Besides UConn, Which Teams Were Most Significantly Hurt By APR Ban?Posted by EJacoby on June 22nd, 2012
When news broke this week that 10 teams would receive postseason bans due to insufficient Academic Progress Reports, immediate reactions all centered around the one big name team on the list – Connecticut. Sadly, the National Champions of just two seasons ago won’t even have a chance to participate in March Madness next season. But there are nine other schools that also flunked the APR test and are therefore disallowed from the 2013 NCAA Tournament. Did any of these other teams have shots at the Big Dance next year? The answer: Three teams in particular lost out big time from the punishment, while the five others will find rebuilding that much more difficult.
- Toledo – The Rockets were just average in the MAC last season (7-9), but Toledo didn’t lose a single player to graduation. Rian Pearson, who averaged 16.4 points and 8.3 rebounds in his first year on campus last season, is a really good player who loses out on a shot at the Big Dance next year. The Rockets are not happy about the postseason ban, but it’s only a result of their own players’ inability to graduate or stay academically eligible at a strong enough rate over the past four years.
- Jacksonville State – The Gamecocks play in the OVC, where Murray State should rein once again next season but must do so with a more depleted roster around returning All-American Isaiah Canaan. After Murray State, the league is wide open for the number two spot. Jacksonville State brings back four starters from an 8-8 team in conference play. The Gamecocks should have a strong chance to compete in the OVC, but now the team must do so without any postseason goal in sight.
- UNC-Wilmington – The Seahawks won just five games in the CAA last season, but the team had a really good chance to improve, bringing back its seven top scorers for next year. Not only that, but the CAA loses VCU to conference realignment next season, while Old Dominion and Georgia State have league-imposed penalties that prevent them from competing in the conference tournament due to their future realignment plans. That means UNCW could have been one of the top three contenders to win the CAA Tournament next season, but that dream ended earlier this week.
What about the other five schools? Mississippi Valley State finished 17-1 in the SWAC last season and won the league tournament to advance to the Big Dance, but the Delta Devils lose their top seven scorers to graduation. Head coach Sean Woods also bolted for the head coaching position at Morehead State, so new coach Chico Potts has a major rebuilding job in store. In that same conference, Arkansas-Pine Bluff also received the postseason ban. The Golden Lions finished 9-9 in conference last year but are losing their leading scorer and three total starters from the team last year. UC Riverside was a respectable 7-9 in the Big West last season, but four starters graduate including Phil Martin and his 17.4 PPG. Texas A&M Corpus Christi was 6-24 last season and loses its second-leading scorer to graduation next year. Towson went 1-31 last season, so the NCAA Tournament wasn’t exactly a realistic goal for this team next season.
Evan Jacoby is a regular contributor for RTC. You can find him on Twitter @evanjacoby.