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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In The Words Of Glenn Frey, The Heat Is On

Returning: G Joe Bamisile, G Zeb Jackson, C Toubi Lawal, C Christian Fermin, G Jason Nelson, F Fats Billups, F Micheal Belle
***G Max Shulga has declared for the NBA Draft
Pressure Index: 9/10

The return of Joe Bamisile and Zeb Jackson for their Covid years gives VCU a returning core, plus a pair of young breakout candidates in Micheal Belle and Fats Billups. If the Rams can pick up a true alpha backcourt scorer (either keeping Max Shulga or finding his replacement), then the expectation will be a return to the NCAA Tournament, nothing less. VCU hasn't missed the Tournament in back-to-back seasons since 2005-2006, and it would be a serious letdown if this talented group are the ones to break that streak.

Ideal Target: Joshua Jefferson (St. Mary's, 2). VCU absolutely needs to shore up the power forward position, ideally with a shooter who can rebound (a Kuany Kuany-type to directly replace him). Jefferson isn't that player, but he fits a different need, with the ability to slide over to center, a spot where an improvement is not a necessity but would certainly be an asset. Jefferson is the very rare quality piece that Randy Bennett couldn't keep at St. Mary's, and his rugged rebounding and secondary playmaking was desperately missed after a late season knee injury. VCU is currently in his final four options, battling a few power conference foes.

St. Joe's
Returning: G Xzayvier Brown, F Rasheer Fleming, F Anthony Finkley, F Shawn Simmons II
***G Erik Reynolds II is an NBA Draft Candidate
Pressure Index: 12/10

This is a really important next twelve months at Hawk Hill. Last year's super talented team had some fantastic highs but stumbled into ninth place in the A-10. And while some quality players have left, something needed to change, whether schematic or on the back half of the rotation. St. Joe's has kept the three most important players with Erik Reynolds II, Xzayvier Brown and Rasheer Fleming all still on the roster. This team has steadily improved in every season under Billy Lange, but this upcoming Year Six is the one for him to truly prove what he can do. It's officially make or break time for this group of Hawks to contend for an A-10 title and an NCAA Tournament bid.

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Ideal Target: Dre Bullock (Niagara, 1). Bullock isn't currently being connected to St. Joe's, but he should be. Lange hasn't coached a team outside of the top seventy nationally in three-point attempt rate since his second year at Navy, back in 2006. Four of his five St. Joe's teams have been top twenty. Yet, he's never had a team that was top one hundred in three-point shooting percentage. So why not go get a 48.6% shooter from deep, who fits the positional need for a big guard (6'6") and would even help the Hawks' mediocre defensive rebounding?