September 14, 2009 347 Countdown: Nos. 151-200

MORE: Nos. 201-250 | Nos. 251-300 | Nos. 301-347

We continue our 1-347 countdown. Today, it's teams ranked 151st through 200th.

We'll rank teams in groups of 50 until we get to the teams in the top 50, which will get full-fledged breakdowns.

151. Vermont
CONFERENCE: America East
BEST PLAYER: F Marqus Blakely
QUICK TAKE: Blakely is looking to sweep America East player of the year and defensive player of year honors for the third year in a row.
BUZZ: Blakely (16.1 ppg, 9.0 rpg) is a star, although he certainly will miss the help of departing PG Mike Trimboli. F Colin McIntosh is gone as well, so the Catamounts will need much more from Michigan State transfer guard Maurice Joseph (8.1 ppg).

152. Lipscomb
CONFERENCE: Atlantic Sun
BEST PLAYER: C Adnan Hodzic
QUICK TAKE: Four starters are back for the Bison, led by the burly Hodzic, a Bosnian native who played high school ball with Eric Gordon in Indianapolis.
BUZZ: Hodzic (17.1 ppg, 7.1 rpg) is a beast in the lane. If George Washington transfer Johnny Lee comes through at guard, Lipscomb could win the league and go to the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history.

153. Denver
BEST PLAYER: G Nate Rohnert
QUICK TAKE: All the key players are back for the Pioneers, who run a version of the "Princeton offense."
BUZZ: Rohnert and forward Rob Lewis are one of the best duos in the league. The Pioneers play solid defense and take care of the ball, but they must improve on the boards. Denver was outrebounded by 5.8 per game last season.

154. Eastern Illinois
BEST PLAYER: G Romain Martin
QUICK TAKE: The Panthers faded down the stretch last season but should be a legit Ohio Valley contender this season.
BUZZ: Martin might be the best guard in the league. If Ousmane Cisse can become a consistent frontcourt scorer, EIU truly will be dangerous. Too much of the scoring burden was placed on Martin and the other guards last season.

155. DePaul
BEST PLAYER: C Mac Koshwal
QUICK TAKE: The Blue Demons will be bad but not as bad as last season, when they were winless in the Big East.
BUZZ: DePaul caused quite a buzz last season - but not for the reasons the Blue Demons had hoped. Instead of competing for a Big East title or a spot in the NCAA tournament, Jerry Wainwright's squad was the only school from a major conference to go winless in league play in 2008-09. Wainwright managed to keep his job, but anything close to a repeat performance this season will likely bring an end to his tenure with the Blue Demons.

156. Princeton
QUICK TAKE: Coach Sydney Johnson slowly is getting the Tigers back to the top of the Ivy League.
BUZZ: The Tigers leaped from last place in the Ivy in 2007-08 to second a year ago, and they nearly made a run at Cornell - thanks in part to a blowout of the Big Red and a win over Penn at the Palestra. Can Johnson's team make it a race in the Ivy League this season? If Davis (12.3 ppg) can build on his terrific freshman season and center Pawel Buczak keeps developing, there's a chance.

157. Tulane
QUICK TAKE: The Green Wave have been consistently mediocre under coach Dave Dickerson, never winning more than 17 games or less than 12.
BUZZ: Dickerson's backcourt is fine, but the frontcourt has to be a concern, especially when the Green Wave face the better teams in the league. An upper-division finish would be a worthy achievement this season.

158. Long Island
BEST PLAYER: G Jaytornah Wisseh
QUICK TAKE: The Blackbirds are coming off their first winning season since 1997-98, and they could win the Northeast title.
BUZZ: The Blackbirds' first winning season in more than a decade might be the table setter for a title run. Forward Ron Manigault is the only significant loss, and few teams in the league can match the trifecta of Wisseh (15.2 ppg), Kyle Johnson (13.8 ppg) and Julian Boyd (10.5 ppg, 6.4 rpg) - a springy forward who was the NEC newcomer of the year last season.

159. Saint Louis
CONFERENCE: Atlantic 10
BEST PLAYER: G Kwamain Mitchell
QUICK TAKE: There are seven freshmen, five sophomores and a junior on coach Rick Majerus' roster.
BUZZ: The third year might be the toughest yet for Majerus with the Billikens. In his first two seasons, Majerus could lean on Kevin Lisch and Tommie Liddell. Those guys are gone. The Billikens will be one of the youngest teams in the country. Majerus is a disappointing 34-29 overall and 15-17 in the A-10 in his two seasons.

160. UAB
BEST PLAYER: G Aaron Johnson
QUICK TAKE: Coach Mike Davis lost three 1,000-point scorers; the leading returning scorer averaged 7.9 points per game last season.
BUZZ: UAB has just three returning lettermen and needs big contributions from its newcomers. This will be a rebuilding season for the Blazers. It may take a while for things to jell, but UAB's athleticism could lead to a few upsets down the stretch. You can bet UAB will fire away from 3-point range.

161. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
BEST PLAYER: F Kevin Palmer
QUICK TAKE: Palmer is the best player in the Southland, and the key to the Islanders' title hopes.
BUZZ: The Islanders will battle Sam Houston State for the top spot in the Southland's West Division. Palmer (18.2 ppg) is the toughest player in the league to guard. Justin Reynolds and Demond Watt are strong around the basket, and Shamar Coombs (8.1 ppg) is a solid point guard.

162. Samford
BEST PLAYER: F Bryan Friday
QUICK TAKE: Four starters are back for the well-disciplined Bulldogs, who will contend for the Southern Conference crown.
BUZZ: In their first season in the league, the Bulldogs reached the semifinals of the league tournament. Now, they will vie for the title with the help of the four returning starters, led by Friday (12.5 ppg).

163. Georgia
CONFERENCE: Southeastern
BEST PLAYER: F Trey Thompkins
QUICK TAKE: New coach Mark Fox arrives from Nevada, but he doesn't have the talent to escape the SEC East basement.
BUZZ: Fox never won fewer than 21 games in each of his five seasons at Nevada. He might have to deliver the best performance of his career just to get the Bulldogs into the high teens this season. While the other five teams in the East have legitimate NCAA tournament aspirations, Georgia returns only one player who scored in double figures for a team that went 2-14 in league competition last season. It could be a long season in Athens.

164. Southern Miss
BEST PLAYER: G Angelo Johnson
QUICK TAKE: The Golden Eagles lost 11 of their last 13 games, then saw three of their top four scorers exit the program.
BUZZ: The Golden Eagles were expected to be a dark-horse contender in the league last season, but an inconsistent offense and a severe lack of depth led to a free fall in the league standings. Instead of fighting for a postseason berth, Southern Miss instead had to fight to stay out of the cellar. Forget challenging for the league title this season; once again, Southern Miss looks as if it will be fighting to stay out of the cellar. There's a lack of experienced talent, and it may take a while for everybody to get used to each other.

165. Wofford
BEST PLAYER: F Noah Dahlman
QUICK TAKE: The Terriers have a nice duo in Dahlman (17.8 ppg) and guard Junior Salters (15.0 ppg).
BUZZ: The Terriers are coming off their most successful season since joining the conference in 1997-98. They could be even better this season, thanks to the return of Dahlman (17.8 ppg, 6.4 rpg) and Salters (15.0 ppg), who declared for the NBA draft before coming to his senses.

166. UNC Asheville
BEST PLAYER: F John Williams
QUICK TAKE: Three double-figure scorers return, giving the Bulldogs a shot at the conference crown.
BUZZ: After becoming the first Big South team to play in the postseason NIT in 2007-08, the Bulldogs fell to 15-16 last season but did reach the conference tourney semis for the third consecutive season. Although leading scorer Reid Augst departs, three double-digit scorers - Williams (12.9 ppg, 6.6 rpg) and guards Matt Dickey (10.9 ppg) and Sean Smith (10.8 ppg, 4.1 rpg) - return.

167. Belmont
CONFERENCE: Atlantic Sun
BEST PLAYER: F Scott Saunders
QUICK TAKE: The Bruins lost four starters, but coach Rick Byrd will coax a winning record out of an overhauled roster.
BUZZ: The Bruins are the league's steadiest program, but the loss of all those starters will be too difficult to overcome. But weep not for Byrd, a good friend of country music star Vince Gill. Belmont has some talent, most notably the 6-10 Saunders, a Rice transfer. The Bruins also add G Kerron Johnson, who was Alabama's "Mr. Basketball" last season.

168. Fairfield
CONFERENCE: Metro Atlantic Athletic
QUICK TAKE: Coach Ed Cooley did a nice job with a depleted roster last season, and the Stags bear watching in the MAAC.
BUZZ: The Stags were hampered by numerous injuries last season, but the experience gained by backups last season will pay off this season. Nero - if his back is healthy - is one of the best big men in the league. The Stags need help from some freshman guards.

169. Jackson State
CONFERENCE: Southwestern Athletic
BEST PLAYER: F Grant Maxey
QUICK TAKE: Four of the top six scorers, including Maxey, are back for the SWAC favorite.
BUZZ: Jackson State finished 15-3 in the league (just a game behind Alabama State) last season, so this looks like the school to beat this season. Maxey (16.4 ppg, 6.7 rpg) should reign as the SWAC's top player, while Garrison Johnson (10.7 ppg) and sophomore guard Rod Melvin provide quality support.

170. IUPUI
BEST PLAYER: F Robert Glenn
QUICK TAKE: The Jaguars are young, but there's talent. If the Jags jell, they could win the Summit title.
BUZZ: With George Hill off to the NBA, the young Jaguars struggled last season by their standards (9-9, fourth place in the league). A step up is possible behind Glenn (13.9 ppg), a forward and the league's top newcomer last season. Gary Patterson's floor leadership at point guard will be missed, but a deep collection of talent includes 6-5 forward Alex Young (10.8 ppg).

171. Holy Cross
BEST PLAYER: C Andrew Keister
QUICK TAKE: New coach Sean Kearney had been a Notre Dame assistant for the past nine seasons.
BUZZ: Is a second consecutive second-place finish in store for the Crusaders? Kearney will try to win a title in his first season at Holy Cross. It's possible if he can get more out of talented big man Keister (8.5 ppg, 6.3 rpg) and sophomore guard R.J. Evans (13.4 ppg). Three valuable seniors from last season's team are gone, though.

172. Weber State
BEST PLAYER: F Kyle Bullinger
QUICK TAKE: The Wildcats lost too much to defend their Big Sky regular-season title.
BUZZ: The Wildcats ran away with the regular-season title, finishing 15-1, then suffered a crushing loss to Montana State in the league tournament semifinals. Weber State will be in the mix again with super sophomores Damian Lillard (11.5 ppg) and Bullinger (10.0 ppg in league games). But league MVP Kellen McCoy is gone, as is defensive player of the year Daviin Davis.

173. Albany
CONFERENCE: America East
BEST PLAYER: F Will Harris
QUICK TAKE: The Great Danes return four starters and are a sleeper in the America East race.
BUZZ: Harris (12.9 ppg, 6.5 rpg) can do it inside and outside (36 made 3-pointers last season), while top scorer Tim Ambrose (14.3 ppg) is a penetrator who can get to the free-throw line (105 attempts last season).

174. Santa Clara
BEST PLAYER: G Kevin Foster
QUICK TAKE: The Broncos will be heavily dependent on underclassmen, and they could be dangerous next season.
BUZZ: It'll be tough to say goodbye to the league's best big man from last season, John Bryant (18.1 ppg, 14.2 rpg), but coach Kerry Keating has enough to keep the Broncos in the upper division. Guards Foster (14.7 ppg) and James Rahon (11.3 ppg) were superb as freshmen, along with forward Marc Trasolini. That sophomore trio will lead the way.

175. The Citadel
BEST PLAYER: G Cameron Wells
QUICK TAKE: Coach Ed Conroy - the cousin of best-selling author Pat Conroy - has a team that should contend in the conference.
BUZZ: The Bulldogs earned their first postseason berth in program history last season, falling in the first round of the Tournament to eventual champion Old Dominion. While they lose all-league forward Demetrius Nelson, Wells (15.6 ppg, 3.0 apg) returns for Conroy, who was the league's coach of the year.

176. St. Peter's
CONFERENCE: Metro Atlantic Athletic
BEST PLAYER: G Wesley Jenkins
QUICK TAKE: The Peacocks are on the way up - they won six games in 2007-08, then increased that to 11 last season.
BUZZ: Coach John Dunne slowly but surely is rebuilding the Peacocks. The team is built around three juniors: guards Jenkins and Nick Leon and forward Ryan Bacon. Jenkins has good range and can get hot in a hurry. Finishing above .500 overall is a legit goal this season.

177. Davidson
BEST PLAYER: F/G William Archambault
QUICK TAKE: Where have you gone, Stephen Curry? A sad fan base turns its lonely eyes to you.
BUZZ: Curry led the Wildcats to an average of 28.3 wins in his three seasons, but he's not the only loss for the Wildcats. Second-leading scorer Andrew Lovedale and league defensive player of the year Max Paulhus Gosselin also are gone. Archambault (8.3 ppg) is the top returning scorer. Look for J.P. Kuhlman, a three-star guard who can light it up from deep, to make an early impact.

178. San Diego
BEST PLAYER: G Brandon Johnson
QUICK TAKE: Johnson is back after blowing out an Achilles tendon early last season.
BUZZ: Johnson was granted a medical redshirt by the NCAA in June, meaning he'll be back for a fifth year. That's huge for a team that essentially saw its title hopes end in the eighth game last season, when Johnson suffered his injury. The Toreros still need to find someone to step in for departed F Gyno Pomare.

179. Illinois-Chicago
QUICK TAKE: The Flames look to have the needed pieces to finish .500 in Horizon League action.
BUZZ: Gifted guard Josh Mayo and his 1,700-plus career points are gone, as are center Scott VanderMeer and his 273 career blocks. That doesn't bode well for a team that beat Georgia Tech and Vanderbilt on the road but scuffled to a 7-11 Horizon record. That bottom line could improve, though, with better luck in close games and continued development from Kreps (12.3 ppg) and 6-8 forward Robert Eppinger.

180. UC Davis
QUICK TAKE: The Aggies return three double-figure scorers and should be in the running for the Big West title until the end.
BUZZ: Star guard Vince Oliver and his 15.4 points a game will be hard to replace, but junior point guard Mark Payne (10.4 ppg, 5.1 apg) and Harden (14.8 ppg, 7.2 rpg) lead a young team that might be good enough to contend. If big man Dominic Calegari (11.0 ppg) keeps improving, watch out for the Aggies.

181. Appalachian State
BEST PLAYER: G Kellen Brand
QUICK TAKE: Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. This is the second go-round at App State for coach Buzz Peterson.
BUZZ: Peterson was 14-14 in his first season as Mountaineers coach in 1996-97. Things should be better for Peterson the second time around as guards Brand (14.8 ppg) and Donald Sims (13.7 ppg) and big men Isaac Butts (8.5 ppg, 8.5 rpg) and Josh Hunter (8.9 ppg, 7.2 rpg) return.

182. Campbell
CONFERENCE: Atlantic Sun
BEST PLAYER: F Jonathan Rodriguez
QUICK TAKE: The Camels - great nickname, huh? - return all five starters, and they have a legit shot at the league title.
BUZZ: The Camels are as athletic as any team in the league. Campbell was second in the league in 3-point field-goal percentage (35.5) but needs to improve its overall accuracy (43.2 field-goal percentage). The Camels also need to play better defense. Rodriguez and sophomore guard Lorne Merthie should be a productive duo.

183. Austin Peay
BEST PLAYER: G Wes Channels
QUICK TAKE: Coach Dave Loos, heading into his 17th season, will have the Governors in the mix for the Ohio Valley title.
BUZZ: Loos has one of the league's best players in Channels, but replacing all-league forward Drake Reed ultimately is going to prove to be too tough. The Governors are deep and experienced, and Loos will get them to play hard. But without Reed, the offense is going to suffer.

184. Colorado
BEST PLAYER: G Cory Higgins
QUICK TAKE: All the key players return. Alas, it's off a team that won just nine games total and just one in Big 12 play.
BUZZ: Colorado fans will be expecting more - a lot more - out of coach Jeff Bzdelik in his third season. And there's plenty of reason to believe that things could get better. The Buffaloes appear to have a bona-fide star in Higgins, who averaged 17.4 points last season. Two other players, Nate Tomlinson and Austin Dufault, started as true freshmen. All of it should lead to some marked improvement in 2009-10, but it still might not be enough to lift the Buffaloes out of the Big 12 cellar.

185. Winthrop
BEST PLAYER: F Charles Corbin
QUICK TAKE: The Eagles suffered through a rare losing season in 2008-09, but they should be back in the thick of the league race this season.
BUZZ: The Eagles suffered their first losing season in more than a decade in 2008-09; don't expect that to happen again anytime soon. Corbin (9.5 ppg, 5.8 rpg) is back, Andre Jones (9.1 ppg) and Reggie Middleton (5.7 ppg) are coming off solid freshman seasons and league defensive player of the year Mantoris Robinson is a jack-of-all-trades guy who should help the Eagles soar toward the top of the standings.

186. Loyola (Md.)
CONFERENCE: Metro Atlantic Athletic
BEST PLAYER: G Jamal Barney
QUICK TAKE: The Greyhounds are hoping for big things from forward Shane Walker, a Maryland transfer.
BUZZ: Barney should be one of the top three scorers in the league, and Walker could team with Barney to give the Greyhounds a nice 1-2 punch. Brian Rudolph is a steady point man, and if everything breaks right, what was a young team last season could make a play for a top-four finish this season.

187. Arkansas State
BEST PLAYER: G Donald Boone
QUICK TAKE: Coach John Brady should have a potent backcourt in his second season at the school.
BUZZ: The Red Wolves collapsed down the stretch, mainly because they struggled offensively. True freshman guard Brandon Reed will help in that regard; if he's as good as advertised, the Red Wolves' backcourt could be the most potent in the league with Reed, Boone and Daniel Bryant. Center Eric McKinney is steady up front.

188. Navy
BEST PLAYER: G Chris Harris
QUICK TAKE: The run-and-gun Midshipmen should be the best of the three service academies this season.
BUZZ: When it comes to entertainment value, there's no contest in the Patriot League. Navy and its fast-paced offense is a treat to watch. The question is whether it can be as much fun without Kaleo Kina and his 18 points per game. Harris (15.4 ppg) will get even more shots, and that's a good thing. Center Mark Veazey (7.9 ppg, 5.5 rpg) might be the key.

189. Idaho State
BEST PLAYER: F/G Amorrow Morgan
QUICK TAKE: The Bengals' defense isn't a question. Instead, they must find a way to become more consistent offensively.
BUZZ: Junior college point guard Broderick Gilchrest will be asked to spark the offense. It doesn't help that top 3-point shooter Matt Stucki (12.0 ppg) is gone, but this team has plenty returning from a 9-7 league finisher, including Morgan (13.6 ppg) and senior big man Chron Tatum.

190. UC Santa Barbara
BEST PLAYER: G Orlando Johnson
QUICK TAKE: The Gauchos appear to be a season away from truly contending for the Big West crown.
BUZZ: The Gauchos remained solid, finishing 8-8 in the league despite the heavy use of four freshmen last season. Standout forward Chris Devine (15.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg) was a big reason for that, and now he's gone. Those freshmen and other key pieces return, though, with much expected from forward James Nunnally (7.9 ppg). Even more will be expected from Johnson, a transfer from Loyola Marymount.

191. Fresno State
CONFERENCE: Western Athletic
BEST PLAYER: F Paul George
QUICK TAKE: The frontcourt should be fine, but the Bulldogs are searching for two new starting guards.
BUZZ: Coach Steve Cleveland enters his fifth season at Fresno State but his first with a full complement of scholarships. The program has been under NCAA sanctions stemming from excessive phone calls from the previous coaching staff in 2005. Cleveland has dealt with roster turnover throughout his tenure in Fresno, and this season will be no different. Yet there's reason to believe Fresno State will escape the WAC cellar, starting with the frontcourt of George and Sylvester Seay.

192. Central Michigan
CONFERENCE: Mid-American
BEST PLAYER: F Chris Kellermann
QUICK TAKE: The Chippewas tied for the MAC West title last season despite an under-.500 record. It could happen again.
BUZZ: Central Michigan overcame plenty of injuries and adversity to win a share of the West Division regular-season title. Now that the Chippewas expect to have Kellermann and center Marko Spica back for a whole season, they have reason to believe they can finish near the top of the division again.

193. St. Bonaventure
CONFERENCE: Atlantic 10
BEST PLAYER: F Andrew Nicholson
QUICK TAKE: The Bonnies are coming off their first .500 record in six seasons and appear on an upswing.
BUZZ: St. Bonaventure is returning to respectability with baby steps. The Bonnies reached two major landmarks last season, the best bits of good news since the use of an ineligible player cost the coaching staff, athletic director and university president their jobs in 2003. The Bonnies made the A-10 tournament field for the first time since the conference expanded to 14 teams in 2005. Third-year coach Mark Schmidt hopes to build on that this season.

194. Indiana State
CONFERENCE: Missouri Valley
BEST PLAYER: G Harry Marshall
QUICK TAKE: The Sycamores return 12 players and finished strong last season after a woeful start.
BUZZ: Coach Kevin McKenna made some strides in his first season on the job. McKenna, a Creighton alum, knows the league and is trying to guide the Sycamores to their first postseason appearance since 2001. A big key is being more aggressive in attacking the basket; too often, this team settled for jump shots.

195. James Madison
BEST PLAYER: F Julius Wells
QUICK TAKE: The Dukes seem likely to take a step back in their second season under coach Matt Brady.
BUZZ: The Dukes won two postseason games in one season for the first time in school history in 2008-09. Although double-figure scorers Juwann James and Kyle Swanston are gone, the Dukes return Wells (11.6 ppg, 5.5 rpg) - who was the CAA rookie of the year - as well as sophomore guard Devon Moore.

196. East Tennessee
CONFERENCE: Atlantic Sun
QUICK TAKE: ETSU gave Pitt a first-round scare in the NCAAs last season, but the top two players from that team are gone.
BUZZ: The Bucs won the league tournament last season. Smith has a chance to average a double-double, but he must get some help from a solid recruiting class and some holdovers who didn't have to do much last season.

197. Arkansas-Little Rock
QUICK TAKE: The Trojans lost their top three scorers, their top two frontcourt players and two of their three best guards.
BUZZ: The Trojans won 23 games last season, but a rebuilding season looms. Mouzy needs help from a five-man recruiting class that includes three junior college players.

198. Youngstown State
QUICK TAKE: Mays and Kelvin Bright form a solid backcourt. But is anybody home up front?
BUZZ: A productive, senior backcourt gives the Penguins hope for improving on last season's 7-11 conference showing. Mays (10.7 ppg, 3.5 apg) and Bright (11.4 ppg) will command a team that loses glue-guy forward Jack Liles. Senior forward Sirlester Martin (9.6 ppg, 7.3 rpg) surged in March and will be asked to do more in his final season.

199. Colorado State
CONFERENCE: Mountain West
QUICK TAKE: The Rams could have one of the better frontcourts in the Mountain West, but the backcourt is a serious concern.
BUZZ: Colorado State must upgrade its perimeter defense after ranking last in the league a year ago in field-goal percentage defense (.487) and 3-point percentage defense (.372). The Rams should remain ahead of Air Force in the league standings, but they likely will finish below .500 again. The Rams lost two of their top three scorers.

200. Drake
CONFERENCE: Missouri Valley
QUICK TAKE: The Bulldogs had a magical run to the NCAA tourney in 2008, but they crashed back to reality last season. This season will be another test.
BUZZ: While Drake took a step back from its magical 2007-08 MVC title season, the Bulldogs did make a postseason tournament (the Tournament). That marked the school's first consecutive postseason appearances since 1970-71. This season, this squad will be made or broken based on the development of its frontcourt.

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