The Quakers' program has seen better days. Expectations for Jerome Allen's squad were somewhat high at the beginning of last season, as the team returned much of its lineup from 2012-2013. Penn would quickly dash those expectations, however, on their way to a miserable 8-20 season.
The Quakers return Tony Hicks (14.9 PPG, 2.9 APG) and Darien Nelson-Henry (10.6 PPG, 5.3 RPG), but will have quite a few question marks filling out the remainder of the roster. As a result, Penn finds themselves in the cellar of the preseason City 6 Rankings, the same place they ended last season.
The injury bug bit Drexel hard last season. The Dragons started last season 7-2, with both losses coming in tight games against ranked squads (#22 UCLA and #4 Arizona). Unfortunately for the Dragons, they did more than lose the game to Arizona, they lost Damion Lee, who tore his ACL with 10 minutes remaining in the game, just the fourth game of the season.
Lee will look to return to the level he played at in his sophomore season in 2012-2013, when he averaged 17.1 PPG, and the Dragons will be relying heavily on him to return to his previous level.
The Dragons lost key players in Frantz Massenat (17.5 PPG, 4.7 APG, 3.8 RPG) and Chris Fouch (18.3 PPG) to graduation and were recently hit by the injury bug yet again, as it was announced sophomore Major Canady will miss this season due to an ankle injury.
A lot is up in the air for the Dragons, who have some holes to fill and could be in for a bit of a rough season.
4. La Salle
The Explorers lose a lot at the guard position this year, as Tyreek Duren (15.2 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 3.5 APG), Tyrone Garland (12.5 PPG) and Sam Mills (7.6 PPG) have all departed due to graduation. What remains is the combo of Jerrell Wright (13.3 PPG, 6.6 RPG) and Steve Zack (8.8 PPG, 9.5 RPG) down low for the Explorers.
Wright and Zack will be tasked with leading the team in 2014-2015, as the Explorers welcome quite a few new faces. While La Salle has a lot to replace from a year ago, there is still room for improvement after a disappointing season in 2013-2014.
3. Saint Joseph's
The defending Atlantic 10 Tournament champions will be a team in transition for the 2014-2015 season. After graduating the bulk of their lineup from a strong 2013-2014 squad, the Hawks will look to DeAndre' Bembry (12.1 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 2.7 APG) and Chris Wilson (9.1 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 2.7 APG) to lead the charge this season.
The departure of Langston Galloway (17.7 PPG, 4.3 RPG), Ronald Roberts, Jr. (14.4 PPG, 7.4 RPG) and Halil Kanacevic (10.8 PPG, 8.8 RPG, 4.5 APG) will hurt the Hawks big time, but a few new faces could help to fill the void as Saint Joseph's looks to rebuild.
Temple is coming off one of the program's most disappointing seasons in recent memory. Luckily for the Owls (and their fans), the program appears poised to return to its winning ways in 2014-2015, as they return Will Cummings (16.8 PPG, 4.6 APG, 3.4 RPG), Quenton DeCosey (15.4 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 2.4 APG) and Daniel Dingle (6.7 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 1.9 APG).
Dingle played in just 10 games last season before an injury sidelined him for the year, and the Owls will look to him to help pick up some of the production lost to the graduation of Dalton Pepper (17.5 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 2.4 APG) and transfer of Anthony Lee (13.6 PPG, 8.6 RPG).
The Owls add some decent transfers to the lineup this season as well, and if they can shore up the defense from a year ago, should be poised to return to the program's previous form.
Villanova is coming off a season in which they went 29-5 (16-2 Big East) and were hands down the best team in the city. The Wildcats bowed out of last year's NCAA Tournament in the Round of 32, but did so to eventual national champion Connecticut.
The Wildcats look poised to be the top team in the city yet again in 2014-15, as they return much of their lineup from a year ago. While Villanova lost James Bell (14.4 PPG, 6.1 RPG) to graduation, they return pretty much everyone else, including JayVaughn Pinkston (14.1 PPG, 6.1 RPG), Darrun Hilliard (14.3 PPG, 3.6 RPG) and Ryan Arcidiacono (9.9 PPG, 3.5 APG).
With the core of their lineup returning and some solid additions in freshmen Mikal Bridges and Phil Booth, the Wildcats have been ranked #12 in the nation in the Coaches Poll and predicted to win the Big East. They'll start the season as #1 in our City 6 Rankings and should remain there for quite some time if the chips fall into place.
By: Kyle Babcock
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