Welcome to The Sports Bank’s fourth annual college basketball season preview series where we break 111 teams in the 111 days leading up to the opening tip-off of the 2013-2014 season. We will rank the 84 power conference teams (including the new Big East and American Athletic Conferences) and top 27 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order. We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.
In their final year before heading to the Atlantic 10, the Davidson Wildcats are once again the favorites to win the Southern Conference title despite losing four key contributors from a year ago.
Last Season: 1st, 17-1 in Southern, 26-8 overall
Predicted Southern Finish: 1st
Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Ali Mackay (Jr) or Jake Belford (So)/Andrew McAuliffe (Fr)
F: De’Mon Brooks (Sr)/Youssef Mejri (Jr)/Connor Perkey (So)/Joe Aase (Fr)
G/F: Chris Czerapowicz (Sr)
SG: Tyler Kalinoski (Jr)/Jordan Barham (So)
PG: Tom Droney (Sr) or Brian Sullivan (So)/Jack Gibbs (Fr)
Gone: C-Jake Cohen, G-Nik Cochran, G-J.P. Kuhlman, F/C-Clint Mann, Mason Archie II (transfer-)
Regardless of the roster turnover Bob McKillop faces with the Davidson Wildcats on a year-to-year basis, the team never rebuilds but rather reloads. That is one of the main reasons the program continues to be among the premier mid-major teams in the country. This season will once again put that theory to the test as the team looks for their third straight trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Versatile forward De’Mon Brooks will be the undoubted leader of the team. A two-time First-Team All-SoCon honoree, Brooks is a tough match-up due to his strength inside and ability to drive past bigger defenders. He did struggle with his outside shooting last season but if he can be more consistent from the perimeter, Brooks could be headed for a monster senior year.
The graduation of Jake Cohen leaves a major hole to fill in the middle especially since the candidates to replace him are very inexperienced. Ali Mackay, Jake Belford, and Connor Perkey barely saw the floor last season and you can throw freshmen Andrew McAuliffe and Joe Aase into the mix for minutes as well. It’s really anyone’s game entering camp and if nobody seizes the opportunity, don’t be surprised to see McKillop use a smaller lineup with Brooks playing some five.
Despite losing a pair of starters in the backcourt, the Wildcats still return a trio that saw significant playing time last year. Chris Czerapowicz and Tyler Kalinoski are both snipers from the outside and will need to increase their scoring load to help offset the losses of JP Kuhlman and Nik Cochran. Czerapowicz’s size also allows him to be a factor on the glass as well so he could end up playing some four in a smaller lineup.
Senior Tom Droney figures to take over the starting point guard spot but will be pushed by Miami, Ohio transfer Brian Sullivan who was named to the All-MAC Freshman Team during his lone season with the Redhawks. Jordan Barham and freshman Jack Gibbs will compete for any leftover minutes at guard.
Davidson should once again run away with the SoCon Championship and will be more than battle tested once conference play rolls around due to a stiff non-conference slate. The fundamentals that McKillop preaches will have his team ready for tourney time and they once again will be a nightmare first round matchup for some power conference team.
Player to Watch: Chris Czerapowicz
The Sweden native spent this summer playing for his home team in the World University Games which should be a valuable experience as he enters his final go-around at the college level. He is no Steph Curry but can still stretch defenses with his outside shooting which will be needed since the Wildcats have a big time void in the middle.
Key Non-Conference Games:
11/8 at Duke
11/16 vs. Virginia
11/21 vs. Georgia (Charleston Classic)
11/22 vs. Temple/Clemson (Charleston Classic)
11/24 vs. Georgia (Charleston Classic)
12/4 at Charlotte
12/15 vs. Drexel
12/21 at North Carolina
12/29 at Wichita State
1/1 vs. Charleston
OTHER 111 IN 111’S:
#70 Miami FL
#72 Texas A&M
#73 Long Beach State
#76 Indiana State
#77 Georgia Tech
#84 Washington State
#86 Oregon State
#87 Louisiana Tech
#89 Wake Forest
#90 Central Florida
#95 Seton Hall
#97 George Mason
#99 Penn State
#101 West Virginia
#102 South Florida
#103 Mississippi State
#105 South Carolina
#106 Texas Tech
#108 Virginia Tech
David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank. He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities. David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu to Milwaukee. He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet , AND the second most accurate 2013 NBA Mock Draft. (Yup, nearly 3peat champ… #humblebrag.)
You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.Powered by Sidelines Follow paulmbanks