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5 hours ago, DoctorB said:

We absolutely hammered Richmond at the end of the year, without GJ. Fred, the new Europeans, Markhi, etc.  Honestly I get how they would be rated over us from afar, but everyone on here knows that we will continue to pummel them this year.  Am I missing something or does pretty much everyone on here concur; we are the team to beat in the A10?

No, because if Richmond and SLU are both capable of going 16-2 in the conference or better, then there is no clear team to beat in the A10.

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All I know is we beat Richmond by double figures at their place last year. 

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First off, we played Richmond on January 11th in our third or so Conference  game and not the end of the season. And we did hammer them long before Blake Francis' sternum injury late in the game.  So they had a full compliment of players, at their place, and we waxed them by nearly 20.  yes,they do return everybody but they are a finesse and long-distance shooting team, even their center Golden is nowhere as physical as French, Bell or even Goodwin.  They lost Wojcik from their bench and replaced him with Crabtree from Tulane but I don't know and won't know until Crabtree plays if he's a so-called shooter as discussed.  In any case,he is another guard so that doesn't change their physicality at all; only Cayo bangs down low unless 6'10" freshman Weir is polished enough to play.  Matt Grace is worthless.  Richmond will run and gun and press and launch threes hoping to run away from you quickly.  

Richmond's schedule also wasn't that loaded in the OCC last year.  Sure, they beat Wisconsin at the time but got trounced by Auburn and Alabama.  They played three ---- one, two, three --- true road games and only ventured "upward" once to Alabama.  Their five conference home-and-homes were Davidson, La Salle, Mason, Geedubya and VCU, against whom they went 9 and 1.  That seems to be a huge drop off than playing us, Dayton, the Bonnies or Rhode Island a few times (and they went 1 and 3 there by the way).  The bottom line is they finished second and have everyone back.  Fine by me but I am not sold.  I think they'll do well and senior leadership is always key at mid-major schools.

I read the Rhodey write up.  That write up is based on pure speculation and Fatts.  Fatts is obvious so I won't go there but Rhodey has two senior guards, two senior small forwards, one junior power forward, and two freshmen guards.  That's seven guys.  Of those seven, two are JUCO transfers.  The rest is all prayers asking for immediate playing waivers for a guy from Syracuse, a guy from Towson, two guys from Maryland and a guy from Charlotte.  Frankly, I believe they should all sit this year but the NCAA is a mystery to me.  Why did DJ Carton get an immediate waiver to go from Ohio State to Marquette?  LJ Figueroa from St. John's to Oregon?  I can't see Rhodey getting five immediate waivers.  I really can't.  And then to coalesce them into a functioning team?  The only thing I'll say about Fatts is 5'10" waterbugs can be brittle.  

Given how the national media short of Rothstein tend to ignore us, I'll say if Rhodey is #9, Richmond will be #1.  We should be #2.  Given Dayton's success last year and the return of Chase Johnson, I can them #3 although Johnson and Tshimanga are not a valid front line alone.  Last I saw, Crutcher was still in the draft.  His return is huge.  I think then the pundits will dump love on the Bonnies at #4.  Again, everyone is back but they remain offensively challenged.  Duquesne is likely #5 if not #4 and they too return everybody.  But they are only five deep and an injury to Hughes, Weathers or Carry becomes a big flat tire.  I'll put Umass at #6 with Tre Mitchell alone but could see VCU come in there or at #7.  I'll say Mason is #8 with Miller, Greene and AJ Wilson all coming back.  Davidson likely deserves to be in here and maybe they replace Mason in my listing.  I know folks are high on Grady and think this New Zealander they have coming in is the new star.  Given the uncertainty, they might even come in as high as#3.  Not in my book.

The bottom line  for me is us and Richmond should be tops and the rest will be a dogfight.  Injuries and luck, along with the unbalanced schedule will be key as always.  Teams will cannibalize each other as they always do and Fordham will finish last.

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If Crutcher returns UD will likely be 3 would be my guess. 

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If you think GP screws up our team names,  go to the Top 144 list and look at Nebraska's two returning starters.  If we could get a couple of those then maybe GP would hang it up.

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