Kellan Grady and Jon Axel Gudmundsson are the metaphorical engines that keep the Wildcats going. They served as a two-headed monster against the University of North Carolina Wilmington this past Saturday, each scoring 25 points apiece. Gudmundsson played the entire forty minutes, with Grady playing 39 minutes.
2. Saint Louis
The Billikens had a great effort against the Butler Bulldogs this past Saturday, downing them 64-52 at home. Saint Louis was locked in defensively, only allowing Butler to shoot 28 percent from the floor, and 17 percent from three. Javon Bess has been the best player on the floor this year for Saint Louis and has been the only player averaging above thirty minutes per game for Travis Ford’s crew.
The Rams had a disappointing loss to Old Dominion but were able to get back on track with a blowout victory over Iona this past Saturday. VCU is being led by Marcus Evans and Isaac Vann on the stat sheet, both averaging double figures in points. They’ve been able to create havoc defensively as well, with a combined 33 steals between the two of them on the season.
The Flyers still have a good win against Butler in their back pockets, but a loss to Mississippi State in a close game is a tough pill to swallow. Dayton currently has four players averaging double-digit points per game in Josh Cunningham, Jalen Crutcher, Obi Toppin and Trey Landers.
5. Saint Joseph’s
The Hawks suffered a difficult loss to in city rival Temple at home this past weekend, with a woeful second-half performance to blame. This is a loss St. Joe’s couldn’t afford with losses against William and Mary, University of Central Florida and West Virginia already in pocket. Charlie Brown has been outstanding thus far, averaging 23.4 points per game and shooting 52.2 percent from three on the year.
6. Rhode Island
After picking up a much-needed win against in-state rival Brown, Rhody suffered a tough loss at the hands of rival Providence College this past Saturday. On the year it’s no secret that URI has struggled shooting the ball, and that will need to get better if they expect to hang with West Virginia in a couple of weeks. Cyril Langevine has been a huge bright spot for the Rams this year, averaging a double-double thus far with 15.2 points per game, and 11.3 rebounds per game.
The Dukes weren’t able to get the job done against city rival Pitt this past Friday, but it was only their second loss of the year. Keith Dambrot’s squad is led by Eric Williams Jr, who is averaging 14.2 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. Williams is also shooting a high clip from beyond the arc, checking in with a percentage of 42.9.
8. George Mason
An already tough year for the Patriots continued this past week, as they barely squeaked by William and Mary and then lost to Vermont of the America East. Otis Livingston has not been nearly as advertised so far this year which can be seen as the root of the Patriots problems.
A win over regional rival Quinnipiac was a welcome sight for the Minutemen, as they need to right the ship in Amherst. However, a home loss to the Holy Cross Crusaders of the Patriot League hurts Umass as well. With games still in the waiting against Providence, Temple and Georgia, Umass still has the opportunity for a couple of quality nonconference victories. Luwane Pipkins has been the driving force as expected, averaging 19.6 points per game, and 6.3 assists per game.
The Rams have been a pleasant surprise in the Atlantic 10 thus far, sitting at 6-1. Fordham is this low however because of the powder puff nonconference slate they drew up for themselves this season. Manhattan College, Alabama A&M, and Columbia aren’t exactly basketball powerhouses. Nick Honor has been the Rams best player so far, averaging 17.7 points per game. Honor is also 20-21 from the charity stripe.
The Spiders picked up a nice win against Atlantic Coast Conference opponent Wake Forest this past weekend on Saturday. Grant Golden has been one of the best players in the conference so far on the year. Golden is averaging 20.8 points per game, coupled with 6.4 rebounds per game. He has struggled from three so far, shooting only 4-22 for 18 percent.
12. St. Bonaventure
The Bonnies are on a quick two-game winning streak in the past week, last Wednesday beating Canisius and this past Saturday beating Delaware State. The Bonnies have a date with the 17th ranked team in the country with Buffalo coming to the Reilly Center. Courtney Stockard is just coming off of injury as well, playing only two games but averaging 17.5 points per game, on 66 percent shooting.
13. La Salle
The Explorers are still in search of a win but are coming off a good effort against No. 23 ranked Villanova, losing 85-78. Pookie Powell has been La Salle’s best player, averaging 18.3 points per game and shooting 40 percent from the field.
14. George Washington
The Colonials are currently on a two-game losing streak after picking up their first victory of the season against Manhattan. George Washington lost to Princeton and Vermont by double figures and continues their lowly effort on the year.