As I was reviewing the ballots from our nine bloggers, I came to realize just how many homes the blogger preseason composite poll and the end of season blogger league awards have had over the years. That means I’ve had a lot of homes for my material. Hopefully, it sticks at TPOP for a while.
The places may change, but the quality has not and we have another outstanding crew again. The voters are:
Mat Shelton, VCU Rams Nation, A-10 Talk
Dave Ascoli, Rhody Rampage
Dan Bonsall, Once and Future Spiders Blogger
Jaden Daly, A Daly Dose of Hoops
Tom Blackburn, The Blackburn Review
Jordan Majewski, Staring At The Floorboards
Alan Kelly, masonhoops
Steve DiMiceli, The Point of Pittsburgh
14. Fordham (High:11 Low:14)
Jaden D – The pieces are there, the new coach is a proven winner, but the climb from the bottom is a steep one. We’ll see progress at Rose Hill, but incremental to start.
Jordan M – Jeff Neubauer brings his high pressure zone defense and three point heavy offensive attack to Rose Hill, and the current core of Thomas, Severe, and Sengfelder will fit it surprisingly well. Watch out for incoming FR Joseph Chartouny from Quebec. Rams will be better than expected.
Steve D – Pressure systems are generally easy to implement quickly, but I could see a full on youth movement by the end of the season.
Tom B – On paper, this is a mid-pack team. But things never seem to bounce the right way for Fordham.
Dave A – Fordham’s A-10 schedule is always a bit challenging because they don’t get a chance to play Fordham. New head coach Jeff Neubauer has his work cut out for him.
Dan B – Stop me if you’ve seen this before….
13. Saint Louis (High:12 Low:14)
Tom B – Coming off a last place finish, more of the same this year. Will be lucky to average 60 points.
Steve D – Things should start moving in the right directions for Crews, but the team still looked very raw in April. Upside is there for this group but there are no guarantees.
Jaden D – The rebuilding process strikes here too, as Jim Crews is in for another long year with this group. Anything more than four conference wins is a success.
Alan K – The Billikens’ youth movement is still a year away from any significant success.
Mat S – The Jim Crews error is in year two and I expect another depressing season for Billikens fans who have gotten so used to winning.
12. George Mason (High:8 Low:14)
Alan K – A strong front court (led by Shevon Thompson) plus a competent head coach (Dave Paulsen) should equal wins.
Rogabee – I like the big three of Thompson, Holloway, and Jenkins but I’m not sure there’s enough other talent. Coaching change will require adjustment period.
Jordan M – Dave Paulsen is exactly the type of coach this team needed. He’ll preach ball control first and foremost, the main issue with the Patriots last year. Solid core returns with Moore and Holloway in back court and Thompson and Jenkins in front court.
Dave A – Welcome to the post-Paul Hewitt era. Can Dave Paulsen change things? Perhaps, but it won’t come right away.
Tom B – They gave the keys to Paul Hewitt, he went Paul Walker on them.
11. Duquesne (High:9 Low:12)
Steve D – They played like a middle of the conference team down the stretch and lost little. Rebounding, defense and Micah Mason will be key.
Rogabee – Among the best guards in the conference, but a ton of questions in the frontcourt.
Dave A – Picture a very good defensive team like Rhode Island or VCU or Dayton. Now picture the EXACT OPPOSITE. There’s Duquesne in a nutshell.
Jordan M – Ferry has to markedly improve the worst defense in the A10 last year, or he might be on his way out. Back court features one of the best shooters in the game in Micah Mason, but unless incoming talent like Mar’Qywell Jackson and Nakye Sanders make an immediate impact, it looks like more of the same for the Dukes.
Jaden D – This is a make or break year for Jim Ferry. Having Colter and Mason will help in the backcourt, but the Dukes need to find a productive interior presence.
Dan B – Once the defense starts to catch up to the shooters, they’ll be a threat.
Tom B – New unis are pretty cool, so they got that going for them.
Alan K – Jim Ferry’s crew has to learn to play defense, or it will be another long winter in Pittsburgh.
Mat S – Meh. Duquesne.
10. La Salle (High:8 Low:13)
Jordan M – Giannini has an inexperienced front court replacing Zack and Wright, but with Jordan Price leading the way, this Explorer team should look more similar to the Elite 8 team…just not nearly as good.
Dave A – Is Jordan Price ready for prime time? He could be the different between Dr. John’s team being good versus just okay.
Alan K – One never wants to underestimate Jordan Price, but the Explorers lost a lot this offseason.
Rogabee -Return of four guard offense matches Giannini’s strengths if they choose to go that way.
Jaden D – Jordan Price really impressed me last year picking up the lion’s share of scoring in the backcourt. The front line concerns me though without Zack and Wright.
9. UMass (High: 7 Low: 11)
Mat S – The Minutemen lose a ton of production but I still love Clarke and Davis
Jaden D -Derek Kellogg finally has to rebuild in Amherst, and his best player (Zach Lewis) is a transfer sitting out. They’ll still win enough games to stay around .500 though.
Rogabee – There’s still talent, but well…Kellogg…
Jordan M – Without Esho and Lalanne in the front court, Kellogg is entirely reliant on a solid back court and SO wing Donte Clark. Minutemen could be underrated if 6’10 Rashaan Holloway is 100% after knee surgery in his first eligible season in Amherst.
Tom B – Lalanne, Esho and Derrick Gordon — all gone. Pretty empty cupboard for Derek Kellogg.
8. St Bonaventure (High: 7 Low: 13)
Steve D – Despite spite the loss of Youssou N’Doye, the Bonnies should have enough left over to do some damage especially with the good Jaylen Adams returning.
Dan B – Olean is always good for 2-3 wins a year to start, and Schmidt’s teams are always prepared and in position.
Mat S – The Ndoye departure never helps but I love Posley, Wright and Adams. I don’t think they compete for a top-four spot but I know I’m not looking forward to playing them if I’m anyone else in the league.
Rogabee – Always seemingly underrated. Jaylen Adams may be a star in the making
Dave A – The Bonnies won’t be as scary without N’Doye.