Monday, November 10, 2008

6th Place - St. Louis Billikens

Head Coach: Rick Majerus
Record at SLU: 16-15 (1)

Home Court: Chaifetz Arena (10,600)

3 Kwamain Mitchell Fr G 5-10 165
10 Paul Eckerle So G 6-1 185
12 Femi John Fr G 6-2 190
13 Ruben Cotto Fr G 6-0 190
14 Brian Conklin Fr F 6-6 220
15 Barry Eberhart Sr F 6-6 250
21 Kevin Lisch Sr G 6-2 190
23 Kyle Cassity Fr G 6-3 185
25 Tommie Liddell III Sr G 6-4 195
33 Willie Reed Fr F 6-9 195
41 Brett Thompson Fr 6-10 260

First 5-
1- K. Mitchell (highly rated prospect was Gatorade Player of the Year in Wisconsin last season. will take pressure off of lisch with ball handling capabilities.)
2- K. Lisch (1,000 point scorer is a very solid basketball player. led the team in assists, points, and three pointers made. he may be better on defense. must be accounted for at all times.)
3- T. Liddell (talented wing butted heads with Majerus last season and the coaches' deliberate 'O -ffense'. but still he remains an NBA level prospect IF his jump shot is improved and consistent; slasher extrodiannaire.)
4- B. Eberhardt (this senior saw his production slip as the season wore on. being it was his first out of junior college, Billiken fans would love to see improvement from him.)
5- B. Thompson (big man was rated 18th best center in nation by last season. he received offers from SEC, B10, and Big East schools. Majerus compares him to former Utah big man Michael Doleac.

Second 5:
1- R. Cotto (talented guard is capable of getting hot from three land. will make a nice 1-2 combo with Mitchell.)
2- F. John (hometown product has played on a state championship team. solid rebounder for his size.)
3- K. Cassity (another highly touted frosh whom Majerus boasts of having very advanced passing skills.)
4- B. Conklin (pacific northwest product originally commited to Gonzaga as a junior. could overcome Eberhart in the starting 5.)
5- W. Reed (long, lean, athletic shotblocker has been listed as tall as 6-11 by some publications. he will lurk on the baseline and someone the A10 guards need to learn will block shots outside of his area.)

I picked the Billikens to finish this high because I feel they have one of the best backcourts in the A10 with seniors Lisch and Liddell. I also feel strongly that Majerus will be much better off his second go round in the A10 and the new arena gives them some juice to win some critical games. By all accounts Chaifetz should be what all A10 teams strive for in a homecourt facility (ehhm, LaSalle are you paying attention?). They are young but very talented. They could possibly play 11 deep but Majerus usually shrinks his rotation to about 7 or 8. I see this version of SLU as a solid NIT, outside NCAA possibility.

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