Commentary

A-10: Five burning questions

Is Xavier the class of the conference; Holloway a shoo-in for POY?

Updated: October 17, 2011, 3:32 PM ET
By John Gasaway | ESPN Insider
Tu HollowayRichard Mackson/US PresswireTu Holloway is poised to lead the Xavier Musketeers to the A-10 title.

1. Is everyone chasing Xavier and can anyone catch the Musketeers?


Of course everyone's chasing Xavier in the Atlantic 10, just like everyone's chasing Kansas in the Big 12. Both programs have dominated their leagues in recent seasons. The Musketeers have now won the conference regular-season title five years running (four times outright), officially earning them "everyone's chasing us" status. Then again, even the Jayhawks look a little more mortal this season, and by the same token, Xavier lost three players from what was essentially a seven-man rotation in 2010-11.

One of those returning players is all-everything performer Tu Holloway, but the Musketeers' hopes for a title defense took a hit last week when head coach Chris Mack suspended indefinitely 7-foot senior Kenny Frease for not fulfilling "all the responsibilities of a Xavier basketball player." Regardless, most A-10 coaches would gladly take a roster that returns two all-conference stars (first-teamer Holloway and 6-1 junior Mark Lyons, a third-team selection) and adds arguably the league's highest-rated freshman (6-4 wing Dezmine Wells). But there are enough question marks here to at least open the door for the Musketeers' main rival -- the Temple Owls.