6 Reason to be Excited in 2013

By Steve DiMiceli 

'6 Reasons' feels like another new tradition for the blog. Here are six reasons to be excited in 2013. 6 Reasons for concern will be along in a few days.

1. Offense

For the first time since the '10-11, I think the Dukes have a lot of weapons heading into the season. They're going to be able to beat you in a variety of ways. Off the dribble, pull up jumper, backing into the post. They've got three guys who are crafty passers in Ovie Soko, Derrick Colter and Tra'Vaughn White. They should have a handful of players who can make three's but no one will be lights out except LG Gill and Micah Mason if eligible.

2. #Oviehyping

Ovie Soko is an exciting player and could become one of the most fun to watch in the A-10 before it's all said and done this season. Even if the team struggles, he's worth the price of admission himself. He played with a lot of heart and flash in summer league that I'm sure will transfer over to the regular season. He has the ability to dominate games and is a legitimate threat to go 20-20 in a game this season.

3. The Players Fit the System

In order to run Jim Ferry's system, the Dukes need big men who can rebound, set screens, distribute on the break, and score facing the basket as well as with their back to it.  He needs guards who can handle the ball, score in bunches, set up their teammates, get to the line and play off the ball if need be. Guard play was not the biggest hindrance to the team last year, but the post play held the team back. I've only seen Soko and Jordan Robinson, but those two are much better equipped to play the way Ferry wants.

4. Real Size In The Post

Along those lines, the Dukes have four post players who will compete for minutes at the 4 and 5 and another guy who is 6'7'' and might get some action at the 3. The Dukes haven't had enough talented post players to play two guys 6'7'' or taller since '08-09. They could put three on the floor at times this season.

5. Competitiveness of Players

Watching the body language of the Dukes after they would lose a relatively meaningless game in the Pro-Am this summer tells me that they want to win and anything less would be a disappointment for them. I think this group is really going to play hard. 

6. Overall Talent Upgrade

Last year, I said I thought the Dukes could go two deep at every single position to where they wouldn't lose much from starter to substitute. This was mostly true but not because the replacements were good, more because the regulars were worse than expected. The Dukes only got average offensive production from Derrick Colter, Sean Johnson and Quevyn Winters for their position, but the rest were well below average. Colter, Johnson and Winters lost some of their value as they struggled defensively.

Between development and newcomers, the Dukes should be upgraded at every single position this year. I've already talked about Soko, but Robinson and a combination of Isaiah Watkins and Dominique McKoy should bring more offensively than Marhold, White should be better than Johnson and 2013 Colter and Jeremiah Jones should be better than 2012 Colter and Jeremiah Jones.