Heading into the 2013-2014 Patriot League season, many questions have to be answered about who will take Mike Muscala’s place as the best player in the Patriot League. Muscala was a dominant force for the Bucknell Bison for years but now the Bison and the rest of the league must progress. The Patriot League also lost Lehigh’s C.J. McCollum but returns plenty of talent and even adds two solid teams that can contribute players right away. Mackey McKnight has already been picked as my Patriot League player of the year but several others are in contention.
Without Muscala, there is a lack of a dominant big man in the Patriot League but Dave Dudzinski from Holy Cross is the best returning big man in the conference offensively. Dudzinski averaged 15.2 ppg and over six rebounds last year and will look to be the focal point of the Crusader offense this year. Another big that should impact the Patriot League is Dom Johnson from Boston University. Johnson is a big body for the Terriers down low who averaged 11.6 ppg and six rebounds per game impacting Boston on both sides of the ball.
There are plenty of wings that will impact the Patriot League including Seth Hinrichs from Lafayette, Cameron Ayers from Bucknell and Murphy Burnatowski from Colgate. All three of them can shoot the ball from the perimeter and will be the focal point of their teams’ offense this year. John Schoof from American University is another guard to keep an eye on who will be playing mostly along the perimeter this year in Mike Brennan’s new offense for the Eagles. I would expect these four to compete for the scoring title in the conference.
Mackey McKnight is among several backcourt players that should make noise in the conference. McKnight is going to be a player that runs the Mountain Hawks of Lehigh all year but Bryson Johnson of Bucknell, Tilman Dunbar of Navy and Justin Burrell of Holy Cross will all be leading their respective teams. Dunbar and Burrell are creators that could help their teams come from the bottom of the conference with their ability to pass the ball and create. This is my all-conference team for the 2013-2014 Patriot League season including several others just on the outside looking in.
Mackey McKnight is the best point guard in the conference and is my pick to win conference player of the year for the Lehigh Mountian Hawks.
Bryson Johnson of Bucknell is the sharpest shooter in the conference and one of the best three point shooters in the country. Johnson should make a name for himself pretty early on in the season.
Cameron Ayers is many experts pick to win the player of the year in the conference and he should be the focal point of the Bison attack replacing Mike Muscala
Dom Morris of Boston is a physical presence on the inside and he should be able to make an immediate impact for the Terriers in their first year in the Patriot League.
Dave Dudzinski of Holy Cross should be the best returning big man in the conference now that Mike Muscala has left the Bucknell Bison. Dudzinski was an impact player on the inside last year offensively and should be the best scoring option for the Crusaders this year.
Others Receiving Votes
Guard John Schoof of American University is among several players just on the outside of the all-conference team. Schoof, Tilman Dunbar of Navy, Seth Hinrichs of Lafayette and Justin Burrell of Holy Cross are also just on the outside.