Here’s a word from each coach in the Atlantic 10 on how his team performed this past week and what that they need to do to find success this upcoming week.
Derek Kellogg, Massachusetts
Coach Kellogg expressed the importance of C.J. Anderson to this UMass squad; he’s had a nice last couple of games, pulling down 21 rebounds in his last three contests. “C.J. has done a lot of things. He makes winning plays,” said Kellogg. When asked what it’s going to take to beat teams like St. Joseph’s and St. Bonaventure this week, Kellogg said that everyone is going to need to be on his game. “We need to get at least 3 or 4 guys in double digits. we’ve got to limit turnovers and not give any 2nd chance points. Antwan Space has been playing very well and needs to continue doing just that.” The Minutemen host St. Joseph’s on Wednesday.
Archie Miller, Dayton
Archie Miller couldn’t deny the fact that the Flyers had a rough week. “Last week was tough. St. Joe’s took it to us, and its never fun to lose a home game. The effort level just hasn’t been there,” said Miller. Archie said that Saint Louis, who the Flyers travel to play on Tuesday, will be an offensive challenge. Though Dayton took it to the Billikens last time these two met, Saint Louis has found a way to beat some elite teams at home this season. As far as Kendall Pollard goes, Archie Miller still has no idea. Since he hasn’t gotten any good news yet, the Flyers are assuming that they’ll be playing without their injured leader once more.
Dan Hurley, Rhode Island
Dan Hurley was fairly pleased with the way his team was able to grind out a win over Duquesne last week. “I’m thrilled to have gotten a win over a good Duquesne team,” said Hurley. “Terrell, Martin, and Garrett have been great for us.” When the Rams take on Davidson this week, they’re going to have to find a way to stop Jack Gibbs. “It’s a heck of an assignment. I think our best bet is taking away the three point line and forcing him away from the arc,” said Hurley. Hassan Martin has also dealing with some tendonitis and has been having some issues on the court recently. Rhode Island has dealt with a lot of injury issues this season.
Will Wade, VCU
Will Wade was very happy to report that his team had a great week in the conference as they took down Rhode Island and Richmond. “I thought we really had good energy out there,” said Wade. VCU fans also found out that Melvin Johnson got the honors of A-10 player of the week. “I’m happy for him (Melvin). He’s been our rock all year long and really shows good consistency,” said Wade. The Rams have to deal with George Washington and George Mason this week, and when asked how he planned to stop both squads on the glass, he said that his guys would need to put bodies on the opponent. “Our guards are really going to have to dig down. Both teams have big front lines that we’re going to have to deal with this week.”
Jim Ferry, Duquesne
Jim Ferry and Duquesne have been so close to pulling out some big wins this season. “It was another hard-fought week in the A-10 conference. Micah Mason has been great for us. We’ve been playing hard; we just need to do a better job of finishing games,” said Ferry. He has also been really happy with the play of Eric James as of late. “He’s been making some great contributions. We’re just going to need some others to step up as well.” Duquesne will have an away game against a red-hot St. Bonaventure team this week. “They’re tough to contain because everyone is playing with confidence right now. We’re going to need to focus on guarding them as a team and really locking down.”
Jeff Neubauer, Fordham
Coach Neubauer was more than happy that his team was able to get the season sweep over UMass. “We’re very excited about that win. Saint Louis also played us very tough this past week,” said Neubauer. He noted that Antwoine Anderson has been one of the team’s better players recently, and he’s really stepped up with the absence of Mandell Thomas. When asked about the upcoming matchup with La Salle, coach Neubauer had nothing but praise for the Explorers. “They’ve been able too beat some really good teams this season. They always bring very good effort for 40 minutes and also defend on a high-level.”
Phil Martelli, St. Joseph’s
With a lot of ups-and-downs this past week, Phil Martelli had one thing to say: “that was great Atlantic 10 basketball.” Martelli said that he has a lot of respect for the way Dayton played the Hawks; “they won’t get enough credit as they should for what they’ve been doing in the absence of Kendall Pollard.” Despite a good showing against Dayton, St. Joe’s “really didn’t get down and dirty on defense against Davidson.” Despite some really good offensive showings recently, Phil Martelli stressed that his team needs to remember to defend at a high-level as well. As far as the game against Davidson went, the Hawks also allowed the Wildcats to attempt 38 foul shots. “One of our major keys is defending without fouling moving forward.”
Mike Lonergan, George Washington
Mike Lonergan couldn’t deny that his Colonials had a very good week. “We got some much-needed wins including a comeback win over Duquesne. I think we had our best 40 minutes of the season against La Salle,” said Lonergan. When talking about the development of Patricio Garino, he mentioned that “Patricio’s been getting better with his shot. He’s a great three-point shooter who’s capable of having big games.” Garino had 19 in George Washington’s 90-50 win over La Salle. The Colonials will go on the road to face Richmond this week, a team that beat them in double OT on their own floor earlier in the year. “We have to be focused defensively; they shot 60% in our own gym. We’re going to have to guard Marshall Wood and T.J. Cline to stop the Spiders,” said Lonergan.
Mark Schmidt, St. Bonaventure
When talking about St. Bonaventure’s past week, head coach Mark Schmidt noted that his team played very differently against the two teams it faced. “We had a bad game at La Salle. They just played better than us. We had a tough game at Dayton but played extremely well fueled by a really good start. Jaylen Adams controlled that one from tip to finish,” said Schmidt. He commented a little bit about the upcoming matchup with the Dukes. “Duquesne is a tough team that’s been playing great the last couple of games. They’ve got some very talented guards that know how to take guys off the bounce. They present a lot of problems and could be a handful for us.” The Bonnies lost on the road to Duquesne earlier in the season.
John Giannini, La Salle
The Explorers were able to find their rhythm when they took down St. Bonaventure last week. “We played a very good, complete game against the Bonnies. Then, we turned around and had a very poor performance against George Washington. They were just more athletic and skilled,” said Giannini. When asked how he plans on handling the difficult post-presence of Fordham’s Ryan Rhoomes this week, Giannini mentioned that he’s going to need his guys to really body up. Last time these two met, the Explorers were thin on the front line due to injuries; subsequently, Ryan Rhoomes was able to snatch 9 offensive boards. “Hopefully we can do a better job with that this time around with more guys available,” said Giannini.
Chris Mooney, Richmond
Chris Mooney knows that his team had a difficult past week but looks forward to hopefully bouncing back with a win against George Washington on Wednesday. The trouble for the Spiders could lie in defending Patricio Garino. “He’s been a great player all season and is an excellent defensive presence for the Colonials. He’s an outstanding athlete. His shooting from three point range has also been great,” said Mooney. The Spiders will have their hands full this week when they have to take on Duquesne on the road following their home contest with George Washington.
Dave Paulsen, George Mason
George Mason had some tough losses last week, and Dave Paulsen knows his team has been struggling with its shooting. “Getting off to poor starts have absolutely killed us. Missing open shots have really done a number on us.” The problem with George Mason’s poor shooting is that it’s apparently affecting the Patriots’ intensity on defense. “We’re not playing good defense when we’re missing shots. Luckily, we’ve been able to bounce back in the second half of games somewhat,” said Paulsen. He also noted that freshman DeAndre Abram has been playing pretty well lately. “He’s had a good last couple of games. Abram can really shoot the three.”
Jim Crews, Saint Louis
Jim Crews noted that his team did a really good job in picking up a road win over George Mason in overtime. “George Mason really fought us hard. Our game against Fordham was really challenging. It’s been a struggle this season, but we keep fighting and competing,” said Crews. Turnovers have been somewhat of an issue for this Billiken squad as of late. They had 18 giveaways against Fordham but only 2 in the last 10 minutes of the contest. Crews noted that he’s changed a couple things that have helped spark this two-game winning streak. “Aaron Hines and Jermaine Bishop are definitely playing more than they did at the beginning of the season.” Bishop recently won the honors of A-10 rookie of the week.
Bob McKillop, Davidson
Davidson has been dealing with an illness recently, but its beginning to sound like everyone is recovering. “I think we’re close to 100%. That’s just an issue that we’ve had to deal with as a team. It happens,” said McKillop. Jordan Barham only played 11 minutes against St. Joseph’s, but Jack Gibbs seems to have made a full recovery. He played 37 minutes and scored 35 points. Overall, Davidson had a very good week after taking down Richmond and St. Joseph’s. When asked about how he thinks his team has performed this year without Tyler Kalinoski, McKillop admitted that Gibbs has really stepped up. “Tyler was a big playmaker, but Gibbs has matured and is certainly leading this team now. The Wildcats will host Richmond on Tuesday.