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American Midwest Conference

Benedictine-Springfield Bulldogs
Springfield, Illinois
Head Coach: Ian McKeithen
Last Season: 6-23 (3-13)

The Bulldogs only double-digit scorer returner is senior guard Justin Smith (10.2 ppg). The Bulldogs will struggle on the glass again this season as they lost their top two rebounders from a team that a year ago was last in the AMC and 104 in the nation in rebounding margin. Things may get worse before they get better in Springfield.

Columbia College Cougars
Columbia, Missouri
Head Coach: Bob Burchard
Last Season: 35-1 (16-0) Lost 79-78 to LSU-Shreveport in the NAIA Quarterfinals

Columbia won the regular season and tournament titles in the AMC in 2012-2013. Columbia has won 24 straight AMC games going back to February 2, 2012. Columbia spent eight weeks ranked #1 in the NAIA and advanced to the national quarterfinals for just the second time in school history. The 2012-13 National Coach of the Year, Bob Burchard’s team returned all three starters in the backcourt from last season, including senior Devin Griffin, a first team all-league player as well as Honorable Mention All-America. Senior Derrick Dilworth, another Honorable Mention All-America pick and the reigning AMC Newcomer of the year returns as well; he averaged double figures (11.1 PPG) and shot 50% from the field. Columbia will add size with senior transfer Patric Massey (6’9) from Pheonix College.

Freed-Hardeman Lions
Henderson, Tennessee
Head Coach: Jason Shelton
Last Season: 14-19 (3-7 TSAC)

The Lions have made the move to the AMC after the TSAC folded in June. Freed-Hardeman should see some success in the new environment, with the return of the teams two leading scorers junior Orlando Bass (17.4 ppg) and senior Kyle Teichmann (16 ppg). Lions will be better in the AMC but still a way from the top of the conference.

Hannibal-LaGrange University Trojans
Hannibal, Missouri
Head Coach: Jason Durst
Last Season: 6-24 (2-11)

12 of Hannibal-LaGrange 24 losses a season ago by 8 points or less, so last season wasn’t as bad as it looks (except for the 46 point loss at home to Columbia). If Hannibal-LaGrange can learn to win the close games then the Trojans could be a headache for teams in the AMC this season. The Trojans bring back two of their top three scorers, in seniors Arii Meuel, and Jurgen Lico, who combined to average 28 points a contest. I don’t recommend making space in the trophy case just yet, but this season could be better than expected.

Harris-Stowe State University Hornets
St. Louis, Missouri
Head Coach: Phillip Hunt
Last Season: 6-25 (5-9)

The Hornets are going to be hard pressed to get a win until the end of January. Guard James Kenner returns after a season in which he averaged just over 10 points and 5 assists a game. Kenner will have to shoot better than 36 percent from the field as he did last season for Harris-Stowe to have success. 

Lyon College Scots
Batesville, Arkansas
Head Coach: Chad Trapp
Last Season: 9-20 (5-11)

Chad Tapp took over the Lyon’s program in May after leading Indiana University at South Bend to three 20 win seasons. Tapp and Scots welcome back junior starter Kendall Leeks who was second on the team in scoring in 2012-2013 with nearly 12 points a contest, and added almost 6 boards a game. Lyon hopes the addition of three transfers, junior Jamie Jones, sophomore Riley Jenkins and junior Filip Gujanicik will help turn around the Scots.

Mid Continent University Cougars
Mayfield, Kentucky
Head Coach: Howard Dillard
Last Season: 18-14 (5-5 TSAC)

New conference and a new coach for Mid Continent as the Cougars look to rebuild this season. The Cougars lost about 50 percent of their offensive firepower from a season ago. Gavin Scott (15.2 ppg) team’s leading scorer from last year, will be the workhorse for the Cougars. Someone else will need to step up for Mid Continent, and that may be guard Reggie Elkins, who enters his fourth season with the Cougars.

Missouri Baptist University
St. Louis, Missouri
Head Coach: Ray Farrell
Last Season: 17-15 (10-6)

The loss of the team’s leading scorer Le Andre' Johnson (15.5 ppg) will hurt the Spartans. Johnsons nearly 2 steals a game will be missed as well. The Spartans are going to have to play better at home as they were 7-7 at The Carl and Deloris Petty Sports and Recreation Complex, 15-11 since it opened. Spartans may start the season slow, but should be better second semester and about on par with last season.

Park University Pirates
Parkville, Missouri
Head Coach: Jason Kline
Last Season: 21-9 (13-3)

Pirates look to be in good shape with 10 players returning from a 21-9 team a season ago including 3 starters. One of those returners is 6’4 senior forward Melvin Rowe who averaged 10.5 points 7.8 boards and shot 52 percent from the field. It’s also nice to have sophomore Xavielle Brown (11.1 ppg) back after a strong freshman year when he was second on the team in scoring. If anyone is going to make it difficult for Columbia to win another AMC title, it’s the Pirates.

William Woods University Owls
Fulton, Missouri
Head Coach: Nick Totta
Last Season: 13-17 (9-7)

Jonathon Nutt (10.4 ppg) is the only regular starter returning for the Owls after a disappointing 2012-2013 season, that produced 7 losses by 5 points or less. A lot of youth on the Owls squad this seasons with 11 players who are either a freshman or sophomore. Can’t see too much success this season, but maybe next year.

Williams Baptist College Eagles
Walnut Ridge, Arkansas
Head Coach: Josh Austin
Last Season: 19-12 (9-7)

Too bad the Eagles couldn’t play every game at home last season where they were 12-2 at the Southerland-Mabee Center. The Eagles finished the season 19-12, but half of their losses were by 18 points or more. Just two losses were in single digits. A lot of new faces in Walnut Ridge as the Eagles return just two players from last year’s team with Jullian Jones (1.7 ppg) and Jasmin Washington who didn’t play. 19 wins may not be in the cards for Williams Baptist this season.

Projected AMC Standings

  1. Columbia College
  2. Park University
  3. Missouri Baptist University
  4. Freed Hardeman University
  5. William Woods University
  6. Lyon College
  7. Hannibal-LaGrange University
  8. Mid-Continent University
  9. Benedictine University at Springfield
  10. Harris-Stowe State University
  11. Williams Baptist College