It is crazy to think that we are only four weeks away from the start of the 2020 – 2021 college basketball season. After the weirdest ending to a season ever, it is time for the Atlantic 10 to return to court. This return is especially significant since college basketball’s hiatus from play was the longest out of all major sports. College Basketball also took the most substantial financial hit from the pandemic due to the NCAA cancelling the largest revenue generating event in all of college sports.
However, that is all history now. Fans can happily look forward to college basketball returning to their television screens in only a matter of weeks. With the season approaching, now is the time for all the writers at A10 Talk to begin formulating their predictions for this year. Actually, I believe that the writers at A10 Talk have already done that…
The Power Rankings
On August 28th, 2020 this lovely website published an article titled “A10 Power Rankings – A10 Staff”. The piece provided an interesting perspective on where the writers ranked A-10 teams going into this season. It was a good article and I think everyone should go and read it! The only issue is they did not invite me to provide my power rankings!
All jokes and grudges aside, I actually have a serious grievance with the majority of the rankings. Too many of the great writers at A10 Talk are sleeping on Saint Joseph’s University. Every ranking provided in the article had Saint Joe’s within the bottom four of the Atlantic 10. I understand that this article was published prior to the news around Dahmir Bishop’s eligibility and the scheduling of Kansas. However, I still think it was a little unreasonable to place Saint Joe’s that low in the conference power rankings. Especially since three of the rankings had Saint Joe’s in last place, below Fordham!
Saint Joseph’s University is going to be within the top 10 of the league this season. The Hawks will finally escape from what the HeyTen and 3 Bid League podcast call “the pillow fight” and here is why.
First, redshirt Sophomore Greg Foster, Jr. had been practicing with the team all last year, and Dahmir Bishop began practicing in January. These players, who are considered ‘new faces’ to the roster, are actually guys who have seen as much practice time as the individuals who actually saw the court last year. Foster and Bishop have had more than enough time to learn and understand Coach Lange’s system.
Secondly, pair the addition of Foster and Bishop with the fact that Ryan Daly will be returning to the team. This core of three will be able to lift Saint Joe’s out of the bottom four and into the top ten. Think, Ryan Daly will be able to play less minutes and handle the ball less. These roster additions and improvements only help the Lange offense become more efficient.
Finally, players like Cameron Brown and Rahmir Moore had an incredible opportunity to grow as players during their freshman year. Both Brown and Moore demonstrated visible improvement in part to the sizeable playing time both received last year. Furthermore, Taylor Funk’s return will help round out Saint Joe’s roster.
Don’t Sleep on Saint Joe’s!
In conclusion, as the resident Saint Joe’s writer for this website I know that my takes come with a little bit of bias. Yet, having high expectations for a team comes with the territory of Philly sports. Unfortunately, my colleagues had Saint Joe’s too low and in the process ignored the facts of the story! Anyone who sleeps on Saint Joe’s is in for surprise when the Lang Gang comes to town.
Be on the look out for more of my coverage of Saint Joseph’s basketball as the season approaches! Like the commentary and want more? Make sure to follow me on twitter @Jelly_Morelli and check out my podcast “Tony’s Takes” on Apple iTunes and YouTube.