It might be the offseason, but it's never too early to start talking about some thoughts for next year. Scout.com asked Twitter for some bold predictions on the upcoming 2012-13 season in the Atlantic 10.
@aklam19: John Manning works himself into an important player for SLU
BW: I’m not sure this qualifies as bold because I think he could be a very important piece for the Billikens. Alas, I’ll agree with you here. Manning, according to the coaching staff, has made some solid strides this offseason and with the loss of Brian Conklin, he’ll be expected to step in and contribute. Rob Loe will see a fair amount of action and Cory Remekun will earn minutes as well.
@hawks586: St. Joe's finishes top 3 in the A10, wins an NCAA Tournament game
BW:The Hawks return everyone from an NIT berth last season, and a top three finish is certainly in the cards for this upcoming year. SJU doesn’t have the easiest conference schedule (away at Dayton, La Salle, UMass, SLU, and VCU), but finishing in the top three isn’t farfetched. As far as the NCAA is concerned, it’s simply too early to judge that when nobody has any idea where they’ll be seeded. I like the bold prediction, though!
@jdrentz: Dayton Flyers will overachieve, make NCAA
BW:Kevin Dillard is an absolute stud, but the losses of Chris Johnson, Paul Williams, Luke Fabrizius, and Josh Parker will hurt. The additions of transfers Vee Sanford and Matt Derenbecker should aid the Flyers’ cause, but I think an NCAA berth is a touch too bold in 2012-13!
@AndyBremmen: Fordham wins 6 or more conf games
BW:Man, you’re asking a lot from Tommy Pecora! The Rams haven’t won six games in A-10 play since 2007-08 and although Chris Gaston puts up Bryant Dunston-esque numbers, the Rams don’t have a Marcus Stout walking through that door any time soon. For what it’s worth, after looking at their schedule, I’ll give the Rams four victories. But that’s it…six? Nope.
@steve_hewitt: UMass wins the A-10.
BW:There will be a logjam up at the top, and UMass is sure to be part of it. The end-of-the-year run from the Minutemen was extremely impressive, and they’ll look to build on that this upcoming season. Chaz Williams is perhaps the frontrunner for Atlantic 10 Player of the Year. The league did UMass no favors, sending it on the road to Saint Louis, VCU, and Xavier, in addition to St. Bonaventure. Those who follow the A-10 know how tough Olean is, even if the Bonnies figure to struggle this year. I’ll still lean towards a couple other programs finishing at the top, but the Minutemen will be right there down to the final few games.
@BenWisniewski: La Salle to Big Dance
BW:I like the Explorers a lot. What “The Doc” John Giannini has done in the past couple years has been impressive to say the least. Ramon Galloway and Tyreek Duren flat out get buckets, and Jerrell Wright is a star in the making. The losses of Earl Pettis and Devon White won’t be easily overcome, and for that reason, I simply can’t agree with your prediction.
@DistrictBaller: Jerrell Wright blossoms and LaSalle has the most dominant backcourt on the way to the A-10 title defying expectations.
BW:I answered much of this statement in the previous question, but I wanted to add my stamp of approval to your first three words. Wright showed flashes of brilliance last year, and I expect him to shoulder a lot of the interior burden this season for the Explorers, and do so admirably.
@SonOfAYeloShirt: @RotneiClarke15 leads the league in scoring. #boldA10prediction
BW:I think we can all agree that Rotnei Clarke can shoot with anyone in the country. The only reason I can’t agree with this prediction is that there is enough talent on the roster that Mr. Clarke won’t need to average a huge number. I’d take Fordham’s Gaston or Charlotte’s Chris Braswell, as they’ll both have to shoulder a heavy load for their respective teams. I love the hashtag usage, by the way!
@PMThorX: #xavierbasketball will disprove naysayers for the millionth time, finish top 4 in #a10 & make 2nd round of ncaa.
BW:Welp, you sure went bold. Mark Lyons, Tu Holloway, and Kenny Frease have departed a squad that made yet another Sweet 16 appearance. Dez Wells will be the focal point of the Musketeers’ offense. The Muskies have an extremely favorable conference schedule, so a top four finish isn’t out of the question. Second round of the NCAAs, though? That’s a bit much. I don’t see XU in the Field of 68.
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