Jump to content
Billikens.com Message Board
Sign in to follow this  
Taj79

A10 Mid-January Look-In

Recommended Posts

Tomorrow, with the Bills at Fordham, will make the Ides of January, the middle of the first month of the regular season.  so what's happening as we move toward March:

Saint Louis (12 -4/ 3 - 0):  right where we want and expect to be.  Lots of questions to be answered as the season plays out.  Depth, especially along the front line, is questionable.  Skills (FG shooting, FT shooting) remain suspect and serve as huge bull's eye of an Achilles heel.  Bench is unknown and needs development.  A hot Dion Wiley would help.  Favorable January schedule gets nasty come February.  Need to build up conference rank now.

Davidson (12 - 4/ 3 - 0):  Still a two-man team in Grady and Gudmundsson.  Luke Brajkovic is developing but still a soft(er) Euro-four freshman.  Frampton highest volume/maker of threes in A10.  But that's all he does and is streaky.  Pritchett has lost shot, Collins nice third guard off bench, bench overall very weak.  Team goes as Grady and Gudmundsson go.

Dayton (11 - 5/ 3 - 0): Still who I thought they were.  Little to no outside shooting unless Jordan Davis does it.  Crutcher can compliment but only if left alone; shot is more from hip than overhead.  Landers does nothing but hustle and cause havoc.  Mikesell is a fifth wheel.  Toppin would be great to watch -- in a dunk contest.  has no outside or mid-range game.  Absolutely no bench.  Cunningham remains 'the man.'  They will always win at home but I see confidence building right now because of those wins.  Need some seeds of doubt sown soon or it will snowball.  Dayton has won many national championship per their fans.  It's their birthright, y'know.

Mason (9 - 8/ 3 - 1):  Stories of their demise might have been greatly exaggerated.  A so-so OOC has been discarded and turned into a 3 and 1 conference start with road wins over St. Joe's and Rhode Island.  That is impressive.  They beat St. Joe's by 25 and then went to Kingston yesterday and won by 17.  This is being done without injured senior Jaire Grayer and features two nice, developing players in Javon Greene and Jordan Miller.  Miller played his first game of the year against URI and scored 14.  Given their flat OOC performance, this team seems to know the only way to the dance is now to win the conference.  They are doing well and are much better than thought with Greene and Miller.  This team will be a challenger down the line.

Duquesne (11 - 5/ 2 - 1):  I think this is a team playing behind smoke and mirrors.  They played no one in the OCC and their two wins are at home against Fordham and a very poor St. Joe's team right now and they only beat the Joeys by one.  They did have Davidson on the ropes in NC but chunked it at the end.  But again, momentum can be a strange bedfellow.

VCU (11 - 5/ 2 - 1):  These guys really choked at Davidson on Saturday.  Otherwise, they are 3 and 0 and Davidson is not.  I think these guys along with Mason right now are trending well and are the key contenders at this juncture in January.  They have quite a stable of guards in Evans, Jenkins, Simms, Byrd, Crowfield, and Vann.  Williams continues to improve as a SF.  The big guys are mostly thugs but that works well for their system.  And they have four of them --- two waves.  Closest to complete team I've seen.

Bonaventure (6 - 10/ 2 - 1):  They've won at home which I expect them to do.  Their 2 and 1 is a lot closer to Duquesne's 2 and 1 then it is to VCU's 2 and 1.

Rhode Island (8 - 7/ 1 - 2):  Trending down right now.  Still a three-man team with Dowtin, Russell and Langevine and Russell remains in a shooting slump and Langevine is just not that good with no help coming from the bench.  Four-star recruit Jermaine Harris is a no-show to date.

Richmond (7 - 9/ 1 - 2):  these guys have little to nothing.  Still have to play a good game to beat them at Robbins.  We don't go there this year.

Geedubya (5 - 11/ 1 - 2):  MoJo just doesn't have enough D1 players to run at you right now.  Terry Nolan and/or Justin Mazzula will go off every now and them to win a game but that will be rare.  We have to make sure it doesn't happen to us.  DJ Williams is looking like he's coming around after his Illini transfer. 

La Salle (3 - 12/ 1 - 2):  fifth, maybe sixth best school in Philadelphia area.  Don't see it getting any better any time soon.  Ashley Howard was a good hire.

Fordham (9 - 7/ 0 - 3):  yep, right where they belong and likely dropping.  They will beat someone at Rose Hill this year.  Always do.  Just don't let it be us.

Umass (7 - 9/ 0 - 3):  close failures on the road with us and Dayton; beat down at home by La Salle.  Go figure.  The influx of transfers here not the same results as at Duquesne.

St. Joseph's (7 - 9/ 0 - 4): just WOW.  If this keeps up, can Martelli survive?  Don't know.  In a game dominated by guards, in a league where a trio of good players can win you a lot, Martelli can't do it with Brown, Kimble and Bynum.  I can see St. Joe's getting ignored some now and next thing you know, come late February, Phil and Company are in the running for the four seed again.  It's a marathon, not a sprint.  Just like some may have discounted Mason given their OOC start. 

Lots of basketball to be played.  Top four right now look like us, Davidson, VCu and Mason.  PIG participants look like Fordham, La Salle, Geedubya and Richmond (I think Umass will do better than the Spiders in the long run).  I think there will be so many teams at or near the .500 mark in conference, that final matchups and pairings will once again go down to the final week.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our A10 schedule this year is more favorable than usual. We started with two home games against a top half (URI) and more middling (UMass) opponent, then we traveled to two of the weakest teams (La Salle, Fordham). Then we return for a team that was supposed to be better but has fallen apart (SJU), and back on the road for a middling-to-weaker team (Duquesne).

We get who in my opinion has been the biggest threat from the first day of the season (Davidson) at home. We get La Salle and St. Joe's twice. URI twice is a rougher draw, and we knew we'd get the other westernmost teams (Dayton and Duquesne) twice. We avoid playing at Richmond, where we've historically been poor. We get the team that is starting to click (GMU) at our place. Bonaventure and GW are tricky places to go win but both teams are weaker than usual this year. VCU is the toughest road game.

We will lose some of these (and we'll feel like we can and should win all of them), but I don't think I've seen a more favorable schedule in terms of opponent strength, location, and order since we've joined this league. Yes, part of that is because the league is weaker than it typically has been, but the order and locations worked out nicely for us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

VCU on the road will be our toughest game for sure. Our weakness is offense, VCU is ranked #7 in defensive efficiency, we are 1-3 vs. Top 50 defenses, with losses to #8 Houston, #16 Pittsburgh, and #46 Florida State, winning against #45 Rhode Island. The plus for SLU is its later in the conference schedule, giving us time to get the offense flowing a little better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This season has become a fiasco for St. Joe's. We host them Friday night and head there 2/8. To add a little detail for Kimble, that hand injury is a fracture. He'll be back, but definitely not this week and I'm not sure he'd be able to go when we go up there next month. Kimble averages 35.8 minutes, 16.3 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.1 steals and is seen as their leader; Brown may be averaging 20 PPG, but he's a sophomore and Kimble is a fourth-year junior.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It looks like George Mason may be hitting their stride.  They took down UMass at Amherst by 5, even though they shot only 4 of 18 from the arc.  They won it at the FT line, hitting 20 of 22.  Livingston was off, 2-11, but Kier struck for 8 of 12.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, HoosierPal said:

It looks like George Mason may be hitting their stride.  They took down UMass at Amherst by 5, even though they shot only 4 of 18 from the arc.  They won it at the FT line, hitting 20 of 22.  Livingston was off, 2-11, but Kier struck for 8 of 12.

All of a sudden GMU is a threat. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, slu72 said:

All of a sudden GMU is a threat. 

Looks like we have a five horse race in the A10.  I'm assuming Duquesne will quietly bow out in the next week or two.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The pundits I have read seem to have a love affair going with Keith Dambrot and Duquesne.  And maybe it is deserved ..... in his thirteen-year run at Akron (stop previous to Duquesne) he posted a record of 305-139 with a winning percentage of .687 overall and went 155-65 in conference for a winning percentage of .705.  He MISSED a post-season tournament only three times in those 13 years while averaging, averaging, 23/5 victories a year.  DAMN!  I did not realize what a great hire he was.

Will they fade?  I was expecting that too but I don't know, mighty mo' is a fickle lady.  There is a lot to be said for breeding a consistent attitude and believing you can win.  Duquesne's win at Richmond last night was it's first win there in 25 years.  Yep -- YEARS! 

Now, they are 12 and 5 and that was done playing essentially nobody.  They lost their biggest games against Pitt, Notre Dame and Penn State.  They also lost at home to a record-decent NJIT team and had Davidson on the ropes in NC before stumbling down the stretch.  On any given night .....

Currently at 3 and 1, their next few games include going to GeeDubya, then hosting us and VCU and Rhode Island to close out January.  They open February on the road in Dayton.  I suspect they will win in DC to rise to 4 and 1 with us coming to town, likely still unbeaten.  That will be their Super Bowl ..... they will need that game immensely to try and add luster to an already vacant SOS.  If they win that, the snowball grows for VCU and then Rhodey.  Lose to us, and it could go south just as easily. 

Duquesne is like any other mid-major team, they have one real interior player and the rest are three-point line bombers like Williams, Carry, Hughes and so on.  They must be on to win and even when no ton, that could change quickly and a barrage of three-pointers get you back into the game quicker.   One need look no further than their win over Longwood earlier this year for that example.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Taj79 said:

The pundits I have read seem to have a love affair going with Keith Dambrot and Duquesne.  And maybe it is deserved ..... in his thirteen-year run at Akron (stop previous to Duquesne) he posted a record of 305-139 with a winning percentage of .687 overall and went 155-65 in conference for a winning percentage of .705.  He MISSED a post-season tournament only three times in those 13 years while averaging, averaging, 23/5 victories a year.  DAMN!  I did not realize what a great hire he was.

Will they fade?  I was expecting that too but I don't know, mighty mo' is a fickle lady.  There is a lot to be said for breeding a consistent attitude and believing you can win.  Duquesne's win at Richmond last night was it's first win there in 25 years.  Yep -- YEARS! 

Now, they are 12 and 5 and that was done playing essentially nobody.  They lost their biggest games against Pitt, Notre Dame and Penn State.  They also lost at home to a record-decent NJIT team and had Davidson on the ropes in NC before stumbling down the stretch.  On any given night .....

Currently at 3 and 1, their next few games include going to GeeDubya, then hosting us and VCU and Rhode Island to close out January.  They open February on the road in Dayton.  I suspect they will win in DC to rise to 4 and 1 with us coming to town, likely still unbeaten.  That will be their Super Bowl ..... they will need that game immensely to try and add luster to an already vacant SOS.  If they win that, the snowball grows for VCU and then Rhodey.  Lose to us, and it could go south just as easily. 

Duquesne is like any other mid-major team, they have one real interior player and the rest are three-point line bombers like Williams, Carry, Hughes and so on.  They must be on to win and even when no ton, that could change quickly and a barrage of three-pointers get you back into the game quicker.   One need look no further than their win over Longwood earlier this year for that example.

 

I am a big Drambrot fan. He might have been the guy I most wanted SLU to hire when Crews got fired. What he did at Akron was amazing.  He was actuallly more successful at Akron than Huggins.  

I still think the Dukes are a year away from being a real contender, but Drambot will be successful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1/23 is a decent and full night around the A10.  Besides us (-1.5) at the Duct Center, Davidson (-15) hosts Geedubya in what should be a real laugher; somebody will drop another in the loss column as Mason (+8) visits the center of the basketball universe by going to Dayton: the Joeys host an equally disappointing Richmond team (+3.5); the Bonnies go across the southern tier to see Umass (-3.5); could VCU drop one to Rhodey tonight (-1.5); and in a real stinker, La Salle (+2) is in the Bronx.  A 6 and 0 start with the possibility of both Mason and/or Dayton and VCU losing tonight is a good night in my book.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎1‎/‎16‎/‎2019 at 8:21 PM, slu72 said:

All of a sudden GMU is a threat. 

Great now we have to hear Petey Buckets bullsh!t.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, billikenfan05 said:

Great now we have to hear Petey Buckets bullsh!t.

WELL YEAH THEY ARE FIVE AND OH BUT I HAVE TROUBLE TRUSTING FORD CANT BELIEVE THEY HIRED THAT GUY

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Uri and Vcu both doing their best slu impersonation. 31 31 with 12 min left in the game 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not Mid-January, but what the heck.  No need for multiple threads on the A10.

After this weekend's A10 action the Bills sit in 6th, two losses out of 4th.  We can no longer win our way into a bye.  We need help from others.  Example, Dayton still has to play VCU, Davidson and Duquesne, all teams ahead of us.  They also get us and Rhody. So plenty of 'help' is out there.  Mason still plays VCU and Duquesne.   We have seen plenty of upsets this month, so the Bills are still in the Top 4 race.

Fortunately, or maybe unfortunately, we have played 11 games, and co-leaders Davidson and VCU have played 10.  With Davidson's earlier win over VCU, they have the #1 seed for now.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I lost some of my enthusiasm or i would have gone with a 'February Look In' thread as well.  After years and years of following this conference, I have come to the same conclusion I always do .......... it's a veritable crap shoot.  'On any given night ....' is a theme that rings true year after year.  Nothing in this conference goes as one might expect.  How else does a Umass beat a Davidson WITHOUT arguably their best player in Luwane Pipkins?  How does Duquesne always manage to come back from huge halftime deficits and win?  How do the Bonnies beat us in Olean (you know that's gonna happen come March) yet lose at the same place to VCU by 30?  How does Dayton let one team wipe it's a** with them (us) only to have them do it to a decent team at their home court in Kingston?  How does Richmond beat us on the road?  How does the worst shooting team in the A10 (Joeys) kick the snot out of the best defensive team in the conference (us)?  

Come March 7 & 8, there will be probably seven or eight different scenarios possible given the outcome of those final 7 games around the A10.  Us for 4th place might even be one of them.  Right now we are in sixth and have games against four of the five teams ahead of us.  No one is immune.  And while that may very well be because the A10 is 'down' it may very well be not.  It is what it is and we are what we are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are what we are is what's scaring me. Walking wounded, depleted, scoring challenged, possibly deflated. Whatever happened to teamblue#? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In one of my preseason missives, I talked about how Martelli was one injury away from problems.  I talk about that with Grady as well.  Teamblue got hammered in that regard .... that and defections.  Santos.  Gordon.  Welmer.  Thor.  Jacobs.  Hankton.  Wiley.  Even Goodwin with a broken nose; Bess with an ankle.  Not counting the last two (because they missed no time) that is still about 53% of your roster unavailable.  And that is it ---- no injured reserves to call up, no D-League team to call for reinforcements, no farm system to ship up more young'uns.  Do-do happens.  We got nailed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The weird thing is that I thought we were DEEP at the beginning of the year......we were wondering if we'd have issues with kids not getting enough playing time to keep them happy....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last night, our favorite snow bunnies from the great white north of Olean, went into Hawk Hill and obliterated the Joeys 76 to 51.  The Joeys beat us by 30; then lost to the Bunnies by 25.  A 55-point SWING!!!  Does anybody now not believe what emotion can play in the contest of a game? 

Against us, on 'Pops' Martelli Night, the Joeys shot 56% from the floor with 43% from three.  They added another 76% from the line.  Charlie Brown was 10-of-13 for 28 points.  Jared Bynum went for 20.  Chris Clover 15.  Lorenzo Edwards 11.  And bench players Funk and Holston contributed with 8 and 7 each.  The Joeys committed 5 turnovers and only fouled 13 times.

Last night, with the emotion gone, they shot 29% from the floor, with 35% from three and only 50% from the line.  Brown  went 4-of-17 on his way to 11 points.  Bynum had 5.  Clover 11.  Edwards 4.  Funk started and dropped a big 1 --- a sole point.  Still they committed only 7 turnovers and 12 fouls.  But what a difference a game makes. 

And while that is all Joey-centric, don't look now but we are now tied with the Bunnies for sixth place at 6 and 5,  Will the free fall stop tonight for a second?  It better --- we're only two wins ahead of the race for 11th place and PIG participation. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×