Team preview: Columbia

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(Information in this team report is as of October 1.)

Although Joe Jones didn't come out and say it before last season, he came close enough. He knew teams wouldn't be looking past his any longer and the one-year grace period had concluded.

In his first year as a head coach, Jones pulled off one of the best turnarounds in the country in 2003-04. A season earlier, the Lions finished 2-25 and 325th out of 326 teams in the RPI rankings. Jones took the same players and won 10 games and tied for fourth in the Ivy standings.

And while Jones and company didn't perform any minor miracles last season, it was anything but a lost season. The Lions finished last in the Ivy League at 3-11, but eight of those losses were by 10 points or less. They were more than competitive and again, teams weren't looking past them, either. Overall, Columbia won a dozen games and actually started the season at 6-1. The last time the program won more than 12 games was 1999-2000, when the Lions went 13-14.