2013-14 College Basketball Season Preview: St. Louis

Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, David Kay and Peter Christian of the The Sports Bank. Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
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St. Louis Billikens (Last Year: 28-7, 13-3 in Atlantic-10)

2013-14 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)

2013-14 Outlook:
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 reclaim the conference crown.

St. Louis returns its leading scorer and rebounder in versatile forward Dwayne Evans. He nearly doubled his scoring from his sophomore campaign and can be a difficult matchup 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 year since McCall and Jett graduate.

It will be difficult for the Billikens 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, St. Louis has its hands full in its attempt to repeat.

Player to Watch: Dwayne Evans, F
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

  • Predicted Atlantic-10 Finish: 3rd

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