Who would have thought five or six years ago that St. Mary’s would be a team of prominence not only within the West Coast Conference, but on the national scale as well? Yet, that’s exactly where the program is today.
After Wichita State's Shockers won the past five league championships, another title this spring would not be all that, well, shocking. No disrespect to teams such as Illinois State or Northern Iowa, but the Shockers own the Missouri Valley Conference.
For a dedicated team like Cleveland State, failing to win a tournament after entering as the favorite can carry a hefty after-effect. Especially when it’s the conference championship, and it’s followed by a long summer break over which to reflect.
Josh Gregory, who arrived in Dallas before the 2011-12 season after leading Augusta State to two consecutive national championships, guided the Mustangs to their third straight NCAA regional appearance last season.
Illinois head coach Mike Small has a saying: "Win tournaments in the fall, win championships in the spring." The Illini took care of the first half of that statement. Now they’re focused on the latter.
Coastal Carolina once won seven consecutive Big South Conference titles in a row, but Liberty has been king of the conference the past two seasons. The Chants are hoping to regain their crown behind senior Sebastian Soderberg.
Louisville might have one of its deepest squads in head coach Mark Crabtree’s 13 seasons as the Cardinals’ coach. Six players finished the fall with a scoring average in the 73s. Two more posted scoring averages in the 74s.
Gone from last season's NCAA championship squad are Dylan Frittelli and Jordan Spieth. In came Brandon Stone, and now Texas coach John Fields is considering bringing Beau Hossler into the fold a bit earlier than he had anticipated.
Sean Dale has experienced heartbreak the past two seasons, but this spring the senior will get one more shot at helping the Ospreys advance to match play, which has eluded North Florida in three trips to the NCAA Championship.
In its first three years of men’s golf, the America Sky Conference has seen four different conference champions. And if the fall was any indication, that trend could continue this spring. Houston Baptist established itself as the favorite this spring with a strong fall.