The season is underway, but Atlantic 10 conference play is still off somewhere over the horizon. While Xavier works its way through one of the top non-conference schedules in the country, the other 13 teams of the A-10 are also honing their skills against foes far and wide. We'll bring you weekly updates to read after morning church each Sunday, with a little help from the good folk(s) at kenpom.com.
This week: Temple's only game is against Wichita State on Sunday, 11/20 in Puerto Rico.
St Louis (2-0):
The Billikens only played once last week, against a less-than-challenging Salukis squad from Southern Illinois. It doesn't seem that long ago that Southern Illinois was actually good, but that may just be because I'm getting old. Kwamain Mitchell continues to struggle to find his sea legs, posting a 3-8 from the floor to go with his 3-13 last week. The Billikens held their opponent to eight field goals Tuesday and currently rank number one in the nation in defensive efficiency. We'll see how that holds up as their season progresses.
This week: v. Washington Sunday, 11/20, v. BC at a neutral site on Thanksgiving.
UD dropped an overtime game against Miami of Ohio in a game that was nip and tuck all the way. Not so with their game Saturday against UNC-Wilmington. The Flyers carried a 21-point lead through the half that game and pulled away even more in the second half. Paul Williams posted 20 points on 8-13/4-6/0-0 against Miami but followed it up with 5 points on 2-7/1-4/0-0. Chris Johnson carried the mail against UNC-W with 19 on 6-9/5-7/2-2.
This week: UD has a neutral site game on Thanksgiving against Wake Forest.
Last year's paper tigers are off to a flying start this year. Guard TJ McConnell put up a box score line that his mom will clip for his scrapbook by posting 15/10/11 with 6 steals in a 97-81 win over District of Columbia in Valparaiso. They followed that up with a significantly more difficult 81-76 win over the Zips of Akron the next night. Sean Johnson pulled a page out of Allan Houston's old playbook with a 24/2/0 in that game.
This week: Duquesne wraps things up in Indiana with a game against Valpo Sunday, 11/20. They'll host Louisiana-Lafayette Saturday, 11/26.
St Bonaventure (1-1):
The Bonnies took on a Cleveland State team that shouldn't be that good - and lost. St Bonaventure was up five at the half before letting the lead slip in the final minute. Andrew Nicholson went for 19/6/2 with 4 blocks but fouled out of the game. The Bonnies managed to lose a game in which they shot .565 because they turned the ball over a staggering 23 times. If they keep that up, they're going to be an easy out for any team they face.
This week: The Bonnies travel to Siena Monday, 11/21 before having the Thanksgiving holiday off.
The Spiders rolled Hampton and Sacred Heart last week. Derrick Williams put together 24 and 16 over the course of those two games on 8-11/1-2/9-10 shooting, but only showed up for 6 and 4 against Davidson. Darien Brothers had 34 points in the two wins but only 4/1/1 in the loss to the Wildcats. The team combined to shoot 22 of 46 from deep against Hampton and Sacred Heart but was 2-1 from long range on Monday. What I'm saying is that the Spiders are a good shooting team with some good players that laid an egg against Davidson. That loss isn't as bad as it might be though; Davidson went out and hung with Duke for 30 minutes later in the week.
This week: Richmond plays Illinois 11/22 at a neutral site.
St Joseph's (2-1):
The Hawks are in action at the CBI tournament in Charleston, SC. Knocking off Georgia Tech is not an inconsiderable feather in St Joe's cap, and falling to Seton Hall isn't that embarrassing. Carl Jones isn't going to want to leave the cradle of the confederacy; he posted 59/7/6 on 17-28/7-11/18-19 shooting this week. Hofstra transfer Halil Kanacevic hit on 5-17 shots but did pull down 15 boards; CJ Aiken blocked 10 shots.
This week: Sunday 11/20 on a neutral site with Tulsa, go to Iona Wednesday 11/23, and host Penn State 11/26.
George Washington (1-1):
George Washington didn't play this week. As a result, they did not post any interesting stats.
This week: GW plays 11/21-11/23 at the CBE Classic in Bowling Green.
The 49ers needed two overtimes to dispatch Central Michigan on the road before dropping a game 72-54 at Lamar. Neither of those is a really good sign for Charlotte fans going forward. Chris Braswell put up 22 and 10 on 7-8/0-1/8-9 shooting against Central Michigan. Derrio Green put up 28 points on 31 shots, which is an efficiency rate most intramural players could match. The whole team contrived to go 45-128 from the floor on the week, which bodes poorly for the team's hopes going forward.
This week: host ETSU Tuesday, 11/22 before visiting Wright State Saturday, 11/26.
Massachusetts has racked up a 3-0 against some pretty weak competition. UMass needed an 18-2 run after the game was tied at 26 in the first half to bury NJIT. Former Georgia signing Cady Lalane pulled down 14 boards in 15 minutes off the bench for the Minutemen in that game; Chaz Williams had 15/2/9 but shot 5-12/3-8/2-3 to get it. The Northeastern game was more favorable to Williams; he posted 20/2/10 on 7-13/2-4/4-4 in that win.
This week: UMass heads to BC Monday, 11/21 before a neutral site game with Florida State on Thanksgiving.
Rhode Island (0-2):
URI has challenged itself early, opening with away games against George Mason, Texas, and Nebraska. It's not going well early for the Rams, who dropped a reasonably close game to Texas this week. Rhode Island even led briefly in the second half at Texas before a 13-0 Longhorns run put the game away. Nikola Milasevic put up 22/5/1 with 4 offensive boards in the losing effort, needing only 11 shot attempts to get there. You've gotta play well to upset a good team at home, and 15 TO and a 19-32 showing from the line didn't get it done.
This week: 11/20 at Nebraska, home 11/25-11/26 with Hofstra and Boston U.
The Explorers took a credible Villanova team to OT before running out of steam in a Big Five showdown Tuesday. Tyreek Durden put up 24/5/5 on 8-17/1-6/7-7 shooting. Earl Pettis will likely rue his 15 missed shots and 4 turnovers in the near-upset. Durden added another 23/5/3 on 9-15/3-3/2-3 in the win over James Madison, and Jerrell Wright posted 14 and 12. LaSalle only turned the ball over eight times during that game and only twelve times against Villanova; not bad numbers for 85 minutes of hoops.
This week: at Pitt Tuesday, 11/22, and home with Robert Morris and Rider 11/25-11/26.
Syracuse roughed up the Rams in their opener, and Fordham got a measure of recompense last Friday against Binghamton (not a tournament contender). Brendan Frazier posted 18/4/4 on 7-12/3-8/1-2 shooting in the win, and Chris Gaston grabbed 11 boards. Despite the win, it was not a great game for Fordham. They turned over 18 times and shot 10-21 from the line. There's a reason nobody fancies Fordham to win the Atlantic 10 this season.
This week: Saturday, 11/26 at Loyola Chicago.