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Dayton, Rhode Island should headline top-heavy Atlantic 10 in 2016-17

The season of previewing is not upon us just yet, but the season of reviewing the state of each conference most certainly is. We continue with the Atlantic 10, which should have three teams who could find themselves with a national ranking in 2016-17.

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

We have officially reached that awkward point in the college hoops offseason where the dust has mostly settled from all the transfer/coaching carousel madness, but it's still too early to start any serious previewing of the 2016-17 campaign.

In keeping with the spirit of the season, it's time to begin our series of brief rundowns of what each conference looks like after all the moving and shaking that has happened since Villanova cut down the nets in Houston. We started things off with looks at the West Coast, American and Mountain West conferences, and continue today with the Atlantic 10.

THREE BIGGEST STORYLINES

1. A-10 Tournament leaves Brooklyn, at least for now

After celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2016, the Atlantic 10 men's basketball tournament will move to a venue other than the Barclays Center in Brooklyn for the first time since 2012. With the ACC taking over Barclays both this season and next, the A-10 was forced to find temporary hosts in the form of Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh for this year, and the Verizon Center in D.C. for next.

It's a move that members of the league, who have enjoyed their postseason tournament being in either New York or New Jersey for the past decade, are still coming to terms with.

The good news for disgruntled fans of the conference is that the tournament will be back in Brooklyn from 2019 through 2021.

2. Archie Miller's new contract

Archie Miller has been one of the first names mentioned as a candidate for every major conference coaching vacancy for what feels like the past 15 years. The reality is that he's only entering his sixth season as a head coach, but his accomplishments over that time -- three straight NCAA Tournament appearances and the most wins in a five-year span in the history of Dayton basketball -- have made him a player on the national scene for a time period that seems much longer.

Despite the annual rumors and the overwhelming national sentiment that Miller will be coaching somewhere else sooner rather than later, Dayton just keeps managing to lock him into longer and more lucrative contracts. The most one came this past March, when the brass at UD inked Miller to a new deal with the Flyers that doesn't run out until the end of the 2022-23 season. Though financial terms of the contract were not disclosed, it's a safe assumption that Miller is now the highest-paid head coach in the Atlantic 10.

"I've said many times, I am thankful and honored to be the head men's basketball coach at the University of Dayton," Miller said after signing the new contract. "We can continue to do great things here. The University, the community, and our loyal fans have given our program the opportunity to compete with the best, and I look forward to pursuing consistent success and delivering first-class results both on and off the court for everyone associated with our program."

Miller is one of just five current Division I coaches with at least five NCAA Tournament wins in his first four seasons as a head coach, joining a group that includes Roy Williams, Thad Matta, Shaka Smart and Mark Few. He's also made Dayton one of just 14 teams in Division I to have at least 25 wins in each of the last three seasons.

3. Can Rhode Island break through?

This is the second straight offseason Dan Hurley's Rams have been getting some fringe top 25 live from multiple members of the college basketball media. The task now for Rhody is making good on those high expectations.

Not that Rhode Island was necessarily a disappointment in 2015-16. Their season was derailed before it could even get started when A-10 Player of the Year candidate E.C. Matthews was lost for the season after suffering a right knee injury in the team's opening game against American. Three months later, all-conference performer Hassan Martin was also lost for the year because of a knee injury.

Though Hurley praised his team's resiliency in the face of such adversity, Rhode Island finished just 9-9 in the Atlantic 10 and missed the NCAA Tournament for a 17th consecutive season. Now Matthews and Martin are back, and will join forces with Jarvis Garrett (12.5 ppg/4.7 apg) and Jared Terrell (13.6 ppg), who became all-league players in their stead.

Anything less than a trip to the Big Dance will be a disappointment for Hurley in year five.

TRANSFERS: IN

VCU

Issac Vann (Maine)

St. Bonaventure

Chinonso Obokoh (Syracuse)

George Washington

Patrick Steeves (Harvard)

Fordham

Javontae Hawkins (Eastern Kentucky)

Richmond

Kwesi Abakah (Northeastern)

Duquesne

Kale Abrahamson (Drake)

Emile Blackman (Niagara)

Saint Louis

Javon Bess (Michigan State)

D.J. Foreman (Rutgers)

Adonys Henriquez (Central Florida)

TRANSFERS: OUT

VCU

Michael Gilmore (Miami)

Jonathan Nwankwo (College of Southern Idaho -- Junior College)

Gerron Scissum (James Madison)

St. Bonaventure

Jordan Tyson (Georgia State)

St. Joseph's

Skylar Scrivano

George Washington

Matt Cimino (American)

Paul Jorgensen (Butler)

Anthony Swan

Fordham

Jahshire Hardnett (Chipola Junior College)

Jon Severe (Iona)

Nych Smith (Florida Southwestern Junior College)

Richmond

Josh Jones

KoVien Dominaus

Duquesne

L.G. Gill (Maryland)

TySean Powell (Pacific)

Saint Louis

Miles Reynolds (Pacific)

Milik Yarbrough (Illinois State)

La Salle

Dusan Majstorovic (Maine)

Karl Harris (Indian Hills Community College)

MEANINGLESS SUMMER POWER RANKINGS WITH TWITTER-ESQUE SUMMARIES

1. Dayton -- Four of five starters are back for the Flyers, who are looking to make four consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history.

2. Rhode Island -- This is probably the most talented team in the conference on paper, one that's good enough to play deep into March if it can avoid the injuries that doomed its 2015-16 campaign.

3. VCU -- The run of tremendous young coaches at VCU appears to be well-preserved thanks to Will Wade, who led the Rams to 25 wins and their first NCAA Tournament triumph since 2013 last year.

4. George Washington -- After spending most of the first half of last season with a national ranking, the Colonials slid down the stretch and didn't hear their names called on Selection Sunday. They bounced back from that disappointment to win the NIT, and add a key transfer in Harvard graduate Patrick Steeves. Who knows how much of a distraction the accusations being directed at Mike Lonergan will wind up being.

5. St. Bonaventure -- Perhaps the biggest tournament snub of 2016, the Bonnies lose leading scorer Marcus Posley, but return all-conference guard Jaylen Adams as well as leading rebounder Dion Wright. Transfers Matt Mobley (Central Connecticut) and Chinonso Obokoh (Syracuse) are immediately eligible and should be able to find the court right away.

6. Davidson -- Jack Gibbs will be must-see TV in 2016-17, but Bob McKillop has to find a couple of reliable weapons outside of Gibbs if the Wildcats are going to be legitimate contenders for the A-10 crown.

7. St. Joseph's -- The loss of Deandre' Bembry is obviously a massive one, but Phil Martelli won't allow the Hawks to slide too far.

8. Massachusetts -- Derek Kellogg's top-30 recruiting class should show flashes of brilliance in 2016-17, but the Minutemen are still probably a year away from making a dramatic step up in the conference.

9. Richmond -- The Spiders will be able to score with any team in the league. The other end of the floor is where the improvement needs to happen in order to finish in the top half of the conference.

10. La Salle -- The Explorers were just 9-22 last season, but a flood of high-major transfers who are eligible to play in 2016-17 make them perhaps the biggest mystery in the A-10.

11. Fordham -- Jeff Neubauer did a fantastic job in year one, and hopes to take another step forward in 2016-17. Getting reigning A-10 Rookie of the Year Joseph Chartouny back in the fold should help.

12. Saint Louis -- Jim Crews got the axe after back-to-back 11-21 seasons for a Saint Louis program that expects much better. New head coach Travis Ford will rely heavily on transfers to try and give Billiken fans a jolt of excitement right out of the gate.

13. Duquesne -- The Dukes will need graduate transfers Emile Blackman and Kale Abrahamson to step up immediately in order to fill the void left behind by top performers Micah Mason and Derrick Colter.

14. George Mason -- Dave Paulsen will hope to improve on last season's 5-13 mark in his second year on the job at George Mason, which has not found life in the A-10 to be particularly kind.