With preseason training getting underway in a matter of weeks, college basketball coaches will soon get a first impression of their full teams together. It will mark the initial step in the long process towards both coaches and fans getting answers to the questions they have pondered all offseason long, answers that will go a long way in deciding double-byes and NCAA Tournament bids.
In Atlantic 10 Basketball, there is no question that St. Bonaventure will be the most popular pick to repeat as league champions, as the Bonnies return all five starters from a team that led the country in percentage of minutes played by starters.
Beyond St. Bonaventure, a veteran Richmond team that returns four super seniors plus another starter in Tyler Burton, will likely look similar to the Spiders teams that we have seen the last two years and are the general pick at #2.
Typical contenders VCU, St. Louis, Dayton, and Davidson all have the talent to challenge for a top-two spot but all have potentially major concerns that will need to be addressed after each team lost a first-team All-Conference player to graduation or in VCU’s case with Bones Hyland, the NBA.
In fact, with only two all-Conference players returning to a team other than St. Bonaventure or Richmond (SLU’s Javonte Perkins and VCU’s Vince Williams), there are questions abound. A few teams (Rhode Island, Duquesne, Fordham) have far too many questions to even pick one to start with but for the top contenders, one major concern must be dealt with to begin dreaming about March success.