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Here is an interesting post on the A10's NCAA tourney possibilities from Grant Labedz, found on https://www.a10talk.com/forums/threads/3-bid-league-thread.79/

In with some room to breathe

Dayton:
Good Wins (#56 Virginia Tech, #68 Georgia), Bad Losses (None), Upcoming Chances (#40 Saint Mary's, #30 Colorado)
VCU: Good Wins (#33 LSU), Bad Losses (None), Upcoming Chances (#51 Wichita St. on the road)

Some work to do

Saint Louis:
Good Wins (#79 Belmont), Bad Losses (None), Upcoming Chances (#14 Auburn, #76 Kansas St.)
Rhode Island: Good Wins (#80 Alabama), Bad Losses (None), Upcoming Chances (#61 Providence, #90 Western Kentucky)
Richmond: Good Wins (#57 Wisconsin), Bad Losses (None), Upcoming Chances (#80 Alabama on the road)
George Mason: Good Wins (#89 New Mexico St.), Bad Losses (None), Upcoming Chances (#49 TCU on the road)
Duquesne: Good Wins (None), Bad Losses (None), Upcoming Chances (None)

It feels like we have 3 or 4 teams that are right on the cusp but need another good win or two to start getting looks on the bubble. I think Saint Louis has the best shot at this point with a semi-neutral site game against Auburn as well as a neutral site game against Kansas St., though the Billikens are further off the bubble from a Kenpom standpoint than Rhode Island, Richmond, or Duquesne. George Mason's win over New Mexico St. was nice, but I don't think it's going to be enough to get them in consideration without a 2nd or 3rd place finish in the Atlantic 10 (including wins over Dayton/VCU). Richmond might have a sneaky chance if it gets healthy soon and rolls through the A-10 with some big wins; I really think it depends how good Wisconsin ends up being (my guess is not great in the Big Ten, but the Badgers always seem to do better in league play). Rhode Island has had opportunities, but they haven't been easy opportunities -- Maryland and West Virginia on the road are games you're not going to win very often. Finally, I'm happy for Duquesne off to a 6-0 start, but no good winnable chances in non-conference play.
 

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A Tulane W, while not worth a lot, is  a must W. KSU, a little better, but an L is not gonna help, a W just a little. A W with Auburn, makes headlines. A L, 'ho hum, it was expected. Just can't suffer a trap game. Conference play I fear is going to be tough on the Bills. Best 11-7, Most Likely 9-9, Worst 7-11. I don't think we've seen the best of teams like Davidson, URI, and who knows about St. B's and GM?  Two games against UD is going to be hard. VCU might be a toss up. And then you've got to avoid any trap games, which you know are always lurking out there somewhere. I'm sticking with 9-9 in conference play. So If we go 10-2 in non con That's 19-11. That's not on the bubble, maybe the NIT bubble. Best we can hope for at that point is to win the A10 tourney. Tough but doable. It's a long season. Hopefully Travis has us playing our best ball by mid Feb and it carries on to Brooklyn. 

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Duquesne will be starting from zero in making their case once conference play starts. They’ll probably end up playing just one team in non-conference play that has a winning record against DI competition. 

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2 hours ago, HoosierPal said:

Here is an interesting post on the A10's NCAA tourney possibilities from Grant Labedz, found on https://www.a10talk.com/forums/threads/3-bid-league-thread.79/

In with some room to breathe

Dayton:
Good Wins (#56 Virginia Tech, #68 Georgia), Bad Losses (None), Upcoming Chances (#40 Saint Mary's, #30 Colorado)
VCU: Good Wins (#33 LSU), Bad Losses (None), Upcoming Chances (#51 Wichita St. on the road)

Some work to do

Saint Louis:
Good Wins (#79 Belmont), Bad Losses (None), Upcoming Chances (#14 Auburn, #76 Kansas St.)
Rhode Island: Good Wins (#80 Alabama), Bad Losses (None), Upcoming Chances (#61 Providence, #90 Western Kentucky)
Richmond: Good Wins (#57 Wisconsin), Bad Losses (None), Upcoming Chances (#80 Alabama on the road)
George Mason: Good Wins (#89 New Mexico St.), Bad Losses (None), Upcoming Chances (#49 TCU on the road)
Duquesne: Good Wins (None), Bad Losses (None), Upcoming Chances (None)

It feels like we have 3 or 4 teams that are right on the cusp but need another good win or two to start getting looks on the bubble. I think Saint Louis has the best shot at this point with a semi-neutral site game against Auburn as well as a neutral site game against Kansas St., though the Billikens are further off the bubble from a Kenpom standpoint than Rhode Island, Richmond, or Duquesne. George Mason's win over New Mexico St. was nice, but I don't think it's going to be enough to get them in consideration without a 2nd or 3rd place finish in the Atlantic 10 (including wins over Dayton/VCU). Richmond might have a sneaky chance if it gets healthy soon and rolls through the A-10 with some big wins; I really think it depends how good Wisconsin ends up being (my guess is not great in the Big Ten, but the Badgers always seem to do better in league play). Rhode Island has had opportunities, but they haven't been easy opportunities -- Maryland and West Virginia on the road are games you're not going to win very often. Finally, I'm happy for Duquesne off to a 6-0 start, but no good winnable chances in non-conference play.
 

I am in full agreement that Dayton has a tougher ooc schedule than we do and has already won two games against tough opposition.VCU on the other hand appears to be fairly even with us, at least in terms of what wins/losses they have had so far, but the same applies to Rhode Island, George Mason, and Richmond. Dayton, SLU, and Rhode Island have two games against tough opposition left before they finish the ooc. VCU, Richmond, and George Mason have only one tough game left in their schedule.The issue is of who gets ahead before the end of the ooc. Whoever wins one of the tough games left in their schedule will move up. Anyone winning 2 of the tough games remaining (if possible within their schedule) will move to the top. Whatever Dayton wins or loses will determine whether they remain on the top.

Duquesne has not played the same level of competition and is not expected to play tough games in the rest of their schedule, they are below the rest in my opinion.

Whoever gets ahead of the competition overall will not be decided until the conference games start. Please note that we play Rhode Island, George Mason, Richmond, and VCU only once during the conference. We will play the toughest opponent, Dayton, for the conference twice.

I think if we manage the injuries we have in the team and get the players back into action, we have a good chance of coming close to what I described as the best case scenario for this year.

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One of the items lost in all this analysis is the mental aspect of the game.  Look no further than what happens to us at the FT line come game time.  Even the best folks are saying it is mental, that French makes 90% in practice, and so on.  What I am saying is that the crap schedules put in place for teams like Mason, Duquesne and Fordham are done with the sole intention of building confidence in those kids and those teams.

I've seen just about every team at least twice.  I have focused on those seen to be at or near the top and can see clearly what guys like Paulsen and Dambrot are doing.  Duquesne is 6 and 0 and played no one, yet you can tell even from TV that Carry and Hughes have an attitude when they hit the court.  An air.  A confidence.  That is very hard to instill and once achieved hard to beat down.  They now expect to win.  Paulsen is teaching his team, now led by Greene and Miller, to do it without all-conference performer Justin Kier.  They are 7 and 1 with their only loss being to UMd.  Fordham plays arguably the weakest schedule in the nation, and were undefeated for the first five or so to start the season in order to build confidence.  The Bonnies are overrated and I am beginnign to doubt Schmidt can pull off his usual magic.  They go six deep with two freshmen, three sophomores and Ipkeze.  Osunniyi is a defensive giant but limited offensively and Lofton has no one outside of Welch to pass to right now.  Sure they'll give us hell but conference champs?  Not this year.  No depth, limited talent.

Davidson upped their schedule and paid for it.  There is nothing new to their lineup except the 6''7" Korean Lee and 6'5" SG Jones and both are similar players to JAG, Grady, Frampton and Collins.  IMO they still have no front line.

Rhodey remains Dowtin, Russell and Langevine.  Jacob Toppin, Obi's brother, while not as tall shows some fluidity and Obi-like promise.

Richmond has a very good starting five no arguments.  I'll only ask if it survives the year.

I don't fear anyone coming into the Fetz and owning us this year.  There will be dogfights for sure.  Can we win three or four on the road? At La Salle, at St. Joes, at Umass and at Mason are all key ...and that means no slips at home.  Going to be a barn-burner of a year.  Strap in.

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12 hours 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. 

HATE

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Golden and Cayo sit out again tonight, but the Spiders win easily at Hampton.  Richmond is deeper this year than in the past, going 8 to 9 deep.  They are for real.

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12 hours ago, Old guy said:

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.

So 50/50?

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Jimbo, call me a fool (which I may be) but I think we will win most if not all of the games I call winnable. I will, of course be very happy if we manage to win 50/50 of the difficult games.

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15 hours ago, HoosierPal said:

Here is an interesting post on the A10's NCAA tourney possibilities from Grant Labedz, found on https://www.a10talk.com/forums/threads/3-bid-league-thread.79/

In with some room to breathe

Dayton:
Good Wins (#56 Virginia Tech, #68 Georgia), Bad Losses (None), Upcoming Chances (#40 Saint Mary's, #30 Colorado)
VCU: Good Wins (#33 LSU), Bad Losses (None), Upcoming Chances (#51 Wichita St. on the road)

Some work to do

Saint Louis:
Good Wins (#79 Belmont), Bad Losses (None), Upcoming Chances (#14 Auburn, #76 Kansas St.)
Rhode Island: Good Wins (#80 Alabama), Bad Losses (None), Upcoming Chances (#61 Providence, #90 Western Kentucky)
Richmond: Good Wins (#57 Wisconsin), Bad Losses (None), Upcoming Chances (#80 Alabama on the road)
George Mason: Good Wins (#89 New Mexico St.), Bad Losses (None), Upcoming Chances (#49 TCU on the road)
Duquesne: Good Wins (None), Bad Losses (None), Upcoming Chances (None)

It feels like we have 3 or 4 teams that are right on the cusp but need another good win or two to start getting looks on the bubble. I think Saint Louis has the best shot at this point with a semi-neutral site game against Auburn as well as a neutral site game against Kansas St., though the Billikens are further off the bubble from a Kenpom standpoint than Rhode Island, Richmond, or Duquesne. George Mason's win over New Mexico St. was nice, but I don't think it's going to be enough to get them in consideration without a 2nd or 3rd place finish in the Atlantic 10 (including wins over Dayton/VCU). Richmond might have a sneaky chance if it gets healthy soon and rolls through the A-10 with some big wins; I really think it depends how good Wisconsin ends up being (my guess is not great in the Big Ten, but the Badgers always seem to do better in league play). Rhode Island has had opportunities, but they haven't been easy opportunities -- Maryland and West Virginia on the road are games you're not going to win very often. Finally, I'm happy for Duquesne off to a 6-0 start, but no good winnable chances in non-conference play.

So the league has 5 teams with 1 or fewer losses, plus VCU and URI with multiple losses but against strong competition. We can pretty much bank on at least a couple of those <1 loss teams being fool's gold, but I'm wondering if any of them besides Dayton might have more juice than we thought (and man, I hope it's us).

Duquesne hasn't played anyone. They pretty much have to run the table.

Mason doesn't have any strong wins - NMSU is solid but their rating will drop because they play in a horrible conference - but they have a road game at TCU left.

Richmond has looked great but now they're dealing with injuries to key players and their starters are everything.

We have the best shot in terms of building a profile but I'm really not counting on either of those "neutral" games to be a W. Maybe if Rhody finishes non-conference with those 3 strong losses and then finishes in the top 3 in conference, they have a shot. We can't have VCU or Dayton take any bad losses in the meantime.

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Dayton leads the nation this morning in NCAA D1 FG% at 54.7%.  Arizona is a distant second at 52.8%  The Billikens sit in 123rd at 44.3%.

Bills are tied for 32nd in Blocks at 5.1.  VCU is the top A10 team at 7th with 6.2 bpg.

We are 112th in A/TO at 1.04.  Richmond and Dayton are 4th and 5th at 1.58. I'm surprised VCU is only 175th in A/TO at 0.92.

Bills 43rd in steals per game at 8.5.  VCU tops the A10 members at #2 nationwide with 10.9.

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36 minutes ago, HoosierPal said:

Dayton leads the nation this morning in NCAA D1 FG% at 54.7%.  Arizona is a distant second at 52.8%  The Billikens sit in 123rd at 44.3%.

Bills are tied for 32nd in Blocks at 5.1.  VCU is the top A10 team at 7th with 6.2 bpg.

We are 112th in A/TO at 1.04.  Richmond and Dayton are 4th and 5th at 1.58. I'm surprised VCU is only 175th in A/TO at 0.92.

Bills 43rd in steals per game at 8.5.  VCU tops the A10 members at #2 nationwide with 10.9.

On that A/TO stat - I think our number/ranking is deceptively low. Plenty of those TOs have been from sloppy play or I’ll-advised passes. But a lot have also been from our pressure defense and aggressive offensive rebounding. Often we’ll seem to get a quick steal or board or loose ball in the chaos we’re generating and then manage to turn it back over as that chaos persists. In a number of instances this has gone back and forth a few times. 

Point is, while sure it would be better if we kept the ball everytime we gained such a possession, even when we turn it over it often seems to be because we’re pressuring the other team, throwing them off balance and stymying their offensive rhythm.

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Umass loses at home to South Carolina.  Not sure what Umass' press is supposed to do other than give uncontested layups to the team they are pressing.  The only thing I can figure is if you miss enough layups, Umass has more possessions to outscore you with.  Didn't happen with South Carolina.  Tre Mitchell wouldn't go for a block or a charge as last man on defense --- and he had no fouls!?!  VMI supposedly gave Duquesne a game but ended up losing all the same 71 to 58.   Duquesne is now 7 and 0 ….. and played five at home (well, quasi-homes)  with two in a tournament.  They don't play an actual away game until January 8 at St. Joe's.  And opponents to date are powers like VMI, Lipscomb and Lamar.

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18 minutes ago, billikenbill said:

Rhody gets a home win over Providence 75-61. Rams were a 2 pt. dog.

Another good win for the conference. Russell with 24 and Langevine with 17/16. Pipkins who left UMass for the bright lights of Providence, got shut out 

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I may have missed one or two, but here are the P5/6 wins todate.

George Mason - Nebraska (Big Ten)

SLU - BC (ACC)

Richmond - Vandy (SEC), Wisconsin (Big Ten) and BC (ACC)

Dayton - Georgia (SEC) and Virginia Tech (ACC)

VCU - LSU (SEC)

Rhody - Alabama (SEC) and Providence (Big East)

St. Bonnie - Rutgers (Big Ten)

That is 4 SEC, 3 Big Ten, 3 ACC, and 1 Big East whooping.

We need someone to take down a Big 12 (SLU!) and a PAC 12 foe.

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