• Sam Basel

A-10 Round-Up Vol. 8: Biggest Takeaways, Team of the Week, Updated Rankings


Another solid week in the books for the Atlantic 10 conference, with almost the entire conference in action. Here are some of my biggest takeaways from the week, along with my Team of the Week, and updated rankings.


UMass Finally Returns to Form

I was pretty hot on this team after their first game of the season, and considered Tre Mitchell to be a strong candidate for the best player in the conference this year. However, dropping some strange matchups in non-conference play (Northeastern and Bryant) and letting George Mason pull off the upset in a nail-biter left me a bit shaky about their prospects for the end of the season.


They've quickly brought themselves back up to speed this week in two solid wins over URI and Fordham. The Minutemen were able to claw their way to victory after missing a few potential game-winning shots late in regulation and overtime. Lousy three-point shooting kept it close for Rhode Island, but forcing 20 turnovers on Rhody allowed the Minutemen to maintain control just long enough to pull off the win.


These shooting problems did not plague UMass on Sunday, however, as they cruised to a 65-46 win against Fordham. Along with some hot shooting hands, shooting 9-14 from deep in the first half, UMass was able to run a nearly impenetrable press against the Rams, forcing 11 turnovers in the first half and keeping Fordham from scoring no more than 15 points, their worst scoring half of the season. While blowing out one of the bottom teams in the conference might not be what you need to be competitive down the stretch, but you can't complain about sharing first place in the conference with the Bonnies after two good wins.


Is Time off Hurting Saint Louis?

Another weird outcome of a season in a pandemic, Saint Louis currently finds themselves ranked in the Top 25, yet in second-to-last place in the conference with a 0-0 record. While this will change once their program returns to play, Have other top teams in the conference been able to catch up and compete? The Bonnies and UMass are atop the conference at 4-1, with VCU waiting in the wings. Even Richmond, who dropped a few tough ones and are currently dealing with several postponements, are beginning to right the ship as Golden and Gilyard get out of their respective slumps. We've seen plenty of teams do well after taking breaks, like Gonzaga, and plenty come back from suspension looking very groggy. Their next game back is supposed to be on Wednesday against UMass, but it's still up in the air.


Team of the Week

Forwards:

So. Tre Mitchell (UMass)- In eight games so far this season, Mitchell has put up more than 30 points twice. With 24 against Fordham on Sunday, Mitchell is making his case for one of the most versatile centers in the country. He'll probably stay at least another year at UMass, but I think he's got a good chance at making the league one day.


Fr. Ronnie DeGray III (UMass)- I usually don't like doing forward combos on these lists, but man has this duo been fierce this past week. DeGray dropped a season high 21 on Rhody on Wednesday.


Guards

Jr. Jaren Holmes (SBU)- Holmes shot 62.5% from the field against Fordham on Wednesday to rack up 26 points. Fordham Coach Jeff Neubauer described Holmes as a "Golden Shirt," meaning a player that you can't let get open in a catch-and-shoot situation.


Sen. Jalen Crutcher (DAY)- Crutcher was on fire this week, dropping 18 and 23 against Duquesne and George Washington respectively. Crutcher was 5-for-7 from 3 against GW.


Sen. Fatts Russell (URI)- Russell has been on a tear this season, currently on a five game streak of scoring in double figures. He's scored less than 10 points just three times this season.


Rankings:

Saint Louis and Richmond did not play this week, so the most points a team can get is 12.


This Week's Ranking:

  1. UMass (12 Pts.)

  2. SBU (11 Pts.)

  3. Davidson (10 Pts.)

  4. Dayton (9 Pts.)

  5. VCU (8 Pts.)

  6. URI (7 Pts.)

  7. George Mason (6 Pts.)

  8. Duquesne (5 Pts.)

  9. George Washington (4 Pts.)

  10. La Salle (3 Pts.)

  11. Fordham (2 Pts.)

  12. St. Joe's (1 Pt.)

Aggregate Ranking:

  1. Richmond (60 Pts.)

  2. VCU (58 Pts.)

  3. Davidson (52 Pts.)

  4. URI (49 Pts.)

  5. Saint Louis (48 Pts.)

  6. Dayton (44 Pts.)

  7. SBU (40 Pts.)

  8. UMass (35 Pts.)

  9. GMU (27 Pts.)

  10. GWU (26 Pts.)

  11. La Salle (25 Pts.)

  12. Duquesne (16 Pts.)

  13. St. Joe's (11 Pts.)

  14. Fordham (7 Pts.)

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