By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio
After three weeks of Atlantic 10 play, we have a scenario that many envisioned at the season’s commencement: an absolute logjam in the middle of the standings. Seven teams have an in-conference winning percentage over .500, while VCU is the only perfect team left.
Here are the current standings:
Team records the past week: Dayton 2-0, Saint Louis 2-0, St. Joe’s 2-0, VCU 2-0, George Washington 1-0, Duquesne 1-1, Fordham 1-1, Davidson 0-1, Rhode Island 0-1, UMass 0-1, George Mason 0-2, La Salle 0-2, St. Bonaventure 0-2
Three stars of the week:
(Photo Credit: daytonflyers.com)
Charles Cooke, Dayton. A 2-0 week for the Flyers included two great stat lines from their leading scorer. Cooke scored 21 points at St. Bonaventure on Tuesday, shooting 7-of-10 from the floor including four three-pointers. He also collected seven rebounds, dished out three assists, swiped two steals and recorded two blocks in the Reilly Center.
In the win over a pesky Fordham team on Sunday, Cooke upped his scoring production to 26 points on 9-of-12 shooting and another four threes. He grabbed six boards and had three steals as Dayton won its fourth straight contest.
(Photo Credit: slubillikens.com)
Jermaine Bishop, Saint Louis. The 6-foot-1, 160-pound freshman from Queens, N.Y. saw little playing time in non-conference play, but has assumed a starting role in A-10 play and performed quite well. Bishop averaged 18.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.5 steals in SLU’s unexpected wins over Davidson and UMass. He has now scored in double figures in four straight games.
(Photo Credit: vcuathletics.com)
JeQuan Lewis, VCU. Lewis came close to recording a double-double with 11 points and eight assists in the Rams’ 93-71 victory over Duquesne on Wednesday, but his performance against St. Bonaventure on Saturday was simply sensational.
The 6-foot-1 junior from Dickson, Tn. scored 26 points on 8-of-15 shooting against the Bonnies, including two threes. He also passed for seven assists, recorded four boards, stole the ball twice and didn’t turn the ball over at all in 39 minutes of play. That is highly efficient play from the man CBS Sports insider Jon Rothstein said is “playing like the best PG in the A 10.”
Best win: Saint Louis over UMass. The Billikens looked like a team with potential to be in the middle of the pack in the A-10 this week, and they were clicking on all cylinders against the Minutemen. SLU dished out 22 assists as a team and shot 50.8 percent while holding UMass to a mere 39.1 percent clip from the field. A 38-35 rebounding advantage was also vital in the program’s first A-10 road win since March 9, 2014.
Worst loss: Davidson falls at Saint Louis. Davidson was favored by nine coming into this matchup, but left with a nine point loss, 96-87. An abhorrent defensive showing and underwhelming job in the paint gave way to the upset, and despite star guard Jack Gibbs’s best efforts, the Wildcats are not looking like conference title contenders.
Games to watch this week: Richmond-George Washington on Thursday (9 p.m., ESPNU), VCU-Davidson on Friday (6 p.m., ESPN2) and St. Joe’s-Rhode Island on Saturday (6 p.m., CBS Sports Network) headline the week ahead in the A-10.