One hack’s guess at next season’s A-10 starting fives

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We’re one day closer to the 2014-14 college basketball season yet still over five months away from the first official whistle. That gives us plenty of time to speculate and while we’re doing so we might as well take a stab at every team’s starting five.

Davidson
G – Brian Sullivan 5’11 175 junior
G – Jack Gibbs 5’11 195 sophomore
G – Tyler Kalinoski 6’4 180 senior
F – Jake Belford 6’9 210 junior
F – Andrew McAuliffe 6’8 235 sophomore
Thoughts: I’ll be interested to see if the Wildcats run with the two 5’11 guards in their first A-10 season, but based on previous minutes and ability, my hunch is Bob McKillop’s crew goes small and starts Gibbs over Jordan Barham.

Dayton's Jalen Robinson will look to make a big leap as a junior with the loss of seniors Devin Oliver and Matt Kavanaugh.

Dayton’s Jalen Robinson will look to make a big leap as a junior with the loss of seniors Devin Oliver and Matt Kavanaugh.

Dayton
G – Khari Price 5’11 170 junior
G – Jordan Sibert 6’4 187 senior
F – Dyshawn Pierre 6’6 210 junior
F – Kendall Pollard 6’6 210 sophomore
F – Jalen Robinson 6’9 243 junior
Thoughts: Dayton returns a seriously talented starting five but have a number of options off the bench as well. I think Robinson plays the five and gets back on track in 2014-15. Dyshawn Pierre averaged 2.4 more points as a sophomore (11.2) than he did as a freshman despite playing just under a minute less than he did as a rookie. The 6’6 Canadian could fill up the stat sheet as a junior with the graduation of Devin Oliver.

Duquesne
G – Derrick Colter 5’11 180 junior
G – Micah Mason 6’2 180 junior
G – Jeremiah Jones 6’3 190 junior
F – Dominique McCoy 6’8 215 senior
F – Jordan Robinson 6’8 255 sophomore
Thoughts: This was a tough one, so tough that I had to reach out to my friend Steve DiMiceli of WeWearTheRing.com to figure out just which way Ferry will go with next season’s roster. Colter, Mason and McCoy were the obvious picks, but DiMiceli believes that at some point in the season JUCO All-American, Jordan Stevens, will most likely knock Colter or Jones out of a starting spot.

Fordham
G – Mandell Thomas 6’2 185 junior
G – Jon Severe 6’3 186 sophomore
G – Bryan Smith 6’2 195 senior
F – Ryan Rhoomes 6’8 235 junior
C – Ryan Canty 6’9 230 senior
Thoughts: Severe has talent but has been inefficient. Rhoomes has been efficient but doesn’t get a ton of looks. If the two can meet somewhere in the middle the Rams may dig themselves out of the A-10 cellar.

George Mason
G – Marquise Moore 6’1 195 sophomore
G – Patrick Holloway 6’1 163 junior
F – Jalen Jenkins 6’7 238 sophomore
F – Julian Royal 6’8 237 junior
F/C – Eric Copes 6’8 250 senior
Thoughts: The Patriots’ ability to replace their starting backcourt will go a long way in determining their success. Royal will need to have an immediate impact in his first eligible season in Fairfax and Copes must find some consistency or it will be another long year at the Patriot Center. There’s talent on the roster, the question Mason fans are wondering is how well it will be used.

Does freshman, Matt Cimino, have the goods to crack GW's talented starting five in his rookie season?

Does freshman, Matt Cimino, have the goods to crack GW’s talented starting five in his rookie season?

George Washington
G – Joe McDonald 6’1 184 junior
G – Kethan Savage 6’3 200 junior
G – Patricio Garino 6’6 211 junior
F – Matt Cimino 6’9 200 freshman
F – Kevin Larsen 6’10 247 junior
Thoughts: I’m probably off on that Cimino pick and Lonergan moves Garino to the 4 and starts another guard, but at this point I’ll give Cimino the nod due to his size combined with his ability to hit the three-ball. Regardless, the Colonials return a solid core and should be a preseason top-three pick.

La Salle
G – Amar Stukes 6’1 165 r-freshman
G – Jordan Price 6’5 225 sophomore
G – DJ Peterson 6’5 190 senior
F – Jarrell Wright 6’8 255 senior
F – Steve Zack 6’11 245 senior
Thoughts: Swap Cleon Roberts for Jordan Price? Roberts had the bigger freshman season but I give Price the edge as he has SEC experience and was a top-100 recruit out of high school. With a weight advantage over Roberts he’s more suited to defend the three as well. Point guard is the big question mark for La Salle, with Amar Stukes looking like the man who’ll inherit the job early.

UMass
G – Jabari Hinds 5’11 185 junior
G – Trey Davis 6’0 180 junior
G – Derrick Gordan 6’3 205 junior
F – Maxie Esho 6’8 215 senior
C – Cady Lalanne 6’10 250 senior
Thoughts: Seems obvious enough. Hinds steps right in for Williams but will need to play at a more controlled pace than he did at WVU. Esho elevates to the starting lineup and UMass has a potentially dangerous starting five once again.

URI's Jordan Hare started 19 games as a freshman but after missing last season may find himself coming off the bench.

URI’s Jordan Hare started 19 games as a freshman but after missing last season may find himself coming off the bench.

Rhode Island
G – TJ Buchanan 6’3 195 senior
G – Jared Terrell 6’3 220 freshman
G – EC Matthews 6’5 190 sophomore
F – Hassan Martin 6’7 210 sophomore
F – Gilvydas Biruta 6’8 245 senior
Thoughts: Another tough one to figure out as the Rams seem full of options all of a sudden. Head coach Dan Hurley has options in the paint with the return of Jordan Hare and Biruta beside Martin, but I believe he’ll stick with last year’s group and go with a three-guard lineup with Biruta and Martin down low, swapping out the graduated Xavier Munford for top-75 freshman, Jared Terrell.

Richmond
G – Kendall Anthony 5’8 140 senior
G – ShawnDre Jones 5’10 155 sophomore
F – Trey Davis 6’5 200 junior
F – Terry Allen 6’8 220 junior
F – Alonzo Nelson-Ododa 6’9 210 junior
Thoughts: The big question here is if Mooney goes with the sub-5’11 combo of Anthony and Jones or brings in Jones off the bench. Both are talented scorers but in combination could be a defensive liability. Don’t be surprised if Niagara transfer TJ Cline works his way into the starting five sooner rather than later with Nelson-Ododa subbing in for Allen at the 5 off the bench.

St. Bonaventure
G – Iakeem Alston 6’0 166 freshman
G – Jordan Gathers 6’3 200 senior
F – Denzel Gregg 6’7 210 sophomore
F – Dion Wright 6’7 junior
C – Youssou Ndoye 7’0 245 senior
Thoughts: My guess is Alson and Gathers are your initial answers to the graduation of Matthew Wright and Charlon Kloof in the backcourt. Having a talented 7-footer in Ndoye to throw the ball to should help whichever guards get the nod develop early.

DeAndre Bembry (left) and Chris Wilson (right) are the only returning starters from last season's A-10 champs.

DeAndre Bembry (left) and Chris Wilson (right) are the only returning starters from last season’s A-10 champs.

Saint Joseph’s
G – Chris Wilson 6’3 210 senior
G – Aaron Brown 6’5 220 junior
F – DeAndre Bembry 6’6 200 sophomore
F – Isaiah Miles 6’7 223 junior
F – Papa Ndao 6’8 225 senior
Thoughts: DeAndre Bembry could put up ridiculous numbers next season without Kanacevic, Galloway or Roberts Jr. in the starting lineup, but with a ton of inexperienced players next to him, could see a lot of double-teams as well. It will be fun to watch Martelli rebuild the A-10 champs next season.

Saint Louis
G – Austin McBroom 5’9 165 junior
G – Achraf Yacoubou 6’4 210 junior
G – Mike Crawford 6’4 200 sophomore
F – Tanner Lancona 6’8 230 sophomore
C – John Manning 6’11 240 senior
Thoughts: Look familiar? Of course not, because that’s a completely new starting five from last season. Should be interesting…

VCU
G – Briante Weber 6’2 165 senior
G – Melvin Johnson 6’3 195 junior
G – Trevon Graham 6’6 220 senior
F – Terry Larrier 6’8 205 freshman
F – Mo Alie-Cox 6’6 250 sophomore
Thoughts: Won’t be surprised if Burgess starts over Larrier, but I think you go with the high-ceiling top-50 recruit over Burgess who struggled on offense last season. Either way, VCU’s bench will be loaded with three top-100 players (freshmen Gilmore and Tillman and one of either Burgess or Larrier) and that doesn’t even include JeQuan Lewis who is a deadly combo guard. Alie-Cox will likely struggle to replace Reddic’s scoring ability but will be a major upgrade over the graduating senior on defense.

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About Author

Mat Shelton-Eide has been involved in college athletics since 2007, starting as a co-founder of VCURamNation.com where he covered the Rams all the way to Houston as the one-time CAA darling shocked the hoops world with a historic run to the Final 4. He has worked within two Atlantic 10 athletic departments, first as a graduate assistant in the VCU Sports Information Department during the '09-'10 basketball season, then after receiving his M.Ed. from VCU's Center for Sport Leadership, as a ticketing and marketing intern in the University of Richmond's athletic department during the inaugural season of Richmond's Robins Stadium, months before the Spiders 2011 Sweet 16 run.

22 Comments

  1. delaware hawk on

    I think your way off on SJU’s line up. I think it will be more back to the 4 guards style unless one of the forwards takes a huge step forward.
    I think it will be Wilson, Brown, Demery, Bembry, and Javon to start the season but my conference play Obi Romeo is starting over Javon.

  2. Mat Shelton-Eide on

    SJU’s was definitely one of the hardest (maybe THE hardest) to figure out because of how much they lose and what little signs Martelli has offered in who might replace those guys. Last year you had five guys average 32+ minutes then the next closest in line was 11.6 (Ndao). I think the Hawks lineup could change the most next season throughout the year but early on at least could see Martelli going with his most experienced players.

  3. Mat Shelton-Eide on

    Also, I had three of the same guys as you, so not really “way off”…just potentially 40% off ;). But don’t forget Papa started two games last season (at Mason, v Duquesne) when RRJr couldn’t go, so it won’t be a shocker when he’s in the lineup to start the season.

  4. Mat Shelton-Eide on

    Paris, Shaka clearly favors Mo over Guest for that spot. Avg minutes over last year’s A-10 an NCAA tourney games. Mo: 18.5 Guest 9.25. I think Mo has that spot locked up. Definitely earned it with his play last season.

  5. I think the lineup you posted for GW will end up being the lineup by the end of the season. The beginning of the season will, probably, have Kopriva starting until Cimino gets some experience under him.

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