The Horizon League will have a much different look this season. With the top 10 scorers gone from last year, including eight of the 10 all-conference selections, the star power of recent years is gone.
On the team side, Butler loses a lot of talent from its back-to-back national title game runs -- but it's still tough to choose against the Bulldogs. However, coaches around the league feel like the gap from last to first is the smallest it has been in years.
Another storyline to keep an eye on is the off-court issues that a few of the top players in the league had during the offseason. Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Kaylon Williams was arrested and charged with DUI in August; his status is up in the air heading into the season. Additionally, Detroit's Eli Holman -- the most dominant player in the league -- took a leave of absence and is out indefinitely.
Some people forget that Butler lost five league games last season, and shared the regular-season title with Cleveland State and UW-Milwaukee. The Bulldogs need to replace Shelvin Mack, Matt Howard, Shawn Vanzant and Zach Hahn, but the frontcourt duo of Khyle Marshall and Andrew Smith is ready to take the next step. Ronald Nored is the best defender in the league, and freshmen Jackson Aldridge and Roosevelt Jones are also prepared to make an immediate impact.
Detroit brings back the most talent in the league, with preseason Player of the Year Ray McCallum and guard Chase Simon the top returning scorers in the league. The key will be Holman's status. If he returns, the Titans could take down Butler. If not, Nick Minnerath will have to shoulder more of the load inside.
Despite losing Norris Cole, Cleveland State should remain in the thick of things. The Vikings return four starters and also get the services of D'Aundray Brown, who was an all-defensive team member two years ago before sitting out last season with an injury. Guard Trevon Harmon is an all-league player.
UW-Green Bay could be a team to watch if 7-1 center Alec Brown becomes the dominant force many think he has the potential to be. Youngstown State is also a sleeper near the bottom of the standings. The Penguins return a lot of perimeter production.