Welcome to the Horizon League Robert Morris! A usual powerhouse in their old conference. I think they will be in the mix in their new home as well. Everyone is picking Wright State to win this conference but I give the edge to Cleveland State because of their ability to play defense.
- Cleveland State
- Wright State
- Robert Morris
- Youngstown State
- Northern Kentucky
- Detroit Mercy
- Green Bay
- Cleveland State- The Vikings were better than what their record shows last season. A 7-11 record was not terrible for a team that didn’t bring back anyone from the 2018-19 season. They bring back the whole roster and bring in JUCO transfers to add to their depths. Their offense needs to step up to make this prediction come true, but they are great defensively and that shouldn’t change.
2. Wright State- The public’s favorite to win the Horizon is the 2019-20 regular season champion in Wright State. They bring back 4 out of 5 starters and have the role players who can step up to fill those gaps. The Raiders will be in the tight fight for the conference and it wouldn’t be a surprise if they win the title again.
3. Robert Morris- Welcome to the Horizon League Robert Morris. The Colonials were NEC regular season champions but were upset in the conference tourney before COVID happened. While I believe that the Horizon is stronger than the NEC, they bring back 4 out of 5 starters so I think they will be in the conference race in their new home this season.
4. Youngstown State- The Penguins were the Horizon’s most improved team in 2019-20 season and they bring back most of their production. They finished 4th last season and they will be improved this season and that is why I think YSU is my dark horse to win the auto bid from this conference.
5. Northern Kentucky- March Madness fans have gotten use to seeing the Norse in the conversation for the auto bid from the Horizon. They will take a fall from that usual top 3 spot this season. They lose 3 of their top 4 scorers and I don’t think they have the depth to replace that production. NKU will have a winning record in conference but there is a handful of teams better than them in the Horizon
6. Detroit Mercy- A usual program that is towards the bottom of conference has Titans fans excited for this season because they have a roster who can win games in this conference. Will they be in the top of the conference? No but they should have a better than. 500 record.
7. Oakland- The Golden Grizzles were the definition of an average team in this conference last season. They bring back most of their production but do not add any talent that will help them improve. They will be in the middle of the Horizon again with just under a .500 record.
8. IPFW- Welcome to the Horizon League Mastodons! This program is the toughest to predict in this conference. They have a lot of new cast members from a decent squad in 2019-20. If they can mesh quickly, they could be a threat for the top 4 of this conference. They will enjoy not traveling as much as they did in the Summit league which must be a boost to moral. IPFW just makes sense in the Horizon.
9. UIC- The Flames had a successful season in 2019-20 with a 10-8 conference record. They lose 4 starters from that roster so I think they will take a step back to the bottom of the conference. They have some role players that can step up to keep them from the basement of the Horizon but do not except a winning record.
10. Green Bay- A 3rd place finish last season was considered a success by most Green bay fans. So why did they fire their coach? No one knows why and it is still the most surprising move this offseason in all of college hoops. They lose all their chemistry with a move like that and I think it will be a tough season and it will be interesting to see if they can rebuild quickly.
11. Milwaukee- Coach Pat Baldwin enters his 4th season at the head of this program in a little bit of a downwards spiral. His best season will be the first season in 2017-18 if this trend keeps on going. They do not bring in any talent to improve their roster from a 7-11 team from last season.
12. IUPUI- The Jaguars who finished dead last in the Horizon will stay at the bottom of this new look Horizon League. One of the worst defensive teams in the nation last season do not look like they will improve on that side of the ball. Losing their top 2 scorers and not getting any transfers to replace that scoring.