The A10 title will most likely come down to the wire this year. All three of the teams will be hard to knock off at home. Temple has some difficulties on offense, Xavier has the tough task of replacing their two best players, and Dayton may lack some depth with the graduation of five seniors. However, with Chris Wright, Chris Johnson, and a solid defense I would have to give a very slight edge to the Flyers.
Taking a look at St. Joe's season and players returning, they probably don't belong in this tier. However, Phil Martelli is bringing in a nice recruiting class this season. Incoming freshman are tough to get a feel for, but expect C.J. Aiken, Daryus Quarles and Langston Galloway to at least be given the opportunities to make impacts right away.
La Salle and Fordham
La Salle is a 4-12 conference team losing their go-to guy and an extremely efficient role player. It will be tough for the Explorers to improve offensively. Worse yet, La Salle struggled most on defense last year.
It's hard to expect much from a team who didn't win a conference game last season. There most likely won't be much noise made from Fordham again this season.
Player of the Year: Andrew Nicholson, St. Bonaventure
Let's be serious, Nicholson isn't going to get the attention going into the season that will be given to Lavoy Allen, Kevin Anderson, Terrell Holloway, and Chris Wright. We picked Nicholson for two reasons. First, we like to stray from the mainstream pass when possible. Second, Nicholson is really, really good. The big man shot 56.4% from the floor, blocked shots, took care of the ball, and drew fouls extremely well in his sophomore season. The result was an ORtg 112.5 on 24.2 %Poss. Nicholson will be a force in the paint for the Bonnies.
Best of the Rest:
1) Terrell Holloway, Xavier
2) Lavoy Allen, Temple
3) Shamari Spears, Charlotte
4) Kevin Anderson, Richmond
5) Chris Wright/Johnson, Dayton
Breakout Player: Ramone Moore, Temple
Moore had a successful rookie campaign last year in somewhat limited minutes. Moore shot a scorching 56% from two. He took care of the ball, drew fouls, and rebounded fairly well for his size. The one area with plenty of room for improvement in Moore's game is shooting from deep. Moore was just 5-40 last year from three. Moore was actually used on a team best 25.6% of possessions when in the game for the Owls. Moore will be ready to slide into a starting job this year. Expect big things from him.
Best of the Rest:
1) Akeem Richmond, Rhode Island (44.8 %Min, 117.5 ORtg, 19.7 %Poss)
2) Jamel McLean, Xavier (59.2 %Min, 113.1 ORtg, 18.9 %Poss)
3) Will Martell, Rhode Island (57.4 %Min, 109.4 ORtg, 16.2 %Poss)
4) Gokhan Sirin, Charlotte (10.6 %Min, 103.3 ORtg, 22.4%Poss)