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A10 Scores and Comments

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8 hours ago, Pistol said:

Thought it would be interesting to revisit preseason expectations vs. performance so far. How's everyone feeling about the league so far? I really only see two teams as underperforming. The clusters I have them in currently are:

Exceeding Expectations:

Dayton: They look dangerous. They're up to 19 in the new AP poll. Obi Toppin is a force and they now have some depth behind him. They narrowly avoided a home embarrassment against Indiana State to start the season, clobbered a couple bunnies after that, and took Kansas to OT in the Maui final after routing both Georgia and VT. St. Mary's and Colorado are two solid tests before the conference season starts.
Richmond: This team didn't look much different on paper heading into this season, so what does an extra year of experience around two very good players do? A lot, apparently. Wins over Vandy, Wisconsin, and BC, with their only loss coming to #18 Auburn. Francis and Sherod have become solid running mates for Gilyard and Golden and Cayo rounds out a tough starting five. There's a drop-off when they go to the bench - which fortunately wasn't an issue against BC, when Golden sat with an ankle injury. He should be fine for A10 play. The remaining non-conference schedule is not nearly as strong as it started, but a road game at Alabama is a tough final test before the conference.
George Mason: I had this team at the bottom of the middle-of-the-pack in the conference and they look solid so far. Only loss is to #6 Maryland. Wins over Nebraska, Old Dominion, New Mexico State. A road game at TCU to end the non-conference schedule is their last chance to really raise eyebrows before A10 play, but they'll have double-digit wins by then. They have a really balanced attack, and now Justin Kier is easing back in, having appeared in the past three games and increasing his minutes each time.
Duquesne: My question heading into the season was who would replace Williams' scoring. The answer turned out to be: everyone. 5 guys average between 9.5 and 13 PPG. They haven't played anyone too threatening, but they've beaten everyone so far. Narrow wins over Indiana State and Air Force, and comfortable wins over Princeton, Lamar, Lipscomb, and Loyola Marymount. They must have one of the worst non-conference schedules in the country, as their remaining games are VMI, Columbia, Radford, Austin Peay, UAB, and Marshall. They could very well go undefeated heading into the A10 and we still wouldn't have a good sense of how good they are.
SLU: I put us here because I expected either Belmont or BC to be a loss. 7-1 is a good spot for this point in the season. We've looked great at times, looked as sloppy as early in last season at times, and have a lot of long-term upside. Thatch's prolonged absence is a big concern. Tulane will be another good litmus test and K-State and Auburn offer a couple chances for big stock-boosting wins.

Performing as Expected:

VCU: Started 6-0 with a nice win over LSU in there, but dropped two close ones in a row now to Purdue and #17 Tennessee. Neither are bad losses but VCU needs to run the table in the rest of non-conference play (ODU, Missouri State, @Charleston, @Wichita State, Loyola-MD) to keep a national profile.
Rhode Island: They've won every game they should have (including Alabama) and have lost when they were underdogs (Maryland, LSU, WVU). Providence is their last chance to pick up a stock-boosting win before the A10 season, and they need to win the other three (WKU, @MTSU, @Brown).
UMass: A third-year coach started feeling the pressure to win now, overhauled his staff and roster, and he's 5-3 - exactly as most would've expected right here. The losses are to Virginia, St. John's, and Rutgers, and they beat 5 small NE schools. Some more interesting tests are coming up, with South Carolina, Harvard, Yale, Maine, and Akron on the schedule.
La Salle: No one expected them to beat Temple or Villanova, and Penn at the Palestra was also a reach. They have a couple nice wins over Murray State and Wright State and have a chance to have a respectable non-conference record, with Drexel, Morgan State, Wagner, FDU, and Bucknell left. This is a much more forgiving slate than the brutal non-conference schedule they had last year with a new coach.
Fordham: For a team picked last in the A10 by the conference, 5-2 seems like a strong showing so far - but the schedule has been extremely soft. They have losses to a down Nevada and and so-so WKU and wins over no one noteworthy. With remaining games against Manhattan, Bryant, Tennessee State, James Madison, and Coppin State, there's nothing left to change anyone's mind about how they'll do in the A10.
George Washington: With a new coach and some turnover, I don't think anyone expected much out of GW this season. Narrow losses to American, UMKC, and Morgan State are more understandable under the circumstances. A single-digit loss at South Carolina is respectable, too. Wins over Milwaukee and Howard were needed and Evansville is a better win after the Aces' upset of UK. GW has a couple solid games left, like Harvard and Vermont, to earn more respectability and try to get to .500 before A10 play.
St. Joe's: With a new coach and 10 scholarship players, no one expected anything out of SJU this year. So an opening night win over Bradley and an upset at UConn were pleasant surprises - and none of the six losses have been particularly surprising, especially that the team is down to 9 scholarship players with Taylor Funk injured. Ryan Daly has asserted himself as their do-everything player but they would probably rather fast forward through this season.

Disappointments:

Davidson: Depth was a concern heading into this season, especially in the frontcourt, but with two of the conference's best all-around players returning, it was expected that Davidson was a top 2 or 3 team. In hindsight, playing two away games to start the year may have been a mistake; first Auburn on a neutral floor and then a bad loss at Charlotte. They proceeded to squander winnable power conference neutral floor games against Wake Forest and Marquette, wound up on the consolation side of the Orlando Invitational bracket after the MU loss, and lost to Temple yesterday. With only one more home game before A10 play (Coppin State) and games at Northeastern, Loyola-Chicago, and Vandy, Davidson already appears like a team that will have to win the A10 Tournament to get an NCAA bid. Total disaster.
St. Bonaventure: SBU took home losses against Ohio and Vermont to start the season and got hit again at Siena before posting their first win - at Rutgers. Then they lost again at Canisius before a couple home wins over Mercer and San Diego. The next five are all must-wins (including road games at FAU and MTSU) before a very tough road game at Buffalo to wrap up the non-conference schedule. Bonaventure had a brutal start last season, too, before righting the ship in conference play - maybe this is just another slow-starting Bonnies team.

For reference, A10 preseason poll:

1. VCU
2. Davidson
3. Dayton

4. Rhode Island
5. St. Bonaventure

6. Richmond
7. SLU
8. Duquesne
9. George Mason
10. La Salle
11. UMass
12. George Washington
13. St. Joe's
14. Fordham

And to keep myself honest, my preseason expectations (broken into three tiers):

1. VCU
2. Davidson
3. Dayton
4. Rhode Island

5. Duquesne
6. SLU
7. St. Bonaventure
8. Richmond
9. George Mason

10. UMass
11. George Washington
12. La Salle
13. Fordham
14. St. Joe's

San Diego played at Bonaventure?! Wow, what a trek for a crappy noncon game. 

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7 hours ago, RiseOfTheBillikens said:

Gibson Jimerson wins a10 co rookie of the week. Future looks bright.

Is that proof he should be starting?

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11 hours ago, Compton said:

Just saw that Tulane got a single vote in the latest Coaches Poll. Kind of surprised, but happy to see it. Hopefully they build on it (and maybe snag an AP vote as well) with a win over 2-6 Southern Miss on Wednesday. 

Kansas State also got 10 votes in Coaches poll which is surprising given they lost to Pitt and Bradley on a neutral floor. 

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13 hours ago, Compton said:

Just saw that Tulane got a single vote in the latest Coaches Poll. Kind of surprised, but happy to see it. Hopefully they build on it (and maybe snag an AP vote as well) with a win over 2-6 Southern Miss on Wednesday. 

Tulane is 222 in the Kenpom !!!

Edited by Billikenbooster
Wrong spelling

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54 minutes ago, jimbofive said:

They can rank is what they want, I guarantee we're not 7th in the league.  We're gonna mash some of those fuoks up.

I am in the same page with you Jimbo, and the coaches voting in the AP poll may keep us down for as long as they please. We will win games this year that we were not expected to win.

As far as I  can see at this time we have 5 games that will be difficult to win: Auburn, Kansas St., the VCU game and the 2 Dayton games. If we win a single one of those difficult future games and win the others we should win, we may end the season (prior to the A10 tournament) with a 26-5 record this year. With a 26-5 record and the toughness of our ooc scehdule, we may even get an at large invite to the dance, whatever happens during the A10 tournament. Of course this is close to a best case scenario (not very likely to happen, at least not yet but we are working on it), and of course it requires a season reasonably free of major injuries and catastrophes. 

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9 minutes ago, Old guy said:

I am in the same page with you Jimbo, and the coaches voting in the AP poll may keep us down for as long as they please. We will win games this year that we were not expected to win.

As far as I  can see at this time we have 5 games that will be difficult to win: Auburn, Kansas St., the VCU game and the 2 Dayton games. 

Agreed but the kstate isn’t nearly as scary as it was a month ago, 

 

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10 minutes ago, Billikenbooster said:

Tulane is 222 in the Kenyon!!!

Tulane is 146 in teamrankings, they are projected by teamrankings to have a 50% year. I am pretty sure we can win this one.

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Any one of the 5 future games I mark as difficult to win will be against scary opponents. Some of the games I mark as winnable will also be against teams that can turn around and beat us. Getting there and beating most of them is where the fun lies.

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11 minutes ago, Old guy said:

I am in the same page with you Jimbo, and the coaches voting in the AP poll may keep us down for as long as they please. We will win games this year that we were not expected to win.

As far as I  can see at this time we have 5 games that will be difficult to win: Auburn, Kansas St., the VCU game and the 2 Dayton games. If we win a single one of those difficult future games and win the others we should win, we may end the season (prior to the A10 tournament) with a 26-5 record this year. With a 26-5 record and the toughness of our ooc scehdule, we may even get an at large invite to the dance, whatever happens during the A10 tournament. Of course this is close to a best case scenario (not very likely to happen, at least not yet but we are working on it), and of course it requires a season reasonably free of major injuries and catastrophes. 

with the amount of youth we have to play and the fact we really have no substitute for goodwin and french in case of fouls or injury, i would bet we wont be 26-5 this season.   that said, it is nice to dream and i like your dream!

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23 minutes ago, billiken_roy said:

with the amount of youth we have to play and the fact we really have no substitute for goodwin and french in case of fouls or injury, i would bet we wont be 26-5 this season.   that said, it is nice to dream and i like your dream!

with a healthy thatch we can actually compensate a little with goodwin on the bench.  We have no answer for french tho. 

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2 hours ago, Old guy said:

As far as I  can see at this time we have 5 games that will be difficult to win: Auburn, Kansas St., the VCU game and the 2 Dayton games.

Getting road wins against George Mason and Richmond will be difficult. 

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1 minute ago, Compton said:

Getting road wins against George Mason and Richmond will be difficult. 

Rhody will be tough up there too.  

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3 minutes ago, Compton said:

Getting road wins against George Mason and Richmond will be difficult. 

One thing you can usually count on, any conference road win will be difficult.

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4 minutes ago, Compton said:

Getting road wins against George Mason and Richmond will be difficult. 

Just now, ACE said:

One thing you can usually count on, any conference road win will be difficult.

 

3 minutes ago, HoosierPal said:

Rhody will be tough up there too.  

I, and for that matter Ford agrees, that every game presents special challenges. Can we win most of the games left for us to play? My answer is an unequivocal yes. I already gave my best case scenario. Do you prefer to be stuck fretting the worst case scenario? Of course injuries and the like can change things. Remember, sports are dynamic, not static (statistics are static), things change to some degree with every game played.

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25 minutes ago, Compton said:

Best case or worst case, there are plenty of difficult games ahead - certainly more than three in conference play. 

I guess I see my glass as fuller than you see yours, when both have the same amount of liquid inside. This is fine, there is room for a whole range of opinions, as long as no one insists they are right because this is the way it has been ordained. We are talking about dynamic situations, I do not know what that means to you but suspect it is different from what it means to me. It is OK, we are all friendly with one another and we are all rooting for team blue.

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36 minutes ago, Compton said:

Best case or worst case, there are plenty of difficult games ahead - certainly more than three in conference play. 

Absolutely. The road schedule alone has five difficult games: at Duquesne, at Richmond, at Davidson, at Dayton, at Rhode Island.

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21 minutes ago, Old guy said:

I guess I see my glass as fuller than you see yours, when both have the same amount of liquid inside. This is fine, there is room for a whole range of opinions, as long as no one insists they are right because this is the way it has been ordained. We are talking about dynamic situations, I do not know what that means to you but suspect it is different from what it means to me. It is OK, we are all friendly with one another and we are all rooting for team blue.

Yep. Very hopeful and optimistic as well. But I don’t want to take anything away from prospective Bills wins by saying they’re not faced with very many difficult games ahead. 

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17 minutes ago, Compton said:

Yep. Very hopeful and optimistic as well. But I don’t want to take anything away from prospective Bills wins by saying they’re not faced with very many difficult games ahead. 

Don't worry about that, every game will present some tough challenges of its own. This is a given, of course.

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1 hour ago, Old guy said:

 

I, and for that matter Ford agrees, that every game presents special challenges. Can we win most of the games left for us to play? My answer is an unequivocal yes. I already gave my best case scenario. Do you prefer to be stuck fretting the worst case scenario? Of course injuries and the like can change things. Remember, sports are dynamic, not static (statistics are static), things change to some degree with every game played.

50-50?

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We’re one game ahead of my 19-12 prediction figuring we we would lose one of Belmont or BC. I’m still not sold on more than 19 wins due to terrible FT shooting, inconsistent long-range shooting, and our tendency toward out of control turnovers. We look shaky against a press as well.

Leaving Thatch out of the discussion since no one has a timetable for his return,  the two who have to step up are Perkins and Jacobs. Their play was crucial in the Methdale game and they can hit 70 plus percent from the stripe. Let Jacobs lead the offense with his passing and finishing at the rim, keep Perkins slashing to the rack and hitting a decent percent of pullups, and keep Jimmerson floating around the perimeter for late in the clock launches.

French and Goodwin will get theirs and plug in Bell and Weaver when needed.

 

 

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54 minutes ago, billikenbill said:

We’re one game ahead of my 19-12 prediction figuring we we would lose one of Belmont or BC. I’m still not sold on more than 19 wins due to terrible FT shooting, inconsistent long-range shooting, and our tendency toward out of control turnovers. We look shaky against a press as well.

We're ahead of my prediction as well.  However, the A-10 looks a lot stronger overall than I anticipated, so I might still have us finishing with the same record overall despite being us being better than I thought.

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