Men’s basketball: Atlantic 10 Week in Review 1/4-1/10

By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio

The first full week of Atlantic 10 play is in the books, and St. Bonaventure and VCU are the only perfect teams remaining after the first three league games. Here are the current standings:

School          Conference record     Overall record      Streak

St. Bonaventure         3-0                              11-3                      W4
VCU                             3-0                              11-5                       W6
Saint Joseph’s            2-1                              12-3                       W1
George Washington  2-1                               13-3                      W1
Dayton                         2-1                              12-3                       L1
Davidson                     2-1                              10-4                      W2
Rhode Island              2-1                              10-6                      L1
Richmond                    1-2                              9-6                       W1
Fordham                      1-2                              10-4                     L1
Massachusetts            1-2                              8-7                       L2
Saint Louis                  1-2                              6-9                       L1
La Salle                        1-2                              5-8                      W1
Duquesne                    0-3                             10-6                     L4
George Mason            0-3                             6-10                     L3

Team records this past week: Davidson 2-0, St. Bonaventure 2-0, VCU 2-0, Dayton 1-1, Fordham 1-1, George Washington 1-1, La Salle 1-1, Rhode Island 1-1, Richmond 1-1, Saint Louis 1-1, St. Joe’s 1-1, Duquesne 0-2, George Mason 0-2, UMass 0-2.

Three stars of the week:

(Photo Credit: vcuathletics.com)

Melvin Johnson, VCU. Johnson scored 25 points on 7-of-11 shooting, including five three-pointers, and grabbed seven rebounds and three steals in VCU’s 85-82 win over St. Joe’s. He followed up that performance with 15 points (four threes) and five rebounds in a 72-56 rout of Saint Louis.

A 36.3 percent three-point shooter last season, the Bronx, N.Y. native is shooting 45.6 percent from behind the arc in 2015-16, including a 26-of-52 mark in the last six games. The Rams’ record over that span? 6-0.

RhoomesHS15

(Photo Credit: fordhamsports.com)

Ryan Rhoomes, Fordham. Rhoomes was terrific this week, offensively and defensively. He scored 25 points, corralled 18 rebounds and blocked four shots in the Rams’ win over La Salle, then scored 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds in a loss to Richmond. The Jamaica, N.Y. native was efficient in the two games, shooting 17-of-22 from the field and making nine of his 15 free throws. The 18 rebounds against La Salle were an Atlantic 10 season high.

(Photo Credit: DavidsonWildcats.com)

Jack Gibbs, Davidson. After an off week where Davidson was dismantled by Cal and Bonaventure, Gibbs bounced back and led the Wildcats to two A-10 victories. The 6-foot junior guard played all 40 minutes in the Duquesne victory, scoring 21 points, dishing out 10 assists and recording five rebounds. He had similar numbers in 31 minutes against George Mason, with 26 points, seven assists and five boards.

After shooting 27 percent from the field and 2-of-12 from three-point range the week before, the Westerville, Ohio native shot 42.9 percent and was 5-of-11 from deep against Duquesne and Mason. He continues to lead the conference in scoring, and this is his third time on the “three stars” list.

Best win: La Salle over Dayton. The Explorers were nothing impressive against Fordham and UMass, which made their victory over the no. 25 team in the country a major surprise. Dayton took nine more shots, but La Salle held the Flyers to 30.9 percent shooting from the floor while shooting 43.5 percent themselves.

The Explorers’ strategy was to hold the ball and slow down the tempo, opting to wait until the shot clock was about to expire until they shot. Using a six-player rotation, they shared the ball, with 12 assists and five players in double figures. Has Dr. John Giannini figured out the key to this team’s success?

Worst loss: George Washington falls to Saint Louis. The most mind-boggling result of the week, hands down. The matchup between a Colonials team that was picked to finish fourth in the league at the beginning of the season and a Billikens team that was projected 12th was expected to be a blowout. Instead, SLU defended home court despite getting outshot from the floor by 6.8 percent and holding disadvantages in rebounds (38-26 GW) and free throw attempts (22-14).

George Washington failed to execute, going 12-of-22 from the foul line, turning the ball over 18 times and letting a game it led for 31 minutes slip out of its grasp. It was one of those losses that has the potential to impact seeding for the A-10 Tournament in Brooklyn, as well as postseason play.

Best games in the week ahead: Davidson-Dayton on Tuesday (8 p.m., CBS Sports Network), Rhode Island-St. Bonaventure on Wednesday (7 p.m., Time Warner Cable Sports) and George Washington-Dayton on Friday (7 p.m., ESPN2) are the top games to watch this week.

 

 

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