NCAA Basketball: Northeastern at VCU

The A-10 sent six(!) teams to the NCAA tournament last year but a repeat of this output will be difficult. As it stands, it looks like four teams will be dancing come tournament time.

Virginia Commonwealth

VCU is liked by many going into this season, ranked 15th in the AP preseason poll. They have one of the elite young coaches in college in Shaka Smart, who figures to be the heavy favourite for Coach of the Year honours. The lone returning player from last year’s all-conference first team is Treveon Graham, who is a force in the paint as one of the conference’s best rebounders and defenders. Swingman Terry Larrier is the conference’s only top-50 recruit and will provide a nice shooting stroke from the perimeter. Senior guard, Briante Weber will be the on-court leader of this team and sophomore Mo Alie-Cox figures to break out as the replacement for Juvonte Reddic in the paint. Very high on this Rams team.

Dayton

This is a very intriguing season for the Flyers, who played Cinderella last March. They lose three starters but keep a double-figure scorer in Jordan Sibert and fellow returning starter, Dyshawn Pierre figures to be in the mix for conference POY. Archie Miller entered the conversation as one of the most underrated in basketball last season and will be able to get this squad back into the tourney. Jalen Robinson appears to be the x-factor for this team, moving into the starting center role.

Massachusetts

UMass loses its star from last season in Chaz Williams and will have to rely on a strong frontcourt in Cady LaLanne and Maxie Esho. The emergence of shooting guard, Derrick Gordon will be a contributing factor in UMass returning to March Madness.

George Washington

With four key juniors in Joe McDonald, Kethan Savage, Patricio Garino, and Kevin Larsen, next year might be the year to keep an eye out for GW, but this team should definitely be on everyone’s radar this year. The key for this season will lie on the contributions from a young supporting cast, but the 6’6 Garino will challenge for all-conference honours and Larsen will be a matchup nightmare in the post at 6’10, 260.

First Team All-A-10

G-Briante Weber, Senior, VCU
G- Jordan Sibert, Senior, Dayton
F- Dyshawn Pierre, Sophomore, Dayton
F- Treveon Graham, Senior, VCU
F- Cady Lalanne, Senior, UMass