Welcome to the first ever installment of a weekly Atlantic 10 basketball Power Rankings. With college basketball season just starting up now is as good a time as ever to look back at the first week of action in the Atlantic 10, and rank all 14 basketball programs accordingly. Let’s get started.
Davidson had a scare against Ivy league opponent Dartmouth, but having Kellan Grady and coach Bob Mckillop in your corner is as good a reason as any to be atop the Power Rankings. Jon Axel Gudmundsson is also a very capable player for the Wildcats, but the issue with this Davidson squad is when they’re not hitting outside shots, they can struggle. This was apparent in that 79-76 close victory over Dartmouth.
The Billikens have had a mediocre start at best in the early going, getting two scares against Southeast Missouri State and Troy. Part of the reason for their early struggles is the complete lack of outside shooting. In two games, Saint Louis has shot 12 of 51 from three, which is a brutal 23.5 percent beyond the arc. While I wouldn’t expect this to continue to be a problem, they will need to shoot the ball better moving forward.
After two convincing wins against Old Dominion and Monmouth, the Hawks have had one of the stronger starts to the year in the conference. Preseason All-Conference Third Team honoree Charlie Brown has been advertised thus far as well, scoring 20 points against Old Dominion, and 21 points against Monmouth. Brown is also shooting 50 percent from beyond the arc through his first two games, which is a great sign for SJU.
Rhody took care of business in their season opener against in-state foe Bryant. Led by the duo of Jeff Dowtin and Fatts Russell they were able to beat the Bulldogs convincingly, 97-63. As a team the Rams shot a red-hot 13-27 from three, but did struggle from the free throw line, shooting 60.9 percent from the charity stripe. URI will have to do better from the line moving forward.
The Rams have had a good start to the 2018/19 campaign thus far, as they are 3-0 on the year with wins over Gardner-Webb, Hampton and Bowling Green. However, VCU has struggled shooting the ball thus far, shooting 42.4, 42.6, and 36.2 percent from the field in each of their first few games. Transfer Marcus Evans is slowly getting acclimated coming off an injury but has scored 12 and 13 points coming off the bench in what is currently a reduced role.
The Minutemen were almost upset by their state university counterpart Umass-Lowell in their season opener but followed up that scare with a domination against New Hampshire. Preseason All-Conference First Team honoree Luwane Pipkins has been steady thus far, scoring 19 points against Umass-Lowell and 14 points against UNH, on 4-5 shooting. Pipkins also showed his skills as a facilitator with seven assists against the Wildcats.
The Flyers survived North Florida in their season opener, but then followed up that performance by taking care of business in their second game against Coppin State. Forward Obi Toppin has been huge for Dayton, scoring 18 points against North Florida and then 19 against Coppin State. He is shooting 16-23 from the field in the early going which is a great sign for the Flyers. Dayton has also been without their star player in Josh Cunningham, who earned Preseason First Team honors.
Murphy’s Law applies to the Patriots to start the year, as everything that could go wrong has gone wrong for George Mason. After losing their first game to the University of Pennsylvania, Mason followed that up with a disastrous loss to American University. Awful shooting and subpar play from Otis Livingston, a conference First Team honoree, matriculated into the poor start for a George Mason team that was ranked fourth in the conference preseason poll. This team is still talented but needs to turn it around and fast.
The Dukes had a promising opener against the William and Mary Tribe, winning 84-70 in their season opener. After an 89-88 scare against Illinois-Chicago, they now sit at 2-0 on the young season. Eric Williams Jr, the preseason Second Team honoree, has been good thus far but the real surprise for this team has been Sincere Carry. Carry, well, carried the Dukes to a win against Illinois-Chicago, going for 32 points on 13-20 shooting. Carry also added eight assists and six rebounds in what was a monster performance.
The Explorers are currently 0-2 on the season, losing their opener to Temple on the road, and then barely losing to Lafayette at home. Pookie Powell and Isaiah Deas have been solid thus far for La Salle. As Deas scored 23 points against Temple, and 16 against Lafayette. Powell added 14 of his own against Temple and then surged for 26 against Lafayette.
The Bonnies are 1-2 on the season so far, losing to Bucknell in the season opener, which they then followed up with a dominating win over Jackson Sate. Following that up with a disappointing loss against Niagara was not the way the Bonnies wanted to start the year. St Bonaventure has been terrible from beyond the three-point line thus far, shooting only 28.1 percent from three to start. It’s apparent this team could use Courtney Stockard back and healthy, and soon.
The Spiders have only played one game so far, but it was a disastrous start to the year. Losing at home to Longwood, a team ranked in the 300s in Kenpom rankings is an inexcusable start for Richmond. The Spiders shot a paltry 38.3 percent from the field and an even worse 23.1 percent from three.
The Rams did what they should against City College of New York, winning 106-58 in their season opener, but followed up that performance in typical fashion with a road loss to Houston-Baptist. Fordham was ranked dead last in the Atlantic 10 preseason poll, but I have them in 13th because of just how bad George Washington has been thus far.
The Colonials have been bad. After starting their season on a 22-0 run against the Stony Brook Seawolves, they eventually lost that game. Follow that up with a loss against Siena, and being dismantled by Virginia, GW sits at 0-3 and there is no light at the end of this metaphorical tunnel.