. The loss of Chris Johnson will hurt, as it will leave Dillard not only as the primary offensive weapon, but perhaps the only one." Rogabee 

"In Kevin Dillard Flyer fans must trust. Otherwise, UD has gaping holes from last year’s maddening team. Guaranteed: Flyer fans will complain about another “underperforming” team." Dan 

9) Richmond (High 8; Low 9)

"Solid back court but overall talent level isn't in the same ball park as Chris Mooney's first build up." Steve 

"If last year was a transition year from one generation to the next, this season figures to be a growing year for that next generation. The roster is talented, but outside of Darien Brothers very young. No team has a wider range of possibilities than the Spiders." Dan

10) Lasalle (High 8; Low 10)

"The Explorers will join UMass and VCU in the sprint division of the A10, and will need to keep teams running to improve on last year’s mark. Jerrell Wright is too good for a sophomore slump, but an improved product won’t translate to an improvement in the standings." Dan

"Earl Pettis did a lot more for the Explorers than a lot of people gave him credit for in addition to being their leading scorer. Yes, Ramon Galloway, Duren, Mills, and Jerrell Wright are all solid players, but likely whoever plays along with them will be exposed, as I didn't see anyone else that looked like they played decent D to where they wouldn't be a target for opposing offenses. Bench depth also looks suspect." Rogabee 

11) George Washington (High 11; Low 13)

"The talent is thin around Lasan Kromah in Foggy Bottom, but last year’s 10 wins under first year coach Mike Lonergan should be the low point. " Dan

"I like their front court and Lasan Kromah, but I have questions about their depth and PG." Steve 

12) St. Bonaventure (High 11; Low 13)

I'm still in the camp that while the Bonnies were more than Nicholson, Nicholson was such a huge part of the team I'm expecting a huge hit. Also many are discounting how much defenses focused on Nicholson allowing the others on St. Bona's teams to be open. I'm expecting around a 6-10, 5-11 season here. - Rogabee

"I was originally higher on the Bonnies, but they seem to be nothing but combo and shooting guards. Not a formula for success IMO."  - Steve 

13) Charlotte (High 12; Low 14)

"Chris Braswell is entering his 9th season in Charlotte under his fifth coach.Will anyone really miss the 49ers next year?" Dan 

"This wouldn't be the first time Charlotte brings in a talented class and struggles in league play under Tom Major. The loss of this year's class crown jewel Shawn Lester hurts." Steve 

14) Duquesne (High 12; Low 15)

" At least the Pirates are having a good season in Pittsburgh…" Dan

"We know their story. Unfortunately, they belong in the bottom four and will be competing just to make the A10 postseason. " Rogabee 

15) Fordham (High 14; Low 16)

"Chris Gaston will again be worth the price of admission and the Rams will finally get out of the cellar, but Tom Pecora’s road to the top got longer with the new additions." Dan

"Pecora is building a better program. However,  the rest of the bottom of the A10 also seems up, and Pecora isn't being given much help in terms of administrative support. " Rogabee 

16) Rhode Island (High 15; Low 16)

"Just a mess until further notice." Dan

"Hurley will likely be a coaching upgrade over Baron. The team returns IMO more talent than last year's team. However, the question is whether it returns nearly enough, which I don't think it does. " Rogabee 

"Very little talent returning with very little experience in the post. The class of 2012 has upside but won't make the Rams an overnight winner." Steve