Location: Omaha, NE
Nickname: Blue Jays
Conference: Missouri Valley
Last Year’s Record: 27-8
Why they’ll make it: With only two players of significance gone, the Blue Jays are primed for a run at Missouri Valley supremacy. The core of this team remains intact. P’Allen Stinnett, Justin Carter, and Kenny Lawson, Jr. will lead a team that was one of the last left out of the NCAA Tournament field last season. In addition to the returning talent, the Blue Jays were able to pull two huge recruiting coups in getting Andrew Bock out of California and juco transfer, Darry Ashford, out of Texas. They’ll help bolster the backcourt and help maintain the success of one of the nation’s top mid-major programs.
Why they won’t make it: Replacing Booker Woodfox will be a difficult task for the Blue Jays. Last season’s MVC Player of the Year is gone and now someone will have to pick up his scoring load. In addtion to that, the top assist man in Josh Dotzler has graduated as well; leaving not one, but two holes in the backcourt to fill. This team has plenty of guards, so depth won’t be an issue. However, replacing that kind of production will be.