Skyline Preview, Season 63
This season, conference talent from top to bottom seems to be a little less than last season. That being said, the Skyline's top teams look to be contenders on the national level. Also please note that my opinion is that the East is much closer in talent from top to bottom in the West and that I think any team from 1-5 could win the West, whereas the East is more of a two-horse race.
1. SUNY, Maritime
After a few down years for jana standards, this team is back on top of the Skyline. Led by lots of upper-classmen, this team not only should be the favorite for the Skyline, but is certainly one of a handful of teams that look like the cream of the crop in the Smith world. Because of the athleticism, speed, and defense paired with the experience on this team, they should separate themselves from the rest of the competition in the conference with the only real threat being Farmingdale.
2. SUNY, Farmingdale
Much the same as Maritime, this team is stacked with athleticism, speed, and defense. Led by stud seniors Jason Cardone and Kevin Sugalski, this team will be another of the Skyline's nationally threatening teams. Coach cdallstar has got to be excited about the prospects of this squad. This team will separate from the rest of the pack in conference play, and will vie for the Skyline/national title along with Maritime.
Replacing Manhattanville's greatest class of all-time has been a challenge for this team. The athleticism and defense on this team is still one of the stronger combinations in the Skyline, and backcourt mates Robert Malbon and Donald Espino are two very tough players to be reckoned with. However, the two walk-ons have made depth an issue to go along with low offensive contributions by the aforementioned guards.
4. Mt. St. Mary
Coach halfakracka is in a slight rebuild mode after graduating studs Nelson and Prince. This team is strong athletically, and have three solid leaders in Bryant, Gephart and JUCO Ward, which should make this squad very close to making the postseason. Much the same as Manhattanville, the two walk-ons have made depth an issue for this squad, and if this team is going anywhere the senior and junior leaders have got to take on most of the load.
This team is another decently ahtletic team which may give them a shot at postseason play, but with no real offensive studs they will find it hard to keep up with the rest of the East.
6. Mt. St. Vincent
Speed is a strength for this squad, and led by Michael Watson they should be able to stay in ball games, but rgann will have a tough coaching challenge this year after losing so much talent from the previous season.
1. St. Joseph's
This team is on top of the West in athleticism and defense, and also have a load of junior and senior leaders that should be able to lead this squad to the top of that side of the coneference.
2. U.S. Merchant Marines
Coach thebry has done well in recruiting which should make this season a huge turnaround for USMM. This team is one of the more athletic teams in the west, but the lack of a premier offensive player will make it tough for them to compete with St. Joseph's on this side.
Ford, Morris and Linke should lead this team to the top half of the West, but the athleticism/defense may keep them from coming out on top vs #1 and 2.
4. Old Westbury
Outside shooting will make this team tough to defend and should carry them past many of the teams in the West. This team may be up and down in Skyline play as they concentrate on outscoring opponents, not stopping them on the defensive end.
5. Stevens Tech
After some of the most successful seasons in Stevens Tech history, coach branchel has a tough challenge ahead of him with the lack of depth on the squad. Still, stud Lance Bender may allow Tech to surprise some teams in the West.
The combination of low athleticism, speed, and defense along with having 4 walkons will make it tough for Hilbert to secure a victory on either side of the conference this season.
CPOY: Jason Cardone, Farmingdale
DPOY: Kevin Sugalski, Farmingdale
FOTY: William Johnson, USMM
CT Champ: Suny, M
NT Teams: Maritime and Farmingdale
PIT Teams: Centenary, Mt. St. Vincent, Mt. St. Mary, Manhattanville