May 16, 2012, 10:30 AM EDT
Gotta hand it to the Atlantic 10. The hoops-centric league will lose Temple to the Big East and Charlotte to C-USA, but will replace them with Butler and now VCU. Yes, George Mason elected to stay in the CAA. Tough break.
The league’s still going to be better than ever.
The A-10 usually ranks as the top non-BCS conference in college hoops. Sometimes the Mountain West is better and Missouri Valley manages it occasionally. Heck, it was even better than the Pac-12 last season. That makes the A-10 the top spot for mid-major hoop schools. (Sorry for the term.)
And the ideal place for Butler and VCU.
Butler’s joining in 2013-14. The Rams will move right away. Even if they don’t win the league right away – Dan Hanner’s projection points to St. Louis as the favorites – their recent history suggests only Xavier and Butler could be considered better programs.
Here’s a comparison for the A-10’s future schools and how they fared in 2011-12.
Note that VCU and Butler already spend more than most A-10 schools. The Bulldogs didn’t have one of their best seasons, but compare that to what they’ve done the previous five seasons in terms of wins and average efficiency rank.
The rest of the A-10 has its work cut out for it once Shaka Smart and Brad Stevens start vying for those league crowns.
You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.
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