Conference Realignment: Who Can Compete Immediately?

Joshua S. Kelly-US PRESSWIRE

Many teams find themselves in a new conference this year. Who are the teams that can compete right away in their new home?

When July 1 rolled around many schools found themselves in a new conference. With so many teams shuffling, who are some of the schools that can make an immediate impact in their new home?

Boston University, Patriot League: The Terriers have left the America East to join the more stable Patriot League. With Mike Muscala and CJ McCollum moving on from the conference, the Patriot League should be a lot more wide open than year's past.  DJ Irving instantly becomes one of the league's best guards and he can help guide the Terriers to a league title after leading BU to a 17-13 record a year ago, while averaging 14 points per game.

Charleston, Colonial: The CAA championship is going to go through Baltimore in more ways than one this season, but the Charleston Cougars should be able to compete right away after bolting the Southern Conference. Anthony Stitt is a solid guard who will now have more responsibility in the backcourt and big man Adejhi Baru will challenge almost every conference team in the frontcourt.

Charlotte, Conference USA: The 49ers actually step down to an easier conference in a moved fueled by the school's new football program.  Alan Major's squad went 21-12 in their final year in the Atlantic 10 and have lost some talent. The 49ers still have a solid core though, lead by point guard Pierria Henry.

Georgia State, Sun Belt: Georgia State's move is another fueled by football. The Panthers could never get over the hump in the CAA, but Ron Hunter grabbing Kentucky transfer Ryan Harrow could launch GSU to an instant contender in the Sun Belt.

Louisiana Tech, Conference USA: Louisiana Tech leaves the tanking WAC for Conference USA and the squad that went 27-7 a year ago will be a serious contender immediately. Nearly everyone is back for Michael White's team, including junior guard Raheem Appleby who averaged 15 points per game a year ago.

Oakland, Horizon: Simply put, the Golden Grizzlies will have the best inside-outside combo right off the bat in the Horizon League. Travis Bader provides a premier perimeter threat while Corey Petros will take care of things inside the paint.

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