DePaul To say last year was a struggle for the Blue Demons would be an understatement. Thirteen different players started at least one game as Oliver Purnell had to battle suspensions, injuries, sickness and just poor play. So the Blue Demons started over and will be a young team this year, but one with potential. Leading the way will be two players who were on the Big East's all-rookie team in Billy Garrett Jr and Tommy Hamilton IV with Garrett being the Big East Rookie of the Year after leading all Big East freshmen in scoring, assists and free-throw percentage. At 6'11", 281 lbs, Hamilton gives the Blue Demons some heft inside that will cause teams problems as well - provided he can stay healthy and in shape after fighting some battles last season. The Blue Demons will be getting help from three JUCO transfers as well with Aaron Simpson, a point guard from Lincoln (IL) College being the most likely to contribute. Simpson is undersized (5'11") but can light up the scoresheet and was even third in Mr. Basketball voting in Illinois his senior year at North Chicago HS. George Washington A young team found its stride last year as GWU rode their quality group of sophomores to an NCAA at-large bid. Now, those juniors all return and expectations are even higher for the Colonials. Kevin Larsen is the leader of the juniors. Larsen is a 6'10" big man who can shoot (9th in the A-10 with a .549 FG%) and is a solid passer out of the post. He'll also get some help from the backcourt of Patricio Garino (12.1 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.6 spg) who was third team all-conference and is considered a jack of all trades and point guard Joe McDonald. McDonald played most of last season with an injured hip but still had the fourth-best assist-to-turnover ratio in the A-10. Ohio The Bobcats have quite a bit of turnover from last year's squad. Only five players who saw regular time last season return, so they're going to need to grow up in a hurry if they're going to make any noise in the MAC. Their best player is Maurice Ndour who actually wasn't with the team this off-season as he was spending time representing Senegal in the 2014 FIBA World Cup. The experience should help the 6'9", 200 lbs forward who put up 13.8 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.6 apg and 1.5 bpg last year. With his all around game and 7-foot-5 wingspan, Ndour's next stop could very well be the NBA. Along with Ndour, the only other starter returning is Stevie Taylor who split the PG duties with Javarez Willis last year. Expect both of them to start this year, even if they're both under 6' tall. Wichita State Over the last 584 days, Wichita State has lost 3 basketball games - to Creighton in the 2013 MVC Championship game, to 2013 National Champ Louisville in the Final Four and in the 2014 Round of 32 to eventual runner-up Kentucky. This team is good. They're losing Cleanathony Early, but with a backcourt trio of Fred VanVleet, Ron Baker and Tekele Cotton, they shouldn't skip a beat. VanVleet is considered one of the top PGs in the nation who keeps the team running smoothly. Cotton is an elite defender who was the MVC DPOY last year. Then there's Baker who may be the Shockers next draft pick. A walk on from 2011, Baker can play both the point and shooting guard positions for the team depending on what they need. A deadly shooter, you can't leave Baker alone on the court at any time. There's a reason this is a pre-season Top 10 team. Loyola Marymount The Lions went into their past when they needed a coach this year and hired alum Mike Dunlap. Dunlap, last seen coaching the Charlotte Bobcats/Hornets last season is going home in hopes that he can recreate the days of Hank Gathers. In a conference with Gonzaga, BYU and St Mary's, that won't be easy, but the Lions have some talent. Starting guard Evan Payne finished 7th in the WCC in scoring last year and had a freshman school record with 497 points. The Lions may be ahead of the curve early on too as they went on a trip to Spain this summer so Dunlap could get his schemes set up. However the Lions start with Wichita State, so they're going to need that advantage early on. Hawaii When you think of Hawaii, think of the Westphal-era Denver Nuggets. They're going to be fast, they're going to be exciting, and they're probably going to be bad. They led the Big West in both scoring and turnovers forced last season, and they plan on doing the same again this year. Coach Gib Arnold has no plans to change that saying that when they get the rebound they "have five PGs on the court". Leading the way is Isaac Fotu - a 6'8" junior who spent the summer representing New Zealand in the 2014 FIBA World Cup. Fotu averaged 14.9 points and 6.1 rebounds per game - good enough to be first team all-conference. But beyond him it's not real pretty. Nebraska **** Nebraska. Terran Petteway is a good player. **** Terran Petteway. Tim Miles is a good coach. **** Tim Miles. **** Nebraska.