A-10: Five burning questions
Is Xavier the class of the conference; Holloway a shoo-in for POY?
1. Is everyone chasing Xavier and can anyone catch the Musketeers?
Of course everyone's chasing Xavier in the Atlantic 10, just like everyone's chasing Kansas in the Big 12. Both programs have dominated their leagues in recent seasons. The Musketeers have now won the conference regular-season title five years running (four times outright), officially earning them "everyone's chasing us" status. Then again, even the Jayhawks look a little more mortal this season, and by the same token, Xavier lost three players from what was essentially a seven-man rotation in 2010-11.
One of those returning players is all-everything performer Tu Holloway, but the Musketeers' hopes for a title defense took a hit last week when head coach Chris Mack suspended indefinitely 7-foot senior Kenny Frease for not fulfilling "all the responsibilities of a Xavier basketball player." Regardless, most A-10 coaches would gladly take a roster that returns two all-conference stars (first-teamer Holloway and 6-1 junior Mark Lyons, a third-team selection) and adds arguably the league's highest-rated freshman (6-4 wing Dezmine Wells). But there are enough question marks here to at least open the door for the Musketeers' main rival -- the Temple Owls.
To read John Gasaway's full take on the Atlantic 10 conference, you must be an ESPN Insider.
We see that you are not an ESPN Insider. Upgrade today and gain access to our exclusive coverage.
Insider College Basketball
New on Insider
Lunardi: Pac-12 locked into 2 bids?
Player Rankings: Davis over Robinson for POY
Lunardi: Where UW, Northwestern fall
Hume: Bid thieves are few
Bilas: Sizing up the Big East
Gasaway: Pac-12 stronger than it seems
Hume: Best bets among bubble teams
Lunardi: VCU may be first bid thief
Ford: Time running out for 5 NBA prospects
Lunardi: How UConn, Texas, others earn bids
Lunardi: Latest look at the bubble
Fraschilla: Previewing Big 12 tournament
Bilas Index: UNC remains at No. 3
Pomeroy: Trends predict UNC-Duke clash
Lunardi: No No. 1 seed for Big Ten?
Player Rankings: Purdue's pivotal players
Ford: Will MKG, Cody Zeller stay in school?
Gasaway: Rebounding won't crush Orange
Telep: UCLA's top recruits remain committed
Bilas: How Michigan State can still improve
Bilas: Keys to the Hoyas' continued success
Lunardi: Watch out for NCAA bid thieves
Lunardi Rundown: Kentucky is No. 1 overall
Bilas Index: Kansas returns to the top five
Make smart bracket picks by spotting Cinderella early.
And don't forget these Insider mainstays:
Doug Gottlieb, Fran Fraschilla, Joe Lunardi and Jay Williams offer their opinions.
Insights from the mind of the College Gameday analyst.
The national recruiting analyst weighs in on news and rumors surrounding the top high school prospects.
Stay on top of all the latest recruiting buzz.
Every D-1 player's efficiency rating.