Well friends, it’s here. The offseason has arrived, and it sucks already.
Right now, there’s still plenty going on to keep the attention of college basketball fans. There are coaching changes, transfers, and NBA draft decisions still to come, and whatever else the college basketball world wants to provide us.
Let’s dive right into some of it with one of my favorites pieces to write: the Twitter mailbag.
Top 5 mid majors that you think will make the sweet 16?— Peyton Williams (@PeytonWXYZ) April 5, 2018
Ah yes, it’s fun and useful to speculate when we’re just barely under a year away from seeing the actual bracket. These teams will definitely be in the Sweet 16 next year. Lock it in on your brackets, folks.
South Dakota State
Best jonpost?— pro shub (@BenG412) April 5, 2018
Jonposting is the best thing to come from this college basketball season. If you’re unaware of Jonposting, read this great piece by David Roth on the art of Jon Rothstein’s twitter account.
As far as the best Jonpost, well, it comes from the asker of this question and the creator of the Jonpost.
when it's march pic.twitter.com/IWwSFPtYXN— pro shub (@BenG412) March 1, 2018
Nuclear Jon is undefeated.
What do you expect from Loyola with their first year with Hardy and how long will it take the hounds to get back to the big dance?— Happening Hoops (@happeninghoops) April 4, 2018
Loyola Maryland had a rough go of it during the G.G. Smith era — no winning seasons, and no records above .500 in the Patriot League after moving there during his first season. Tavaras Hardy should bring some recruiting ability to the program after stints at Georgetown, Northwestern and Georgia Tech. As far as projecting NCAA Tournament bids, it’s hard to do that until we start to see what type of players he brings in.
Which Mid-Major Conferences do you think have a shot at multiple bids next season?— Valpo Hoops Fan (@Valpo_Hoops) April 4, 2018
This question, or at least some variation of it, is the one we get the most. It’s also another one that’s tough to speculate at this point in the year because of how much there’s left to do before the season starts. Schedules need to be finalized. There’s still an absurd amount of player movement left. Everything will be different by October. Hell, it’ll be different a month from now.
That being said, there’s a couple of conferences that seem like they can have a shot. It’s most of the usual suspects: WCC, Mountain West, A-10. However, I think the Missouri Valley and Conference USA could make a run at two bids if their teams build up a strong enough non-conference schedule and perform well in that portion of the season.
What’s the Atlantic 10 looking like for next year?— Max (@Mgoring10) April 5, 2018
Different! Dan Hurley is gone, as are a lot of prominent players like Peyton Aldridge and Jaylen Adams. There’s going to be some new faces taking over.
I like what Saint Louis could be if they can get it together on the court. There’s a lot of talent on that roster. Davidson is still going to put the ball in the bucket, and Rhode Island shouldn’t fall too far as long as they don’t undergo significant roster turnover. It’s unlikely that the league will be as strong at the top as it has been in recent years, but it’ll still be one of the better mid-major leagues.
A quality report on returning starters would be nice— Sam Lord (@SamLord4) April 5, 2018
The thought of the amount of time that this would take physically pains me.
Does the addition of Bernadette McGlade on the NCAA Selection Committee help more mid majors get a voice - and a seed - in next year's tournament?— Toni DeVelin (@tonidevelin) April 5, 2018
For those who don’t know, McGlade is currently the Atlantic 10 Commissioner, so you could in theory think that she will go to bat for the mid-majors. As far as the actual results, well, there’s a lot that goes into making the bracket. One person isn’t going to singlehandedly procure a better draw for the mids. And, to be honest, the mid-majors had plenty of representation this year already. Southland commissioner Tom Burnett, Ohio AD Jim Schaus, and Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson were all part of the committee.
How does Conference USA get two in the tournament next year, and let me get your hottest minor league baseball takes.— Lucas Bloss (@Lucasbloss22) April 4, 2018
I mentioned above that Conference USA could be a league with a shot at two bids. But its best schools need to schedule well. That means Marshall, Western Kentucky, Old Dominion, etc. need to rack up some wins in the non-conference. Easier said than done!
As far as my hottest minor league baseball take, I’ll say that Victory Field in Indianapolis is nicer than some Major League ballparks. I’m biased. Sue me.
Top 5 players in the transfer market leaving mid-major programs?— Will Saul (@will_saul_25) April 4, 2018
The Transfer Epidemic™ is bigger and better than ever. Here are a few names that will play a major role at their next stop:
Joe Cremo - Albany
Ryan Taylor - Evansville
Trey Porter - Old Dominion
Zach Johnson - Florida Gulf Coast
Koby McEwen - Utah State
Suggestions for fans of mid major teams on how to handle your coach leaving?— Gordon Stallard (@CoachGStallard) April 4, 2018
Accept it and wish them the best at their next stop. Being bitter about it or dwelling on it doesn’t do anybody any good. Just hope that your athletic department can make another good hire.
If Gonzaga and BYU had decided to join the Mountain West, would it still be consider a Mid Major conference?— Prince Rorio (@YoungRorio) April 4, 2018
Yes. But a much better one.
What can we expect from Seattle U this season and Coach Hayford? Lots of transfers like Delante Jones from American— Lieutenant Dangle (@BenEvensen) April 4, 2018
I’m stepping on Greg’s territory with the WAC talk. Hayford did a great job in his first year at Seattle by winning 20 games for the first time in the program’s short history. Seattle can definitely contend in the WAC next year. They bring back some nice pieces like Matej Kavas, Morgan Means and Aaron Menzies. Along with Jones, there’s a decent core to work with that should have Seattle fans excited. Another 20-win season and contention in the WAC should be the expectation.