32 Conferences in 64 Days: Atlantic Sun

One of the more wide open races of all 32 conferences is in the ASUN. Stetson is a clear favorite but I could see any of the top 5 getting hot and winning the bid into March Madness. Welcome the Bellarmine Knights to Division 1 and it will be interesting to see what they can do this season.

  1. Stetson (16 Seed heading to Dayton)
  2. Lipscomb
  3. Liberty
  4. Florida Gulf Coast
  5. North Florida
  6. North Alabama
  7. Jacksonville
  8. Kennesaw State
  9. Bellarmine

1. Stetson- 2nd year head coach Donnie Jones already turned a program that has been stuck in the bottom of the league into a winning program. From 7 wins in 2018 to 16 wins which included 9 conference wins in 2019. With only losing a senior role player and a solid freshmen class coming in, the Hatters have the edge in my opinion in this wide-open league race.

2. Lipscomb- I gave Stetson the edge in this league race but I wouldn’t argue if anyone put the Bison on the top of their predictions. Two straight ASUN championship game losses has put a chip on the shoulder coming into the 2020-21 season. Returning their leading scorer big man Ahsan Asadullah (18.6 ppg) is a favorite for ASUN player of the year. Their 2nd and 3rd best scorers are gone so Sophomore Guard KJ Johnson will need to step up. Except the Bison to be in the race in March like they have been the last 2 seasons.

3. Liberty- The 2020 ASUN regular season and tournament champions have lost A LOT. Their top 4 scorers are gone including ASUN player of the year Caleb Homesley. But the Flames have been a powerhouse in the ASUN since they joined the conference in 2018. Until they prove otherwise, I will give them a chance to win the league again, but this will be their toughest season so far in their young life in the ASUN

4. FGCU- Where did Dunk City go? Since that historic sweet sixteen run the Eagles have disappeared into the middle of the ASUN. This season will not be any different. They lost 4 players to the transfer portal/grad transfers, a decent freshmen class is the only reason they are even in this spot in my predictions. Coach Michael Fly is in a contract year, will be interesting to see if FGCU makes a coaching change if they have another disappointing season.

5. North Florida- My thoughts on FGCU and UNF are about the same. These two programs use to battle for the ASUN March Madness bid in most of the 2010s. Unlike FGCU, the Ospreys had a great regular season in 2019-20 winning a share of the regular season conference title. But they were upset in the semifinals which was a disappointment not getting the chance to win an auto bid to March Madness which was still happening at the time. UNF returns ONE starter from a season ago and will have to start 2 freshmen right away. There will be some growing pains, but the program should be back in a few seasons.

 6. North Alabama- The Lions lost their top scorer Christian Agnew who transferred to UTEP. But Coach Pujol brings back the rest of his roster and brings in 3 freshmen and one JUCO transfer. North Alabama was .500 in conference play and I see them in the same spot this season.

7. Jacksonville- The Dolphins are in a rebuild, they have a good freshmen class coming in but I think they are a few years away from getting out of the stellar of the ASUN.

8. Kennesaw State- 1-28 and 0 conference wins makes it hard to see why the Owls have any chance in the ASUN. Wait a minute! Coach Abduh Rahim has the best recruiting class in the ASUN coming in. I think they will still be the bottom of the league this season but watch out for this program in a 2-3 years especially if Rahim can keep this level of recruiting.

9. Bellarimine- Welcome to division 1 and the ASUN! Transitioning to Division 1 is exciting time for a program but that doesn’t mean season 1 success. The Knights will be a wild card in the ASUN and it will be interesting to see how long it takes to get some conference wins.

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