• Sam Basel

A-10 Roundup Vol. 11: Saint Louis Snaps Back to Reality


We're six weeks away from Selection Sunday, and the race for bids in the A-10 is as hot as ever. Here are my favorite things that happened this week in the conference, along with my Team of the Week and updated rankings.


Saint Louis Finally Snaps Back Into Form

At this point, it's might be hard for Saint Louis to make it back into the Top 25. Luckily for them, they've got a couple other tidbits on their resume that could result in an at-large bid, most notably Saturday's win against St. Bonaventure. That loss against La Salle will be a blemish on said resume, but the Billikens followed that ugly game up with a dominant performance over the Bonnies. Early on, the Billikens were able to jump to a 13-point lead off of incredibly hot shooting from the likes of Kyle Lofton and Javonte Perkins. Coming off of a hiatus as long as the one Saint Louis recently went through is a tough feat, especially when it's against teams that have been playing twice a week. This most recent wins proves that once they're able to shake off the dust, they'll be a formidable presence in the A-10 Tournament.


Could Fordham Play the Spoiler?

It would be an immense overreaction to say that Fordham's Saturday win means a deep A-10 tournament run, but I have to say, after a month of uninspired basketball, Fordham actually looked good against La Salle. I've been saying all season that what kills Fordham is that they can never translate their solid defense into transition offense, and this weekend, that's exactly what they fixed. Coach Mike DePaoli is locked into developing his players and refining their shooting, and in just three games at the helm, it's shown big time. While Fordham's best bet for this season is a couple more wins and maybe an upset in the Conference Tournament, the focus should be continuing performances similar to the one on Saturday in order to build a pitch to whoever the next head coach will be. DePaoli is great, and has been with the program for a long time, so if he can prove the existence of a solid foundation for an incoming coach to build upon, then I'd consider him the most successful coach Fordham has had this decade.


Team of the Week

Forwards:

So. Joel Soriano (FOR)- My Rams won this week, so you know I have to give props to some of their players. Following their win against La Salle, Coach DePaoli highlighted how rebounding was what really allowed Fordham's offense to keep rolling. Second chance points have been hard to come by this season, so this improvement on Saturday was essential. Out of the 29 boards that Fordham grabbed against La Salle, Soriano snagged 13 of them.


Sr. Hasahn French (SLU)- French proved on Saturday how scoring=/=solid play. Working the paint for his Billikens, the Senior Center provided 7 rebounds, 3 assists, a block, and even a steal against the Bonnies


Guards:

Jr. Ty Perry (FOR)- Yes. Another Ram. If you don't like it, write your own Atlantic 10 column. Perry was emblematic of Fordham's hot shooting night, shooting 66% from the field for 18 points off the bench. If Perry and his teammates can improve their catch-and-shoot skills, they'll come back next year better than ever.


Sr. Javonte Perkins (SLU)- Perkins was the major force in Saint Louis' return-to-form win on Saturday. Although he started off slow, Perkins was the driving force behind some solid late-game runs for Saint Louis to secure the win. Perkins finished with 21 points.


Sr. Carl Pierre (MASS)- Pierre lead the charge on Saturday to prove the Minutemen aren't all Mitchell and Fernandes, dropping 19 points against Rhody. UMass continues to prove their depth, and are poised for a sneaky deep A-10 Tourney run.


Rankings

This was a rough week in terms of teams shuffling around their schedules due to the pandemic, so only 10 teams played this week. Our top dog will only be receiving 10 points.


This Week's Ranking:

  1. UMass (10 Pts.)

  2. Duquesne (9 Pts.)

  3. SLU (8 Pts.)

  4. VCU (7 Pts.)

  5. Dayton (6 Pts.)

  6. La Salle (5 Pts.)

  7. Fordham (4 Pts.)

  8. Bonnies (3 Pts.)

  9. Mason (2 Pts.)

  10. UMass (1 Pt.)

Season Aggregate Rankings:

  1. VCU (86 Pts.)

  2. Richmond (74 Pts.)

  3. Dayton (66 Pts.)

  4. St. Bonaventure (64 Pts.)

  5. URI (63 Pts.)

  6. Saint Louis (61 Pts.)

  7. Davidson (61 Pts.)

  8. UMass (49 Pts.)

  9. La Salle (44 Pts.)

  10. Duquesne (40 Pts.)

  11. George Mason (35 Pts.)

  12. George Washington (29 Pts.)

  13. Fordham (14 Pts.)

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



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