• Sam Basel

A-10 Roundup Vol. 6: Weekend Update, Team of the Week, Updated Rankings


With one full weekend of conference play in the books, it's a very good time to be a fan of A-10 Basketball. In just a few days of play, we've learned that this conference might be a lot more open than we thought at the beginning of the season. Here are my biggest takeaways from this weekend, my team of the week, and updated rankings.


The Makings of Conference Spoilers

While I don't think La Salle or George Mason have much of a chance at earning a March Madness bid, this past week has proven they might be able to cause trouble for some of the bigger teams throughout the season, especially in some of the middle rounds of the A-10 tourney. Two teams, La Salle and George Mason, gave us our first glimpse of this possible phenomenon this week in each of their games against Dayton.


Taking advantage of a diminished Flyers roster on Wednesday, La Salle delivered Dayton their first A-10 loss in two years in a 67-65 thriller. A solid team effort, the Explorers were able to wipe away a double-digit lead before half time with a 9-0 run. Against Dayton, as well as in their win against Fordham, the Explorers have proven that while they might not be the best, they sure are one of the deeper teams in the conference, with bench players scoring in double digits on a regular basis.


While not pulling off the win, George Mason did not let the Flyers get off an easy win. Down by as much as 18 in the first half, Mason was able to slowly take down Dayton's lead and keep the last couple minutes of the game super close. The Patriots trio of Kolek, Miller, and Greene led the charge for GMU, but a late run from Dayton allowed them to secure a 9-point win. While I think head coach Dave Paulsen's post game quote on being down by less and less after every timeout is a decent goal, a team like GMU should be shooting for something a bit higher. Regardless, a valiant effort from the Patriots on Saturday.


GW In Second Place!?

Speaking of sleeper hits, how about them Colonials? While some may discount their blowout win against Fordham because, well, it's Fordham, George Washington looked solid in their split back-to-back against Duquesne.


Despite going on a month-long hiatus, the Dukes looked pretty solid in their return to the court on Saturday, taking down the Colonials 75-63. Regardless of lost time, the Dukes are a deep team, with strong young talent that should keep them in the upper half of the conference for the next two years or so. Freshman Toby Okani was a major standout, hitting all six of his shots from the field, while producing on the defensive end as well with a steal.


However, the Colonials duo of Jamison Battle and James Bishop turned it up to 11 on Sunday, taking down Duquesne in a 75-73 thriller. It was a game of runs, with both teams exchanging solid streaks of high-caliber shooting. Entering conference play, it's almost like we're seeing a completely different team. Combine his performance against Duquesne with that against the Rams on Wednesday, and Battle might be one of the best players in the conference this season. Shooting 33.3% from the field on Sunday, the Colonials now are tied with several teams for second place in the A-10.


Team of the Week

Forwards-

So. Jamison Battle (GWU)- The first Colonial to make my Team of the Week this season, Battle has done more than earn it. Watching him in person on Wednesday, the Fordham Rams made Battle look like a young Shaq as he dropped 24 on the Rams. At one point, Battle dunked on a breakaway so hard that it sent a shockwave through the empty Rose Hill Gym. I can't wait to see how GW will try to keep up this momentum.


So. Makhel Mitchell (URI)- While Fatts Russell led the charge against St. Joe's on Saturday, Mitchell put up a solid performance with 15 points and 8 rebounds. In a basketball climate where you either live by the three or die by the three, it's great to see a true center in the A-10.


So. Joel Soriano (FOR)- Call me a homer for putting a Fordham player on the team this week, but Joel Soriano has been a shining light on a team with little hope so far. Averaging a double-double through two games, Soriano has become Fordham's go to in the paint due to their lack of efficiency from pretty much every shooting zone.


Guards-

Fr. Toby Okani (DUQ)- Okani was unstoppable against George Washington on Saturday night, hitting all six of his shots from the field for 14 points. The Dukes have a decent future ahead of them, with Okani at the forefront.


So. Jack Clark (LAS)- It's hard to pinpoint exactly who was best for La Salle this week, so I'll single out Jack Clark. Clark was on fire against Fordham, scoring 12 on 6 for 9 shooting.


Updated Rankings

Saint Louis did not play this week, so they will not be featured in this weeks ranking, making the most points a team can get this week 13.

This Week's Ranking:

  1. VCU (13 Pts.)

  2. URI (12 Pts.)

  3. GWU (11 Pts.)

  4. St. Bonaventure (10 Pts.)

  5. La Salle (9 Pts.)

  6. Richmond (8 Pts.)

  7. Dayton (7 Pts.)

  8. George Mason (6 Pts.)

  9. Duquesne (5 Pts.)

  10. Davidson (4 Pts.)

  11. UMass (3 Pts.)

  12. Saint Joe's (2 Pts.)

  13. Fordham (1 Pts.)

Seasonal Aggregate Rankings:

  1. VCU (50 Pts.)

  2. Richmond (48 Pts.)

  3. Saint Louis (48 Pts.)

  4. Davidson (34 Pts.)

  5. URI (32 Pts.)

  6. Dayton (28 Pts.)

  7. GWU (22 Pts.)

  8. La Salle (19 Pts.)

  9. GMU (19 Pts.)

  10. Bonnies (18 Pts.)

  11. UMass (18 Pts.)

  12. Duquesne (10 Pts.)

  13. SJU (9 Pts.)

  14. Fordham (1 Pts.)

​© 2020 by House Enterprise.

A Jake Zimmer and Will Tondo creation.

Based in Providence, Rhode Island

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