Sean Miller packed his bags in hopes of a desert oasis in Tucson, Arizona. His former assistant, Chris Mack, inherits a team that loses the "The Initials" in B.J. Raymond and C.J. Anderson. Yes, some of the Musketeer's Atlantic-10 brethren have been thinking this is the year that Cincinnati relinquishes its stranglehold on the trophy.
Hold on a second there, Owls, Hawks, etc.
This squad which finished No. 15 last season, gets Kenny Frease, Derrick Brown, Terrell Holloway, and Dante Jackson back as of this writing. Bill Edwards, a small forward who is considered a decent local prospect, is considering signing with the Musketeers but will have to realize he may be sitting most of his freshman year if he comes aboard.
But surely there are some squads that could threaten Xavier's supremancy, you ask. For the sake of argument, let's take a look-see.
- Dayton. They only lose unheralded small forward Charles Little off a squad that had twelve (!) players average over eight minutes a game. Add local freshman beast Matt Kavanaugh and the Flyers look like the most likely candidate to ascend the A-10 mountain.
- Temple. Santa Claus stopped delivering presents when Dionte Christmas, Sergio Olmos and Semaj Inge used up their eligibility. Ryan Brooks is back but it's not going to be enough in Philly.
- Duquesne. Wow, have the Dukes come back from tragedy. This team hasn't reached the NCAAs since 1977 but that streak is likely coming to an end in 2010. Scoring sensation Aaron Jackson is gone but the rest of the guys are back and they have two solid recruits coming in as well. Winning the conference is a bit of a reach but second place is very realistic.
So yes, it looks like the Musketeers will retain supremacy once again. But the league looks good. Dayton and Duquesne look good for NCAA bids. Temple should also reach the post-season.