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Conference Tip-Off Primer: Patriot League

There are some new faces in the Patriot League. How have those teams fared so far and what are the biggest storylines on the eve of league play?

Gregory Shamus

The Patriot League has a new look this year with two new members and lost some big time talent from the 2012-14 campaign. Conference play begins around the conference on Thursday and here is our look at the Patriot League thus far:

Conference Standings:

Rank School Record
1 Colgate Raiders 6-5
t-2 Boston University Terriers 7-6
t-2 Lehigh Mountain Hawks 7-6
4 Holy Cross Crusaders 6-6
t-5 Bucknell Bison 5-6
t-5 Loyola Greyhounds 5-6
t-5 Navy Midshipmen 5-6
t-8 American Eagles 4-7
t-8 Army Black Knights 4-7
t-8 Lafayette Leopards 4-7

Top Scorers:

Rank Player PPG
1 Dylon Cormier (Loyola) 22.9
2 Seth Hinrichs (Lafayette) 20.2
3 Kyle Wilson (Army) 18.3
4 Dave Dudzinski (Holy Cross) 17.1
5 Bryce Scott (Lafayette) 15.2

Leading Rebounders:

Rank Player RPG
1 Dave Dudzinski (Holy Cross) 7.5
2 Dom Morris (Boston U) 7.0
3 Jesse Chuku (Lehigh) 6.9
4 Tim Kempton (Lehigh) 6.7
5 Will Kelly (Navy) 6.4

Assists Leaders:

Rank Player APG
1 Maurice Watson Jr. (Boston U) 6.5
2 Mackey McKnight (Lehigh) 5.8
3 Tilman Dunbar (Navy) 5.0
4 Steven Kaspar (Bucknell) 4.9
5 Austin Tilloston (Colgate) 4.7

Biggest Surprise:

If you go by our preseason preview by Ben Miraski then Army and Bucknell have to be the most surprising teams. Ben felt as if this might be Army's best chance to get to the NCAA Tournament for the first time. Reigning Patriot League Newcomer of the year, Kyle Wilson, is doing his job averaging over 18 points per contest but isn't getting much help.

On the other end Ben thought the departure of Mike Muscala would plummet the Bucknell Bison into the depths of the Patriot League. Dave Paulsen's squad is just one game below .500 and has quality wins over  Penn State, Kent State, and others this year.

Player of the Year:

Holy Cross is trying to return to prominence and the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2007 and if they do it will be because of Dave Dudzinski. Dudzinski has been a rock this year, scoring in double-figures for eleven of the twelve games the Crusaders have played. He's fourth in the conference in scoring with 17.1 points and leading the conference in rebounding with 7.5 rebound per game. The 6'9 senior has also hit 48.1 percent of his three pointers this year, which ranks fifth in the Patriot League.

Biggest Storyline:

The new kids on the block, Loyola and Boston University, have hung tough this far and could challenge for the conference title, especially BU.  Will one of these newcomers represent the Patriot League in March or will a traditional power like Lehigh or Bucknell reign supreme?