St Louis Billikens Basketball Preview


March 23, 2013; San Jose, CA, USA; Saint Louis Billikens guard Kwamain Mitchell (3) talks with forward Cory Remekun (32) against the Oregon Ducks during the second half of the third round of the NCAA basketball tournament at HP Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The St Louis Billikens begin their 2013-2014 basketball campaign tonight against Southeast Missouri State University Redhawks. Here are the storylines that you should pay attention to during the season.

Can the Billikens build on last year? 

The St Louis Billikens lost their head coach Rick Majerus in December due to heart failure. That was a motivating factor for the Billikens to have one of the best seasons in program history. However the Billikens lose their 2nd and 3rd leading scorers in Cody Ellis and Kwamain Mitchell. Teams will focus on Dwayne Evans more than ever now that he doesn’t have any proven 2nd or 3rd option. Jim Crews did a fantastic job rallying the troops last year. Now it’s all on him. Can he handle it now that it is his job?

Can the Billikens make noise on the national stage? 

It’s hard for a team in a mid major to get any noise on a national level. This year, I don’t see a lot of great college basketball teams. Kentucky being preseason #1 is a joke but that just shows you how down college basketball is compared to years past. If the Billikens take care of business, they can be a force and make a Final Four. The big test will be against Wisconsin in the Cancun Challenge. If they can win that game and that tournament, they will start to get some national exposure. Beat Wichita State? Start to creep into the Top 25. Beat Vanderbilt in Nashville? You are now working your way to a 3-4 seed in the NCAA tournament. Seeds are important. We all enjoy the first weekend of the NCAA tournaments. Upsets are what make the tournament special. However, the teams that win the national championships are usually in the 1-4 seed range. The Billikens have to go undefeated in non-conference to get national noise.

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