Busting Brackets

Atlantic 10 Basketball: 2024 Offseason Pressure Index for each team

Saint Joseph's v Seton Hall
Saint Joseph's v Seton Hall / Rich Schultz/GettyImages
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The Fickleness Of Fan Support Can Drive This Too

Returning: G Jake DiMichele, C David Dixon, G Kareem Rozier, G Matus Hronsky, F Jakub Necas
Pressure Index: 5/10

The entire thought process around the Duquesne program has shifted over the past month, now that they finally made their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1977 (and got their first win since 1969). In the past, with seven seniors leaving, fans would have been hopeful for one or two solid pickups to hopefully propel the Dukes into the middle of the pack next season. But if they are going to build on the momentum and potential influx of fan support following their run, new head coach Dru Joyce III needs to put together a top half team immediately. A very solid core returns, filling half of the rotation, but this team is still short one to three starters and is even lighter on scoring than last year's "mud wrestling" team. A new burst of fan support only matters is you can build on it and a return to the basement can ruin all that goodwill quickly, just look at the next program.

Ideal Target: Adou Thiero (Kentucky, 2). The most important thing for Duquesne to find is a wing scorer with size, perhaps Maximus Edwards (George Washington, 2) or Jahsean Corbett (Chicago St, 1), who are set for visits. But finally getting Thiero to play in his hometown after missing out as a finalist two years ago would be the ultimate home run swing to take following last season. He would be a physical marvel at the A-10 level, filing a Tre Williams-type role as an extremely physical shot-blocking forward who also shot 52.7% from two last year. And if Thiero can develop a decent three-point shot next season, he's done enough everywhere else to be NBA-bound.

Returning: G Japhet Medor, F Joshua Rivera, G Will Richardson, F Jahmere Tripp, F Romad Dean, F Zach Riley
***C Abdou Tsimbila has an available Covid year
Pressure Index: 3/10

It was a sobering drop from third to twelfth in the A-10 for Fordham, and some bad early losses led to the quick disappearance of the Rose Thrill environment that had popped up the year before. Now, it almost feels as if things are back to normal for the Rams, although some promising young talent still remains. If Will Richardson, Jahmere Tripp and Joshua Rivera continue their late season improvements, there is something to build around. But Fordham has to replace the veteran core of their defense, especially if Abdou Tsimbila doesn't return, while still trying to build an acceptable offense. There's a rebuild in the Bronx again, but at least Keith Urgo's presence provides hope that it will be quicker than last time.

Ideal Target: Deyton Albury (Queens, 2). Fordham's biggest issue last season was a failure to replace the offense of Darius Quissenberry, as Japhet Medor proved to be just a bench sparkplug. Albury's ball dominance (top thirty nationally in possessions used rate) would actually fit the Rams' sloggy offense, which could use a heliocentric source who was top ten in the A-Sun in both points and assists. He'd also be a massive band aid for Fordham's biggest problem, foul shooting, thanks to a top forty fouls drawn rate and 74.9% conversion.

La Salle
Returning: F Tunde Vahlberg Fasasi, G Andres Marrero, C Ryan Zan
Pressure Index: 8/10

An incredibly important offseason quickly turned brutal for La Salle, as not only did their three graduating guards opt to head elsewhere for their final year, two other starters hit the portal as well. Now the Explorers are left to open up their post-renovation arena with Tunde Valhberg Fasasi and a bunch of newcomers. It hasn't been a secret that the Fran Dunphy era was never meant to be lengthy, and if it ends soon with the high point being back-to-back eleventh-place finishes, despite having a staff that consistently elevated the roster, where does that leave the program? Talent has not been pouring in and if it doesn't this offseason and Dunphy's successor is left with a barren roster that failed to bring back fans, then he better hope that Dunphy was the issue in recruiting as opposed to the more likely scenario, that it's just a tough place to talk players into.

Ideal Target: Jevin Muniz (Delaware St, 2). La Salle needs to take a few big swings this offseason, find a few talented power conference players that fell out of favor (like Clifton Moore years ago) and maybe even take a chance on a character red flag. The Explorers are also in desperate need of a quality point guard and Muniz is coming off of making a big leap to become an All-MEAC player. He's the rare transfer up point guard with size (6'6") and he has the all-around offensive game to be the centerpiece of the inaugural season at the Glaser.