The Atlantic Sun is a talented conference from top to bottom. From guard/forward combos, to facilitating floor generals and dominant big men, the A-Sun competition will be fierce in a make or break season for some teams.
10. Chase Fieler, Florida Gulf Coast Eagles
The FGCU big man joins Glenn as another efficient front court player. Shooting almost 57% from the field, Fieler also snagged 5.4 rebounds a game last season. With Eric McKnight suspended and Nate Hicks' impact yet to be seen, Fieler will open the season as the Eagles' main threat down low. FGCU's lone senior also poses a threat as a three point shooter, leading to some matchup issues.
Another rising star in the A-Sun is sophomore Jarvis Haywood. Last season he was a unanimous A-Sun All Freshman selection while starting 30 games. The 6-4 guard put up 11.5 ppg but also snagged 4.3 rebounds and dished out 1.4 assists. An all around player, Haywood is the future of this Dolphins squad. The only place to criticize is his average of 2.5 turnovers a game. In the A-Sun tournament, he led Jacksonville with 16 points against USC Upstate. Haywood and McDougald form a dynamic duo for the Dolphins.
Comer was the source of many highlight alley-oops but the problem has been his turnovers. His 6.6 assists per game is astounding but 3.7 turnovers per game proved costly down the stretch. In the Sweet Sixteen against Florida, Comer committed nine turnovers. Regardless, Comer is the reason the FGCU offense clicks. With Sherwood Brown gone, Comer will likely have a chance at taking more shots as well. If the Eagles want to return to the NCAA tournament, it will start with Comer being a floor general.
Glenn who was 2nd in rebounding (8.1) in the A-Sun last season is poised for another great season for the Spartans. He started all 33 games for Upstate and his 58.8 FG% makes him one of the most efficient big men in the Atlantic Sun. He is also underrated as a passer. Although opponents will be most concerned with Craig, Glenn is the Spartans' second option, and a good one at that. His senior season will be a big one as Upstate looks to prove their status as an upper echelon A-Sun team.
6. Lester Wilson, East Tennessee State Buccaneers
The redshirt freshman was huge for the Bucs last season, mainly because of his versatility. Wilson is an athletic scorer who somehow finds a way to get the ball in the basket when inside. He also steps outside and hits just under 37% of his three point shots. The G/F combo will continue to dominate for East Tennessee State as he grows as a player. An experienced Wilson is a scary prospect.
Wallace was the 2nd leading scorer for the Ospreys, and 10th in the A-Sun. Without Parker Smith, the Ospreys will rely even heavier on the senior forward. When down low, Wallace was efficient, shooting 57% from the field, 2nd in the Atlantic Sun. While snagging a consistent 5 rebounds a game, Wallace also is a big game guy, who dropped 20 points seven times.
4. Keith McDougald, Jacksonville Dolphins
The Dolphins leading scorer last year, McDougald averaged 13.1 ppg in only 24.6 minutes. He also played a lot better in A-Sun play, averaging 15.4 ppg. In his senior season, McDougald will continue to be Jacksonville's main scoring threat but transfer R.J Slawson could take some pressure off. Attempting over 10 FGs a game last season, McDougald could see an increase in an efficiency with the addition of the South Carolina transfer drawing attention inside. He has also grown into a phenomenal three point shooter.
3. Bernard Thompson, Florida Gulf Coast Eagles
Thompson quietly averaged 14.3 ppg for Florida Gulf Coast last season. Sometimes, overshadowed by Brett Comer and Sherwood Brown, the Rockdale County product put together a nice season, leading the A-Sun in steals with 2.7 a game, and earning himself the A-Sun Defensive Player of the Year award. This year, with not too much backcourt depth, Thompson will see a lot of time for the Eagles. His defensive dominance should continue and he should be contributing more points as well.
One of the best passing guards in the league, Hall had a 2.28 assist to turnover margin last season. He also can score when needed; he isn't the best three point shooter in the league but defenders have to respect it. In his last year, Hall will lead a senior ridden Mercer squad that will likely top the A-Sun in their last season in the conference. His 85% shooting from the charity stripe last season, a huge improvement from his first two years, also helps his case as the conference's best guard.
1. Torrey Craig, USC Upstate Spartans
Eddie Payne's squad is poised to challenge Mercer and FGCU at the top of the A-Sun. But, they will need Preseason A-Sun Player of the Year Torrey Craig to be just as dominant as he has been his first three seasons with the Spartans. In his first season he was named A-Sun Freshman of the Year, and led the A-Sun in scoring the next two. In addition, 6-6 forward was 5th in rebounding in the A-Sun. His size makes it hard for guards to defend him but his quickness and athleticism allows him to blow by forwards. A matchup nightmare.