• Sam Basel

A-10 Roundup Vol. 14: Tourney Time, Team of the Week, Final Rankings


We did it. After postponements, shifting schedules, and plenty of unprecedented results, we've made it all the way to the end of the Atlantic 10 regular season. I'll be covering each day of the tournament right here, but until then, let's get into my biggest pre-tourney pointers, Team of the Week, and my final regular season rankings.


The Hawk Will Never Die

Normally, I'd be a little hesitant to hop on the hype train of a St. Joe's team that finished 3-9 in conference play, regardless of their current win streak. However, given the manner of this streak, I think it's indicative of the Hawks' potential to make a sneaky run to the weekend. For those who haven't been paying attention to St. Joe's until recently, you may be looking for a reason why they haven't been playing like this all season, and to be honest, the answer is pretty easy; Ryan Daly.


Since making his return after not playing since before Christmas, Daly's presence both on and off the court has given the Hawks a new lease on life. Considering his recent announcement to go pro following this season, it should be no surprise that the Hawks are entering the postseason with a lot to prove. According to Head Coach Billy Lange, Daly is the conference's MVP, and to be honest, it's hard to argue against that. If you evaluate an MVP by how well their team does with and without them, Daly is as solid an answer as any. In St. Joe's last three games, Daly has put up stat line of 23 ppg, 7.3 rpg, and 3 apg. Luckily for the Hawks, Daly's return has given opportunities for some of this teammates to put up great numbers as well. Take Taylor funk for example. Funk has scored at least 20 in all three of the Hawks' recent wins, including 36 in a huge upset over Dayton last week.


This is the first 3-game win streak for the Hawks since 2018, and considering two out of those three teams are serious contenders in the A-10 this year, I won't be surprised if we see them playing all the way to this weekend.


This Tourney Could be Wide Open

Aside from St. Joe's, I really there are plenty of teams who could challenge for that coveted auto-bid. Aside from the obvious top dogs in SLU, VCU, and the Bonnies, I think people could be sleeping on Davidson or Dayton. If I'm being totally honest, a big reason either of these guys could make a push is due to how seeding ended up this year. When looking at how both of these teams could go all the way, the biggest x-factor lies on their resumes. Last night, Dayton pulled off a solid defensive victory over the Bonnies, while Davidson fell short by 3 points to the reigning A-10 Regular Season Champs.


Two major factors help both teams in their chances to head to Ohio next weekend; depth and defense. Against the Bonnies, all nine of Dayton's players who touched the ball scored. When Jalen Crutcher fell into foul trouble, guys like Ibi Watson were there to step in with clutch buckets. R.J Blakney got his first start for the Flyers, dropping 9 points in the process. In terms of the Wildcats, Davidson has shaped up to be a lot more well-rounded than in previous years. When their three-point shooting took a dive against the Bonnies, they were able to lock them down defensively, creating a nightmare for any Bonnie looking to drive into the paint.


Team of the Week

Forwards:

Sr. Nathan Cayo (RICH)- Go off, big man! In a close loss to St. Joe's last night, Cayo recorded a season high 25 points off of 52% shooting from the field.


Jr. Luka Brajkovic (DAV)- Brajkovic is a major contributor to Davidson's shift towards their big men this year. Against VCU on Saturday, Brajkovic dropped a solid 15 points.


Guards:

Sr. Ryan Daly (SJU)- If Comeback Player of the Year was an award in this conference, it'd be going to Daly. Daly dropped 25 in a huge win over Dayton.


Jr. Taylor Funk (SJU)- I'm clearly making up for some lost time by finally showing the Hawks some love this year. Funk has been a prolific scorer pretty much all season, but the addition of Daly has really allowed his solid performances to make a difference for the Hawks.


Sr. Ibi Watson (DAY)- Watson dropped 14 over the Flyers' clutch win over St. Bonaventure, continuing to be an on-floor advocate for Dayton's push to the tournament final.


Final Rankings:

Fordham still did not play this week, so the most points a team can get is 13 in our final ranking of the season.


This Week's Ranking:

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

  2. Bona (12 Pts.)

  3. SLU (11 Pts.)

  4. Dayton (10 Pts.)

  5. Davidson (9 Pts.)

  6. VCU (8 Pts.)

  7. Richmond (7 Pts.)

  8. Mason (6 Pts.)

  9. Duquesne (6 Pts.)

  10. La Salle (4 Pts.)

  11. URI (3 Pts.)

  12. UMass (2 Pts.)

  13. GW (1 Pt.)

Season Aggregate Rankings:

  1. VCU (108 Pts.)

  2. St. Bonaventure (95 Pts.)

  3. Richmond (90 Pts.)

  4. Dayton (88 Pts.)

  5. Saint Louis (87 Pts.)

  6. URI (75 Pts.)

  7. Davidson (73 Pts.)

  8. George Mason (57 Pts.)

  9. UMass (51 Pts.)

  10. La Salle (51 Pts.)

  11. Duquesne (47 Pts.)

  12. George Washington (40 Pts.)

  13. St. Joe's (35 Pts.)

  14. Fordham (15 Pts.)




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