8 College Basketball Teams Set for a Major Letdown in 2012-13

Daniel O'BrienFeatured ColumnistJuly 2, 2012

8 College Basketball Teams Set for a Major Letdown in 2012-13

0 of 8

    Every college basketball season, there's a group of teams that seem to disappoint for various reasons.

    Some teams suffer personnel setbacks and chemistry issues, while others fail to adjust to the fluctuating roster.

    Some teams can't replace the impact that certain four-year players have on their team, while others deal with unexpected transfers thinning their roster.

    Here's a collection of teams that are set for a major letdown in 2012-13.

Iona Gaels

1 of 8

    The dynamic duo of Mike Glover and Scott Machado made Iona a special team last year. The Gaels led the country in points and assists en route to an NCAA Tournament berth.

    Navigating through the MAAC won't be so easy this time around, with both Machado and Glover gone.

    Machado was an elite floor general mid-major teams rarely see, and some programs only see once per generation. Iona's offense will look markedly different without him running the show.

    Iona will rely heavily on Lamont Jones, and he won't disappoint. But the team isn't going to operate with the same efficiency and pace as last year.

Purdue Boilermakers

2 of 8

    Purdue will have some decent pieces next year: Terone Johnson returns, incoming freshman Raphael Davis will be a great perimeter player and D.J. Byrd will continue to rise.

    But the Boilermakers will find themselves in the middle of the Big Ten pack again, and will be a bubble team come March.

    Powerhouse programs Ohio State, Michigan State and Wisconsin will all be conference title favorites, and Michigan's terrific recruiting class will keep them in the hunt.

    Purdue, on the other hand, won't have the firepower to duplicate Robbie Hummel's prowess and Lewis Jackson's playmaking ability.

Wichita State Shockers

3 of 8

    A fantastic 2011-12 campaign for Wichita State ended with a disappointing second-round loss in the Big Dance.

    Unfortunately, it will be an uphill battle for them to even make the tourney next year. The Shockers graduated their top five scorers this spring, and it's tough to replace that kind of production overnight.

    Transfers Malcolm Armstead and Nick Wiggins will help matters, but the squad won't be the elite mid-major we've seen the last couple years.

    The fact that conference rival Creighton is returning All-American Doug McDermott means Wichita State will have a tough time asserting itself in the Missouri Valley next year.

Vanderbilt Commodores

4 of 8

    Vanderbilt established itself as one of the top programs in the Southeastern Conference last year, and they upset the eventual national champs to win the SEC Tournament title.

    Three NBA Draft picks later, and the Commodores are going to have a much different look next year.

    It's not just that Vandy is losing three top-notch players. They've lost a top-notch player from each phase of the game.

    They'll miss John Jenkins' sharpshooting, Jeff Taylor's playmaking skills and leadership, and Festus Ezeli's all-around paint presence.

Norfolk State Spartans

5 of 8

    After delivering one of the signature moments of March Madness by knocking off Missouri, the Norfolk State Spartans will find themselves struggling to keep up in the MEAC next winter.

    The 2012 tourney was the program's first appearance in the event in school history, but don't hold your breath for back-to-back trips.

    The loss of Kyle O'Quinn can't be overstated. The Orlando Magic draftee ripped down 10.3 rebounds, which is more than the next three top rebounders on the team combined.

    The Spartans will also miss his rim protection, as he blocked more shots (2.6 per game) than all his teammates combined.

Connecticut Huskies

6 of 8

    Connecticut suffered something of a post-championship hangover this past season. Unfortunately for Huskies fans, next year will bring a continued malaise.

    Not only are they banned from postseason basketball due to their substandard Academic Progress Rate, but the Huskies will have some huge obstacles in the regular season.

    Their guard play will be strong, with Shabazz Napier, Ryan Boatright and incoming transfer Omar Calhoun. But UConn will struggle to restore the presence in the paint that Andre Drummond and Missouri-bound Alex Oriakhi supplied.

    In addition, Roscoe Smith is bolting for the Mountain West's UNLV Rebels.

Long Beach State 49ers

7 of 8

    James Ennis is a solid all-around contributor for the Long Beach State, but it's going to be tough for him and the rest of the 49ers to even get a whiff of their 2011-12 success next year.

    The Big West Conference champs will struggle in the paint next year, which doesn't give them the opportunity for as many non-confernce upsets or in-conference dominance.

    2012 was the program's first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2007. Under Dan Monson, the program probably won't have to wait another five years to dance again, but they will have to wait beyond next spring.

Xavier Musketeers

8 of 8

    Xavier is coming off its fourth Sweet Sixteen in the last five years, but another trip isn't in the forecast for the Musketeers next year.

    Dezmine Wells and Andre Walker will have their hands full in the Atlantic 10 now that Mark Lyons has transferred to Arizona.

    Tu Holloway and Kenny Frease's graduations were anticipated, but Lyons' departure really sets the program back. It's going to be extremely difficult for Chris Mack's bunch to compete with the likes of UMass, Temple and St. Louis.