Preseason Top 8 (I'll add more if I find time before regular season starts):
- Coach fillthelane netted Denison's first ever National Championship last year and looks to be the favorite to repeat. Returning 9 players from last season's dream team, Denison's press looks unstoppable. With Seniors Alex Jones
, Glenn Miramonte
,and sharpshooter Michael Guss
leading the Big Red with their inside-outside presence, this offense looks very impressive. But more importantly, this team is deep and well conditioned, a perfect recipe for a successful press.
- Press is going crazy on this one. With Hamline rated 20 points ahead of the closest competitor, and WIS preseason #1, how is Hamline not ranked #1? The answer is simple: coach zbrent has yet to deliver on his promise of a championship for the Hamline Pipers while fillthelane has just proved he has what it takes. However, this is as good as a year for Hamline to win it all. Backcourt guards Allen Babin
and Thomas Young
are the most talented backcourt duo in the country, while their backups Michael Nigro
and Keith Hebron
would be starters on almost any other DIII team. A talented frontcourt compliments this great backcourt, with Marty Manley
and Benny Brookshire
holding down the middle for Hamlines 2-3 zone, while super athletic swingman Jerome Lorenzen
completes this Hamline team. Only question mark is frontcourt depth. Is Walter Scott
ready to come in and play significant minutes when Manley and Brookshire are in foul trouble? If Scott isn't ready, Hamline's road to a championship gets very cloudy.
- Loudmouth coach helloflyer adds another reason to brag about USA South as he tries to restore the glory days for Chowan University. Chowan does not have the super stars of Hamline but it does have great depth across most positions. Senior guard Allen Coronado
and Dante Cole
are sneakily talented and great distributors, while Bobby Ransdell
extends the defense with his excellent 3 point shot. Scott Harris
is one of the premier bigs in DIII basketball as he tries to imitate Dwight Howard to the best of his ability by providing the interior defensive presence for Chowan. Despite these talented players, three questions remain. Who can step up and provide an inside presence on offense? Is Dante Cole
ready to contribute offensively? And can super athlete Wayne Wilson
step up to the plate and crash the board when Harris sits out?
4. California Tech
- A solid team returning 10 players from last year 28 win, 2nd round NT team. Led by star PG Harvey Witter
and the gifted big man George Kestner
, this team looks like a lock for at least a Final Four appearance. Complementing these two stars is Senior swingman Donn Miles
, who brings his unique ability to shoot the trey and slashing the lanes, an all around player for sure. A big question mark on this team is beside the aforementioned Kestner, who else can grab some boards? Bill Gleason
still looks too green, while Williams Cadwell
, a gifted athlete, looks like a complete dufus when he has to box out. This rebounding weakness is easily exploitable by the right matchup.
5. Emory and Henry
- We are taking a gamble here by ranking a team filled with underclassmen at #5, but this looks like a gamble worth taking. Coach benwf stacked his FCP system with athletic speedsters who love to create mayhem and draw contact. Led redshirt SR PG Mike Covington
(who's rumored to run a 4.39 40 and have a 44 in. vertical), these Wasps are a serious contender for the title. Besides Covington, this squad has similar athletes who should be playing football rather than basketball, such as SR. Danny Lewis
, JR. Leo Kissner,
and So. Tyler Trask
, Only player on this squad who might have played basketball in HS is JR C Stephen Eggerberger
, the only real inside presence for this team. Like CA Tech, E&H's rebounding weakness is a big question mark and can potentially give them an early exit in the tourney.
- A talented squad led by redshirt SR PG John Reed
, who can dish it out as well as draining the 3. Twin Towers Gary Boser
and Paul Tyler
provide the dominance down low while redshirt JR John Barnett
create further confusion for the defense with his great shooting ability from all spots on the floor. This team is also very deep, with sophomores Fletcher Buckles
and Frankie Gleaves
coming off the bench. Major question mark is how will this team fare against the likes of Hamline and Denison, teams with truly great rebounders. Another potential problem is this team's conditioning. Will they run out of gas against some of the better FCP teams? Only time will tell.
- Coach tkimble finally gets some love and his squad is ranked #7 this year. This squads starting five is as good as any team in the country, featuring 5 SRs, led by one of the best PG in the country, Joseph Roberts
. Athletically gifted John Prince
complete the backcourt duo while Charles McCollam
and Paul Prathers
mans the 4 and 5 spots. In somewhat surprising fashion, Todd Millican
is playing the starting 3 spot for this squad, despite his lack of explosiveness. The starting 5 is good but the rest of the squad is little to write home about. With only 10 players on scholarship and 2 walk-ons, this squad lacks depth for this 2-3 zone / half court press setup. Preseason warm-up play has already shown that Roanoke fatigues down the stretch and the short roster might ultimately prevent Roanoke from competing for the title.
- A press team with superb rebounding is what you get with this squad. SR bigmen Marlon Rafael
and Kenneth Fiore
bring rebounding dominance that no other press team in DIII has. Along with SR guards Gary Barnes
and Michael Hicks
this group of SRs is hard to beat. Only question mark is whether this team can stay out of foul trouble and play a full 40 minute without significant fatigue. With subpar team defense and questionable stamina, Susquehanna's quest for the title is a difficult one.