#36 St. Louis Billikens: College Basketball 111 in 111

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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.

Coming off an Atlantic 10 regular season and tournament title, the St. Louis Billikens bring back four starters as they look to fend off teams like VCU and La Salle to re-claim the conference crown.

ST. LOUIS BILLIKENS
Last Season: 1st, 13-3 in A-10, 28-7 overall
Predicted A-10 Finish: 2nd

Projected Depth Chart
C: Rob Loe (Sr)/John Manning (Jr)
PF: Grandy Glaze (Jr)/Tanner Lancona (Fr)/Reggie Agbeko (Fr)
SF: Dwayne Evans (Sr)/Jake Barnett (Sr)
SG: Mike McCall Jr. (Sr)/Mike Crawford (Fr)
PG: Jordair Jett (Sr)/Austin McBroom (So)

Gone: PG-Kwamain Mitchell, PF-Cody Ellis, F/C-Cory Remekun, G/F-Jared Drew (transfer)

2013-2014 Outlook:
SLU returns their leading scorer and rebounder in versatile forward Dwayne Evans.  He nearly doubled his scoring from his sophomore campaign and can be a difficult match up due to his physicality down low and ability to get past bigger defenders.  Despite standing just 6-6, he is also one of the better rebounders in the conference as well.

Evans will be joined in the starting frontcourt by Rob Loe and Grandy Glaze.  Loe is an inside/outside threat while Glaze is an undersized power forward who is aggressive on the glass.  John Manning adds size inside while freshmen Tanner Lancona and Reggie Agbeko will compete for minutes as well.  Lancona is originally a Washington State commit who can stretch defenses with his outside shooting while Agbeko is still raw but could contribute on the glass.

There is experience in the backcourt with seniors Mike McCall Jr. and Jordair Jett.  McCall is the team’s top three-point threat while Jett takes over as the primary ball handler, a role he held last season prior to Kwamain Mitchell’s return to the team.  Central Michigan transfer Austin McBroom becomes eligible after sitting out last season and will be the first guard off the bench.  He was named to the All-MAC Freshman Team two years ago and will allow Jett to slide over the two when he comes into the game.  Jake Barnett is another shooter coming off the bench while freshman Mike Crawford tries to crack the rotation on the wing as well.

Jim Crews did pick up a key transfer in former Villanova shooting guard Achraf Yacoubou.  He must sit out this season but will add needed experience in the backcourt next season since McCall and Jett graduate.

It will be difficult for St. Louis to match their success and win total from last year.  They will still be a very talented team but with VCU expected to be even better this year and La Salle returning a ton of talent, the Billikens have their hands full in their attempt to repeat.

Player to Watch: Dwayne Evans
Evans has been a very efficient scorer around the basket during his time at St. Louis but for him to really become a dominant offensive threat, he needs to become a better outside shooter.

Key Non-Conference Games:
11/26 vs. Wisconsin (Cancun Challenge)
11/27 vs. West Virginia/Old Dominion (Cancun Challenge)
12/1 vs. Wichita State
12/7 at Valparaiso
12/18 vs. Indiana State
12/30 at Vanderbilt

OTHER 111 IN 111’S:
#37 La Salle
#38 San Diego State
#39 Stanford
#40 Arizona State
#41 BYU
#42 Pitt
#43 California
#44 Iowa State
#45 Providence
#46 Cincinnati
#47 UNLV
#48 Purdue
#49 LSU
#50 Illinois
#51 Xavier
#52 Boston College
#53 Ole Miss
#54 Missouri
#55 Washington
#56 Saint Mary’s
#57 Maryland
#58 Butler
#59 Minnesota
#60 Florida Gulf Coast
#61 Akron
#62 Temple
#63 Alabama
#64 Florida State
#65 Arkansas
#66 N.C. State
#67 Kansas State
#68 Davidson
#69 Dayton
#70 Miami FL
#71 SMU
#72 Texas A&M
#73 Long Beach State
#74 UMass
#75 Northwestern
#76 Indiana State
#77 Georgia Tech
#78 Oklahoma
#79 Richmond
#80 Manhattan
#81 Belmont
#82 Texas
#83 Houston
#84 Washington State
#85 Iona
#86 Oregon State
#87 Louisiana Tech
#88 Towson
#89 Wake Forest
#90 Central Florida
#91 Rutgers
#92 Drexel
#93 USC
#94 Charleston
#95 Seton Hall
#96 Vanderbilt
#97 George Mason
#98 Clemson
#99 Penn State
#100 Nebraska
#101 West Virginia
#102 South Florida
#103 Mississippi State
#104 DePaul
#105 South Carolina
#106 Texas Tech
#107 TCU
#108 Virginia Tech
#109 Georgia
#110 Utah
#111 Auburn

David Kay is a senior feature NBA DraftNBA, 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.

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