It’s going down this week. Regular season college hoops action returns to our lives, in all it’s glory. But first, teams had to shake off some rust, break in some new pieces and that meant exhibition blowout fun.
Here’s how the A-10 faired in their exhibitions this past week and who impressed.
Davidson 96 – Lenoir-Rhyne 64
Davidson handed Nenoir-Rhyne another early March beatdown behind a Steph Curry-esque 30 points from junior Jack Gibbs. Gibbs got up 21 shots in his 27 minutes of action, connecting on 10 and added seven rebounds, five assists and two steals. The Cats hit 42.6% of their attempts including 37% from deep and out-rebounded the Bears by 20. Peyton Aldridge finished with the games only double-double at 13 points and 14 rebounds. BOX SCORE.
Dayton 96 – Saginaw Valley State 69
Dayton got one of those classic #TrueTeam performances in their destruction of Saginaw Valley State with perhaps the most exciting individual line of the night coming from A-10 newcomer Steve McElvene. The 6’10 260 McElvene would’ve hit the court for the Flyers last season as a part of the 2014 class but was ruled a partial qualifier and forced to sit. He wasted no time in letting us know how badly he’s been wanting to play, leading UD in both points and rebounds with a 15-point (7-9 shooting), 7-rebound night in just 17 minutes of action. Fellow newcomer, JMU transfer Charles Cooke, added 13 points for the Flyers and was 2-4 from long range. BOX SCORE.
George Washington 92 – Gannon 47
The Colonials forced 29 turnovers and hit 37 of their 49 free throws to rout Gannon Saturday night. Yuta Watanabe led the Colonials with 15 points as one of five players in double-digits including senior Dartmouth transfer Alex Mitola who finished with 13 of his own. Wake Forest transfer Tyler Cavanaugh played just 14 minutes but hit every shot he took, going 1-1 from the field and 4-4 from the charity stripe to finish with 6 points and three rebounds. Cavanaugh got the start but saw his minutes limited due to foul trouble after picking up 4 quick ones. BOX SCORE.
Philadelphia 79 – La Salle 78
I picked La Salle to finish a surprisingly low 12th in my preseason rankings and am feeling a little more confident after see the Explorers fall at the buzzer to the Philadelphia Rams. Here’s a crazy stat from that one: La Salle shot 51% from the field…and lost…to a DII team. How you ask? Well the 11-rebound Ram advantage might’ve played a small part in that, and that’s not a surprise considering the graduations of both key bigs, Jarelle Wright and Steve Zack from last year’s Explorers team.Philly was also able to keep pace by shooting 49.2% from the field themselves including a blistering 58.3% in the second half. Four Explorers played 30 or more minutes including returning star Jordan Price who scored a team-high 18 points on 4-9 shooting. BOX SCORE.
Rhode Island 100 – St. Thomas Aquinas 77
Hassan Martin and EC Matthews dominant, surprise surprise. The duo totaled 34 points, each throwing 17 on the board. Rhody hit 58.6% of their shots in the win, going about nine players deep against St. Thomas Aquinas. Newcomers Four McGlynn posted a solid 11 points in 23 minutes and added three assists and three rebounds. Fellow transfer Kuran Iverson didn’t have his best night however, fouling out in 20 minutes while also turning the ball over five times. He finished with seven points on 3-8 shooting and grabbed five rebounds. BOX SCORE.
St. Bonaventure 108 – Mansfield 48
This was about as good of a performance as you’d want to see from your team in an exhibition win. The Bonnies completely dominated Mansfield, holding their DII foe below 32% shooting while hitting 52% themselves. Idris Taqqee led Bonna with a game-high 13 rebounds on a night SBU would win the battle of the glass by 19 boards. Taqqee finished with 12 points, four steals and three assists. Denzel Gregg led the Bonnies with a game-high 23 points on 7-11 shooting. Basically if you were in and wearing Brown, you were dominating. Peep the box score to see what that looks like. BOX SCORE.
VCU 96 – Cal U (PA) 60
This one was a slight bit closer than the final box score suggests (…very slight). VCU’s lead was actually cut to just 11 with 10 minutes to play before Melvin Johnson exploded all over the Cal U Vulcans, scoring 11 points over a span of just about three minutes to extend VCU’s lead to 25. He scored 19 points in the second half and led all scorers with 21 on the game. The Rams held Cal U to just 27% shooting but sent them to the line all evening where they’d hit 21 of their 27 free throws. Oral Roberts transfer, Korey Billbury (6’4 guard), posted the game’s only double-double, finishing with 10 points and 11 rebounds in 24 minutes. He added two assists and three steals for VCU, playing the role of this year’s Briante Weber. Jordan Burgess may have been the Rams’ most solid player all night, carrying VCU early with 12 first half points before finishing with 16 on the evening. JUCO transfer Ahmed Hamdy looked very solid, scoring six points while grabbing seven rebounds and blocking three shots in his 14 minutes off the bench but racked up four fouls in the process. BOX SCORE.