Preview: Middle Tennessee

Blue Raiders return most of last season's Sun Belt title team

Updated: October 11, 2013, 11:03 AM ET
By Joey Berlin | ESPN Insider

Saint Mary's/Middle Tennessee StateGregory Shamus/Getty ImagesMiddle Tennessee senior Tweety Knight will be counted on to lead the team in '13-14.

Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders

2012-13: 28-6 (19-1 Sun Belt)
In-conference offense: 1.1 points per possession (1st in Sun Belt)
In-conference defense: .85 points per possession (1st in Sun Belt)

The Blue Raiders enter Conference USA after an emphatic farewell to the Sun Belt. They dominated the conference during the regular season and earned an at-large NCAA tournament berth. But coach Kermit Davis will enter the season without much of the backcourt firepower that fueled the Raiders last season. All-Sun Belt first-team guard Marcos Knight is gone, and so are Raymond Cintron and Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year Bruce Massey, both all-league third-team selections. Much of the supporting cast that helped make Middle Tennessee such a deep team in 2012-13 (42 percent of minutes from bench players) is back, however, and Davis' roster has plenty of experienced seniors.