Another week of the college basketball season is in the books, which means we’ve got another edition of the Atlantic 10 roundup. It was an interesting week in the conference, so let’s get into it.
In 140 characters or less, like on Twitter, I’ll explain my picks.
1. Butler (9-2): The Bulldogs did little to warrant moving down and they likely won’t be anytime soon with an OOC schedule of Vandy, Penn and UNO.
2. Virginia Commonwealth (9-3): The difference between No. 1 and No. 2 isn’t much. Right now, the Rams are destroying their competition and have won six straight.
3. Temple (8-2): An upset win over No. 3 Syracuse saved the Owls from falling deep in the rankings after a loss to Canisius. Still some questions with them.
4. Saint Louis (8-3): Kwamain Mitchell is coming back soon, which will make them better. They’re still taking care of business without him too.
5. Dayton (9-3): An early-week home loss to Illinois St. kept me from putting them higher, but they should be feeling good after a win over Murray State.
6. UMass (7-3): The Minutemen are finally finding their groove after good home wins over Ohio and ECU. Looking at their schedule, it should stay that way.
7. La Salle (8-2): I’ll give credit where credit is due. The Explorers are winning and have two of the best players in the conference playing for them.
8. Charlotte (11-2): I moved them up but only out of necessity. I’m still not sold on the 49ers. They played Florida St. close, but the Seminoles are overrated.
9. Xavier (7-4): Ouch. The Muskies had a rough week. A loss to rival Cincy was compounded by a bad loss to Wofford. X still has lots to prove.
10. Saint Joseph’s (5-4): The Hawks are simply not playing good basketball right now, proven by a home loss to Fairfield this week. Now have lost two straight.
11. Richmond (9-4): No one expected the Spiders to win at Kansas, but I expected them to beat George Mason at home, which they didn’t. Still hard to judge.
12. St. Bonaventure (7-4): After two blowout wins, the Bonnies were finally tested by NC State and lost by 19. Not as bad as it seems, honestly.
13. Duquesne (7-6): The Dukes just really aren’t that good. A 12-point loss to UL-Lafayette confirmed that to us.
14. George Washington (5-6)
15. Rhode Island (4-7)
16. Fordham (3-9)
No change in the bottom three of GW, URI and Fordham. Each team was able to win a game this week, but none in convincing fashion against any opponents worth anyone’s time.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Jesse Morgan, UMass: Morgan said after the Minutemen’s win against Ohio on Wednesday that the basket looked like an ocean, and boy, did his performance back that statement up. The junior guard scored a career-high 35 points – the most in one game by any A-10 player this season – as he went 7-of-10 from beyond the arc. On Saturday, he followed up that performance by scoring 15 points, including drilling 4-of-7 treys, in UMass’ win over ECU.
HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK
Highlights of Temple’s thrilling 83-79 victory over No. 3 Syracuse, courtesy of ESPN.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR WATCH
Ramon Galloway, La Salle: 18.0 points per game, 2.5 steals per game
Rotnei Clarke, Butler: 17.7 points per game, 4.0 3-pointers per game, 45.4 3-point percentage
Tyreek Duren, La Salle: 16.4 points per game, 80.4 free throw percentage, 1.7 steals per game
Chaz Williams, UMass: 16.5 points per game, 7.5 assists per game, 1.8 steals per game
Juvonte Reddic, VCU: 13.7 points per game, 7.3 rebounds per game, 1.5 steals per game
Isaiah Armwood, George Washington: 13.7 points per game, 8.9 rebounds per game, 3.1 blocks per game
GAMES OF THE WEEK
Xavier at Tennessee, Saturday, 6 p.m.: Thanks to a little Christmas break, there aren’t many games to look forward to this week, but this one should catch some attention. The Musketeers try to put their struggles behind them when they head to Knoxville to face a very good Tennessee team. Game can be watched on ESPNU.
Follow Stephen Hewitt on Twitter @steve_hewitt or send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.