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October 26, 2009
League preview: Atlantic 10
PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH
3. La Salle
8. Rhode Island
9. Saint Joseph's
11. Saint Louis
12. St. Bonaventure
13. George Washington
F Lavoy Allen, 6-9/225, Jr., Temple
F Chris Wright, 6-8/226, Jr., Dayton
G Kevin Anderson, 6-0/175, Jr., Richmond
G Jordan Crawford, 6-4/195, Soph., Xavier
G Rodney Green, 6-5/205, Sr., LaSalle
F Damian Saunders, 6-7/210, Jr., Duquesne
F Shamari Spears, 6-6/238, Jr., Charlotte
G Ricky Harris, 6-2/175, Sr., Massachusetts
G Marcus Johnson, 6-3/200, Sr., Dayton
G David Gonzalvez, 6-4/200, Sr., Richmond
Player of the Year
G Chris Wright, 6-8/226, Jr., Dayton
Newcomer of the Year
F/C Jordan Crawford, 6-4/195, Soph., Xavier
AT A GLANCE
Regular-season winner last season: Xavier
Tournament winner last season: Temple (lost in first round of NCAA tournament to Arizona State as a No. 11 seed)
2010 conference tournament: March 11-14. Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, N.J.
New coach: Chris Mack, Xavier
Best frontcourt: Dayton.
Best backcourt: Richmond.
Coach on the rise: Chris Mooney, Richmond.
Last NCAA title team: None (La Salle won it all in 1954 but wasn't a league member)
Last NCAA runner-up: None (Dayton finished second in 1967 but wasn't a league member)
Last Final Four appearance: Massachusetts, 1996
Last time league received multiple NCAA bids: 2009
We started with the low-major leagues, unveiling three per day, and the mid-major leagues, unveiling two per day. Each of the top 12 leagues gets a day to itself. .
Don't tell the rest of the Atlantic 10 about Xavier's run of success despite coaching changes.
League contenders hope the departure of coach Sean Miller, who led the Musketeers to the past three A-10 regular-season titles, to Arizona opens the door for their programs to take a turn atop the league standings. Never mind that coaching changes - from Pete Gillen to Skip Prosser to Thad Matta to Miller - haven't fazed the Musketeers one bit.
Xavier has played in the NCAA tournament eight times since 2000. That's twice as many appearances as anyone else in the conference.
The most likely usurper is Dayton, who returns four starters and the league's top player in Chris Wright from a team that reached the second round of the NCAA tournament. But La Salle, Richmond and Duquesne have the experience and the firepower to contend.
PROGRAM ON THE RISE
PROGRAM ON THE DECLINE
COACH ON THE HOT SEAT
BIGGEST SNEAKERS TO FILL
MOST OVERRATED PLAYER
MOST UNDERRATED PLAYER
Steve Megargee is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.