The Atlantic 10 was all-powerful a year ago after commissioner Bernadette McGlade added VCU and Butler. One season later, it's not quite as top-heavy after the departure of the Bulldogs, Xavier, Temple and Charlotte. However there's still plenty of quality depth in the league, which now totals 13 teams after the addition of George Mason.
VCU is the clear-cut choice to win the A-10, but after that, it's a tough call, with minimal separation among the next eight or nine teams. There won't be quite as many easy conference victories this season, either, with Rhode Island, Fordham and Duquesne all moving in the right direction.
1. Virginia Commonwealth Rams
Shaka Smart will have his deepest team since he's been at VCU, but the key will be leadership after losing veteran point guard Darius Theus. Defensive-minded guard Briante Weber likely will get the first shot at replacing Theus as the team's floor leader, but Smart has other options. The strength of VCU won't just be in numbers (Smart hopes to play 11 guys consistently), but it's with the duo of forward Treveon Graham (15.1 PPG and 5.8 RPG) and senior Juvonte Reddic (14.6 PPG, 8.1 RPG). With the addition of Florida State transfer Terrance Shannon, Graham will see more time at small forward, his natural position.