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October 12, 2010
We continue with our league breakdowns for the upcoming season; we'll work backward from league No. 32 to our top-ranked league.
The breakdowns will become more in-depth as the leagues get bigger.
By Jason King
Frustrated as Keith Benson was that an offseason thumb injury forced him to put his NBA career on hold, the situation couldn't have worked out any better for the Summit League, which is no doubt ecstatic that its marquee player is back for another season.
A 6-foot-11 center, Benson averaged 17.3 points, 10.5 rebounds and 3.3 blocks to lead Oakland to a conference title and NCAA tournament berth last season. Benson entered the draft but had to pull out when his injury prevented him from going through workouts. Now Benson is back with the Golden Grizzlies, hoping his final college season will be his best.
Success won't come easily.
Oral Roberts returns four starters from a squad that went 20-13 last season. And IUPUI believes forward Alex Young -- the conference's leading returning scorer -- can take the Jaguars to the top of the league standings. IUPUI shot 50.4 percent from the floor as a team last season, a mark that ranked second in the nation. The Jaguars also were the only school to hand Oakland a league loss.
Greg Kampe's squad may not be quite as good following the loss of assists leader Johnathon Jones and all-around threat Derrick Nelson. Still, as long as Benson is in the mix, Oakland will be the heavy favorite to repeat as champion.
This is the final season for Centenary as a Division I member. The Gents will be a Division III school starting next season.
ALL-LEAGUE FIRST TEAM
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