Saint Louis paid the price last season when it was forced to go with freshmen and sophomores in key roles.
The Billikens finished with a 12-19 record and a quick one-and-done appearance against Rhode Island in the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament.
They are still young, but having Kwamain Mitchell back on the floor has given them a proven leader. The junior was suspended just before last season began for school disciplinary reasons and took a redshirt season when he returned the second semester.
The 5-10 junior guard was averaging in double figures at 12.4 points a game through the Billikens' first 10 games. He was second on the team in three-pointers with 18 in 52 attempts.
"Certainly that was a big blow not having him," said assistant coach Jim Whitesell, who filled in for a traveling Rick Majerus on the A-10's first coaches' teleconference. "Him coming back has been more of a confidence boost and certainly a guy who can make a basket for us.
"The thing that coach is rea...