You might be asking why in the world anyone would be ranking college basketball teams in June. Well when your attempting to rank every single one of the 344 teams that play Division I basketball, you have to make sure to leave yourself some time to get thought the list. Why in the world would anyone ever want to rank all 344 teams? Because no one has been crazy enough to do it before and we here at Mid-Major Madness figured we're eccentric enough to be the first website to research and rank every single program in existence. And so without any further a due adu, I present to you schools 344-330:
344. New Jersey Tech: After finishing last in the RPI during the 2008-09 season, the Highlanders look to improve upon their 1-30 record. The biggest obstacle standing in their way is the team’s inexperience, with the Highlanders only showcasing 3 upperclassmen on their 2009-10 roster.
343. Sacramento St.: The departure of the team’s 2008-09 leading scorer, Loren Leath should have a major impact on the team. Not only did he average 15.6 points per game, but also he was also the team’s leader and motivator. The Hornet’s have a tough year ahead of them.
342. Alcorn State: Looks to improve upon their four wins from the 2008-09 season. They have a veteran squad that has matured over their tenure at the school. Coach, Larry Smith has also inked a solid recruiting class, including 3 Mississippi State All Stars to help improve their performance. The only question is, how well will the younger player mix with the upper classmen?
341. Grambling: Team leader, Andrew Prestley needs to help Grambling bounce back after their very disappointing 2008-09 season. Prestley will return for his senior year and with a little help from the rest of the team the Tiger’s can improve upon last years disappointing 5-23 record.
340. Maryland-Eastern Shore: The Hawk’s top three scorers return to the team which gives the team hope heading into the 2009-10 season. However, the problem for this young team is that they need to get more scoring opportunities. The team has matured since last season but they are still very young and this makes their performance in the upcoming season very questionable.
339. Seattle University: The move up to Division I will be a bit of an initial shock for the Red Hawks and first year head coach, Cameron Dollar. The team played exceptionally well in Division II however, the lack of competition as well as the key departures of Austen Powers and Michael Wright will have a major effect on the team’s performance.
338. Southern: The Jaguar’s finished the 2008-09 season with an 8-23 record, with all 8 of the victories coming in SWAC Conference play. The team will suffer the loss of Chris Davis to graduation. Davis averaged 14.8 points per game, which was 5 points higher than anyone else on the team.
337. Alabama A&M: The Bulldog’s have 7 strong signees coming in to help turn the program around. The productive play of the incoming freshmen along with the two senior leaders; Trant Simpson and Cornelius Hester, could be enough to progress from last years 8-19 record. However, it will be extremely difficult for them to make a complete 180-degree turnaround.
336. Mississippi Valley St.: Coach Sean Woods has a lot of work ahead of him to turnaround a Devil’s team that finished 333rd in the RPI. The loss of the team’s leading scorer and rebounder, Eric Petty, will pose as one of many obstacles that he will have to face along the way.
335. North Carolina Central: New coach, LeVelle Moton has a lot to look forward to in the upcoming season. Their young team that won only 4 games last season has matured greatly. One of the most interesting factors for the Eagle’s is going to be how well Jamar Briscoe will perform. Briscoe was the recipient of the 2009 HSRN National Rookie of the Year Award and hopes to continue to put up the great stat lines that he did during the 2008-09 season.
334. Western Illinois: Coach, Jim Molinari will need to find someway to make up for the loss of his two senior guards that averaged a combined 27.8 points per game. He will have to depend upon the performance of Ceola Clark and David Nurse who both will have big shoes to fill in the 2009-10 season.
333. Howard: The Bison will need to find a replacement for the First Team All-MEAC guard, Eugene Myatt. Their best chance at this is with junior guard, Kyle Riley or sophomore guard, Chris McHenry. The two guards averaged 9.4 and 9.6 points per game, respectively. If head coach Gil Jackson can get these two to fire on all cylinders than they have a great shot of making a turnaround.
332. Winston-Salem: The Ram’s had one of the youngest teams in NCAA Division I last year with 10 of the 16 roster spots being freshman. This youth and inexperience will continue to hold back the Ram’s for the 2009-10 season. However, if senior Brian Fisher can not only match his remarkable 2008-09 and fulfill the leadership role the team can make a small improvement.
331. Texas Southern: Head coach, Tony Harvey will have to rely on his highly touted recruiting skills after losing three very valuable starters to graduation. The Tigers are going to need a stellar performance from DeAndre Hall during the 2009-10 season to help compensate for the lost starters. Hall has proved himself to the team by averaging close to 14 points per game last season.
330. Toledo: The loss of guard/forward, Tyrone Kent along with two other starters from the 2008-09 season is going to make a big impact on Toldeo’s overall performance. Tyrone averaged 15.1 points along with 5.2 rebounds per game. On the upside, the Rockets have 6’ 9", Justin Anyijong to help make up for Kent’s absence. Anyijong’s defensive presence might be able to help make up for the loss of athleticism that the 2008-09 senior class brought to the team.
329. Dartmouth: The Big Green lose their weapon, Alex Barnett who averaged a team high of 19.4 points along with 5.6 rebounds per game. If that is not hard enough to deal with, they will also lose Kurt Graeber who was a big threat on the defensive end of the court. Head coach Terry Dunn is going to have to rely heavily on his underclassmen to make up for the loss of the two starters.