Coach: Jeff Jones (75-71 in five seasons at American, 221-175 overall).

Last season: 16-12, 8-6 Patriot League, lost in conference semifinals.

The glue: Junior guard Andre Ingram is the only remaining player from last season's roster who averaged more than seven points a game. He's the only remaining player who averaged more than 25 minutes a game. And while he's 6 feet 3, Ingram is also the only player on the Eagles' roster who averaged more than four rebounds a game.

Still, when Jones is asked whether he's worried about Ingram trying to do too much, he has a simple answer: "I'm not."

Ingram "has been very, very patient, to the point where we would like to see him assert himself a little more," Jones said. "There are going to be times where he's going to need to step forward."

Or run forward, as the case may be. With minimal playing experience and minimal size -- at least until 6-foot-11 transfer Paulius Joneliunas becomes eligible in late December -- the Eagles plan to open up their offense. The team will likely start three guards, including freshman Derrick Mercer, junior Linas Lekavicius and Ingram, who led American in scoring his first two seasons and is the leading returning scorer in the Patriot League.

Game to watch: Jan. 11 vs. Bucknell. American and Bucknell have each advanced to at least four straight Patriot League semifinals. Last year the Bison topped American in that round and went on to win the league title and shock Kansas in the NCAA tournament.

Postseason prospects (from 1 to 4 basketballs): The Eagles have finished with a winning record four years in a row for the first time in 30 years. Extending that streak to five would be a significant accomplishment.