Here is my preseason mid-major Top 25. It will include teams from all conferences except ACC, Big East, Big 12, Big Ten, SEC, Pac-10, MWC, A-10, and C-USA. The previous ranks will be taken from the final edition of last year's mid-major Top 25.
Rank. Team (Previous Rank)
1. Butler Bulldogs (1)
Butler lost last year's star player Gordon Hayward, but the Bulldogs are returning three starters. Once more, Butler will be a threat to other teams this season.
2. Gonzaga Bulldogs (7)
Gonzaga has a very good starting lineup compared to other mid-majors with Steven Gray, Robert Sacre, Elias Harris and Demetri Goodson.
3. Old Dominion Monarchs (5)
Old Dominion lost its leading scorer from last season with the departure of Gerald Lee, but the Monarchs still have a very good team that could do lots of damage on the mid-major level.
4. Murray State Racers (6)
Murray State just missed out on the Sweet 16 last year. The Racers return four players that averaged more than nine points per game last season.
5. Wichita State Shockers (15)
Wichita State lost its leading scorer Clevin Hannah, but Hannah is the only Shockers player that played more than 10 minutes per game last year that is not returning. Except for a few of last year's scrubs, the rest of Wichita State's team is returning for 2010-11.
6. Missouri State Bears (20)
Missouri State struggled in conference play after a 10-0 start to last year's season. The Bears went on to win the CIT. Most of that Missouri State team is returning, with all six leading scorers on the roster for the upcoming season.
7. Wofford Terriers (8)
The Wofford Terriers may have lost Junior Salters, but Salters is the only main player of last year's team that is not returning. Wofford, who was outstanding in the SoCon last year and was only points away from upsetting Wisconsin in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, could be on its way to another great season.
8. Oakland Golden Grizzlies (13)
Oakland is returning two of its four main players from last season. From a weak Summit conference, the Golden Grizzlies could have a chance to run the tables in conference play.
9. St. Mary's Gaels (3)
St. Mary's will have to adjust to the losses of Omar Samhan and Ben Allen, but the Gaels still have the talent to have a very good year out of the WCC.
10. Ohio Bobcats (Not Ranked)
Ohio's star player Armon Bassett is no longer at Ohio University after declaring for the NBA draft. However, Ohio is returning four players that scored more than 10 points per game last season, plus the Bobcats also have a very good incoming recruiting class.
11. UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (Not Ranked)
UC Santa Barbara is returning its main players from last season. The Gauchos are returning most of their scoring from last season, plus they will have a lot of experience with three seniors and six juniors.
12. Fairfield Stags (Not Ranked)
Fairfield guard Derek Needham led the Stags to the MAAC conference championship game last season—as a freshmen. Now, Needham returns to the Stags as a sophomore and could be the key to bringing Fairfield a MAAC championship.
13. Virginia Commonwealth Rams (12)
Virginia Commonwealth will suffer from the loss of Larry Sanders, but a solid recruiting class should keep the Rams near the top of the CAA.
14. Lipscomb Bisons (Not Ranked)
Lipscomb is returning 96.6 percent of its scoring from last year. The Bisons only lost one player who had played in more than four games last season. Lipscomb had a solid season out of the Atlantic Sun conference, but it was upset in the first round of the conference tournament. This team, led by a strong senior class of Adnan Hodzic, Josh Slater, Brandon Brown and Michael Teller, will be back and better in 2010-11.
15. North Texas Mean Green (24)
North Texas, a participant in the 2010 NCAA Tournament, is returning 75 percent of its scoring from last season. In addition, the Mean Green have a very good incoming freshman in shooting guard Ronald McGhee.
16. Weber State Wildcats (Not Ranked)
Weber State is returning Damian Lillard, its leading scorer from last season. However, the Wildcats lost a lot of other key players. It will be tough for Weber State, but it still has the chance to have a solid season out of the Big Sky.
17. Northern Iowa Panthers (2)
Northern Iowa is taking a big hit with the loss of some its key seniors from last season, but the Panthers still have the talent to do some damage at the mid-major level.
18. Siena Saints (9)
Siena is no longer the No. 1 team in the MAAC like it has been the past few years. The Saints graduated the three players that essentially created one of the top mid-major programs of the last few seasons. The Saints still have a good amount of talent this year but not as much as they have had in the past.
19. George Mason Patriots (Not Ranked)
George Mason is returning most of its scoring from last year. The addition of two solid recruits in Byron Allen and Jonathan Arledge will help support the experienced upperclassmen.
20. Long Beach State 49ers (Not Ranked)
Long Beach State had some struggles last season, finishing 17-16. Due to returning their stars from last year and Dan Monson bringing in a great recruiting class, the 49ers could be seeing themselves at the top of the Big West.
21. Iona Gaels (Not Ranked)
Iona is returning more than three-quarters of its scoring from last season. The Gaels will also have a solid amount of experience with seven upperclassmen on the roster.
22. Pacific Tigers (21)
Pacific had a good season last year, which unfortunately ended with a loss in the CIT championship game. The Tigers are returning enough of their players from last year to be set up with the chance at another solid season.
23. Princeton Tigers (Not Ranked)
Princeton is returning most of the main parts of last year's team. The Tigers also have a few freshmen that are good relative to the rest of the Ivy League.
24. Morgan State Bears (22)
Morgan State will suffer from the loss of leading scorer Reggie Holmes, but the Bears will still get the opportunity to win many games out of the MEAC.
25. Charleston Cougars (23)
Charleston has been very solid the last two seasons, and the Cougars could be on their way to another good season in 2010-11. The Cougars return last year's leading scorer Andrew Goudelock.
Added: Ohio, UC Santa Barbara, Fairfield, Lipscomb, Weber State, George Mason, Long Beach State, Iona, Princeton
Dropped: Cornell, Utah State, Northeastern, New Mexico State, William & Mary, Sam Houston State, Kent State, Morehead State, Portland
Considered: Western Kentucky, Creighton, Coastal Carolina, Appalachian State, Detroit, Loyola Marymount, Cleveland State, Akron, Belmont
Teams By Conference:
Big West: 3
Big Sky: 1
Ivy League: 1
Sun Belt: 1
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