For the second year in the row, the Atlantic 10 coaches picked Duquesne to finish last in the conference and shut the Dukes out on preseason player awards.
With the exception of our blogger poll, all preseason predictions have the Dukes twelve or thirteen.
While another last place projection disappoints me, I can understand why others might see us there. The Dukes add a number of new pieces and aside from Derrick Colter, none have proven themselves in the league. The Dukes have a combined three years of Atlantic 10 experience in my current projection of the starting lineup. A number of question marks remain and last year, none of the question marks had favorable answers for Duquesne. The new Dukes have talent, but no one can say for certain that the core will gel. Last place also makes sense if you don’t consider Derrick Colter or Ovie Soko potential all league players this season. Those two will lead the way in 2013-14 and if they live up to their potential, I simply can’t see the Dukes finishing last. Of course, that’s another one of those question marks.
- I don’t see St Joe’s finishing as high as 5th or Rhode Island finishing 9th. Again though, is it a question of chemestry and experience? For me it’s an issue of depth and talent. URI has got it, but St Joe’s definitely doesn’t have the depth. Other than that, I have little argument about the order of the predicted finish.
- I don’t buy Xavier Munford and Isaiah Armwood as all league second team, but I see Tyrone Garland as a little low on third team. Notably missing are Gil Biruta of Rhode Island and possibly Colter.
For the complete list, here’s a pdf of the official Atlantic 10 release.