Here’s the link to my first Mid-Major Top 15.
(I will not include: Gonzaga, Xavier, C-USA, WAC, or MWC)
The teams are the same but just some rearranging:
1. Davidson- Curry has obviously made a smooth transition to point guard, as expected, scoring 41 in the Wildcats exhibition game. If Curry plays anything like this during the regular season, those supporting players should be enough to keep Davidson rolling.
2. San Diego- I’m still a strong believer that San Diego is one of the better Non-BCS teams out there. They have a senior heavy lineup led by Gyno Pomare and Brandon Johnson, plus sophomores Trumaine Johnson and Rob Jones are studs that can play with anyone in the nation.
3. Siena- Brings back all five starters from the team that made fools out of Vanderbilt in last year’s tournament. They shouldn’t have too much trouble winning the MAAC, but it will be interesting to see how they stack up against the powerhouses in the Old Spice Classic.
4. Saint Mary’s- Patrick Mills, Omar Samhan, Diamon Simpson, and Ian O’Leary will lead a Gaels team that looks to be back in the NCAA tournament.
5. Saint Joseph’s- This team probably has the best chance to upset Xavier and win the A-10. Ahmad Nivins is the best center in the conference and can give any team a headache thats trying to stop him.
6. Virginia Commonwealth- Eric Maynor is certainly up there with the best point guards in the nation, but will this team choke once again when the conference tournament rolls around.
7. Cleveland State- This team is one of the more athletic teams in the mid-west and should be the favorites to win the Horizon League. Athletic big man J’Nathan Bullock (above) and stellar point guard Cedric Jackson look to lead the Vikings to the NCAA tournament just two years after posting a terrible conference record.
8. Cal State Fullerton- Keep your eye on Josh Akognon (below) all season, he’s a tremendous player that goes unnoticed for playing in a small conference. As for the rest of the team, they bring back a lot of experience from the squad that made the NCAA tournament last season.
9. Creighton- In my opinion, the Blue Jays are the favorites to win the MVC. A team that just lost three seniors a year ago should be poised to make the NCAA tournament after being routed by Florida in the NIT.
10. Dayton- Also a team that can surprise; London Warren and Chris Wright are two very underrated players that should make some noise in the A-10.
11. Wright State- Vaughn Duggins and Todd Brown will try to bring the Raiders back to the NCAA tournament for the 2nd time in 3 seasons. However, it won’t be easy with Cleveland State in their way.
12. Tennessee Martin- Lester Hudson and Marquis Weddle should easily take control of the Ohio Valley Conference from the get go, as long as these two are on the court they will be a tough game for any team.
13. Belmont- Until they prove me wrong, I have to give the Bruins some love for what they almost did to Duke last season. Plus, they have built a dynasty in the Atlantic Sun and I don’t expect any underdog teams to steal their throne.
14. Oral Roberts- Do these guys ever go away? Not when you have players like Robert Jarvis. I don’t see anyone that can contend in the Summit League.
15. Drake- This will be a very tough season for the Bulldogs. With Josh Young running the offense they should still experience success, but certainly not at the magnitude of last season’s.
Also Considered: Santa Clara, Butler, Vermont, Northeastern, Southern Illinois, UMass