Team preview: Niagara

Blue Ribbon Illustrated previews the 2004-05 college basketball season, exclusively on Insider.

Updated: October 20, 2004, 3:36 PM ET
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There are two ways to look at Niagara this season. Coach Joe Mihalich offers a view of both in the same breath.

"We're going to have a tough time replacing two four-year starters," Mihalich said. "We graduated 3,000 [career] points, 1,500 rebounds and 250 blocked shots. When you graduate a Tremmell Darden (18.0 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 3.0 apg) and James Reaves (11.6 ppg, 9.6 rpg, 1.5 apg), you lose a lot.

"By the same token, we've got a pretty good nucleus back with Alvin Cruz, David Brooks and Juan Mendez."

Yes, the Purple Eagles do a solid based. While replacing Darden and Reaves will not be easy, Niagara shouldn't fall too far -- if at all.