The expectations for the men’s and women’s basketball team this year are, to put it mildly, different.
In our opinion, the women’s team is Elite 8- bound. Coach Joe McKeown and his team have built up to this year ever since people realized Kim Beck would be something special. They have offense and defense, big players and small players and the ability to beat you down low or outside. Better yet, this team has been together for a long time and doesn’t need time to gel. It will easily win the Atlantic 10 and, depending on seed, should be able to surpass its Sweet 16 run last year. Make no mistake about it: this team could realistically make the Final Four.
We think the men’s team will start off slowly before maturing during conference play, utilizing its depth and making a run during the A-10 tournament. The Colonials be the fourth best team in the conference in the regular season (behind the three teams profiled in this issue), then make it to the finals before losing to Xavier. There are so many variables with this team – Travis King’s injury, the ability of Maureece Rice to lead, the ability of Damian Hollis to play in the post – that it could go as far as the second round of the NCAA tournament or barely squeak into the NIT.