By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio
The Atlantic 10’s men’s basketball week started and ended with a thud, but the league was still 11-5 overall. Here are the best and worst performances of the past seven days:
Team records this week: Duquesne 2-0, Dayton 1-0, Fordham 1-0, George Mason 1-0, George Washington 1-0, Rhode Island 1-0, Richmond 1-0, St. Bonaventure 1-0, St. Joe’s 1-0, UMass 1-0, Davidson 0-1, Saint Louis 0-2, VCU 0-2
Three stars of the week:
Derrick Colter, Duquesne. The Dukes had another 2-0 week to extend their win streak to four, and Colter was their top player this time around. The 5-foot-11 senior guard averaged 18.5 points, five assists and 4.5 rebounds while playing 73 of the 80 possible minutes against South Carolina State and Robert Morris. Those scoring numbers included six threes and a perfect 13-of-13 mark from the free throw line. Considering Colter battled cancer a year ago, he and his teammates have to be overjoyed that he’s leading a 10-2 Dukes team in scoring.
Trey Davis, UMass. Davis dropped 40 against New Orleans on Wednesday and made headlines in the postgame interviews as well. When asked how he got out a major slump in which he shot 15-of-57 from the field in the team’s three previous losses, Davis told MassLive.com, “Man, my mom turned my phone off after the game we just lost. She was mad. Talking about my free throws and all this other stuff.
“She said ‘Why are you missing free throws and all these jump shots?’ So she just turned my phone off and she told me ‘Get it together.'”
Needless to say, Davis figured it out, going 10-of-18 from the floor and 18-of-20 from the line to lead the Minutemen to victory. Coach Derek Kellogg may consider asking Davis’s mom to shut off her son’s phone before every game.
T.J. Cline, Richmond. Cline hit a career-high five three-pointers and made six other field goals to give him a team-leading 27 points in the Spiders’ 77-61 victory over Old Dominion. The fact that this performance came against an ODU team that entered the matchup allowing just 57.8 points a contest made it easy to put Cline on this list. It was his second 27-point game of the season, and he’s getting hot at the right time; like many A-10 teams, the Spiders have two more non-conference games before the conference tests begin.
Best win: Rhode Island over Iona. The Rams held an Iona team that came into the game averaging 84 points a game to 74 on Saturday. The Gaels staged a furious comeback from a 12-point deficit to send it to overtime, but Hassan Martin had six points, two boards and a block in the extra session to help Rhody survive and improve to 7-4.
Worst loss: Davidson gets blown out by Pitt, 94-69. This wasn’t a bad loss in terms of competition- the Panthers came in at 8-1 and received votes for the AP Poll and Coaches Poll last week. Still, it was peculiar to see a Davidson team lose by 25 in a game they had a decent chance at winning (Vegas had them as 5.5-point underdogs). The Wildcats were outrebounded 52-31, allowed four Pitt players to score in double figures and, most importantly, shot an anemic 20 percent (6-of-30) from three-point range. Coach Bob McKillop’s team lives and dies by the three, attempting the third-most triples per game in the country. On Sunday, the longball just wasn’t going in, and it cost them at Madison Square Garden.
Best games in the week ahead: UMass-Providence on Monday at 7 on ESPNU and La Salle-Miami (FL) on Tuesday at 5 on CBS Sports Network are the most intriguing matchups. St. Bonaventure-Siena and VCU-Buffalo, both on Tuesday night at 7, are underrated games you should take a look at as well.