My man Wooderson would be proud. A full slate of games in the A10 today has everybody ready to go. Here WE GO!!!!!
UMass at Davidson (Line: Davidson -12)
- Two teams headed in opposite directions. Even with the loss at Dayton the other night, Davidson is quietly putting together another solid season. The Wildcats come into this game at 10-5 and a perfect 9-0 at home. UMass is now 8-8, 2-3 on the road, after falling at home to GW this past week. Davidson is currently the 33rd most efficient offensive team in the country according to Kenpom as it is running at a 112.1 clip. We all know how the motion offense Davidson runs is predicated on smart cuts and proper screening but foremost constant movement by all offensive players, with or without the ball. Jack Gibbs is a fantastic scorer and has serious range all over the court. The one caveat you might want to consider for this game is UMass’ 3-point defense. The Minutemen’s 3pt% defense is 31.7 which ranks them 63rd in the country. Not bad considering its 2pt% defense is 50.5 which ranks 240th. I haven’t seen anything from UMass recently that would lead me to believe it have enough at either end to beat Davidson on the road. 12 is a high number to cover but I like Davidson in this one.
VCU at Richmond (Line: Richmond -1)
- See Jeff Horne’s excellent piece for everything you need to know about this one. This game is a pick em and as a rule I tend to stay away from rivalry games but if I do wager, I usually go with the home team. VCU at UR
La Salle at Rhode Island (Line: Rhode Island -15)
- This game is much like the Davidson game in my opinion in that you have teams headed in opposite directions. I know La Salle shocked the world by upsetting Dayton at home last weekend but it followed up that fantastic win with a poor performance on the road last week at Richmond. Rhode Island just lost a tough battle at Bona this week and is playing some really solid ball right now. The bottom line in this game is the number of players who you can reasonably expect to make a significant impact in the game. Rhode Island has more of them. La Salle is basically Jordan Price, a bad man in his own right, Cleon Roberts, and Johnnie Shuler, but he really isn’t a quality shooter. Rhode Island is led by the unstoppable force known as Hassan Martin but offensively it is Kuran Iverson, Four McGlynn, Jarvis Garrett, and Jared Terrell who provide balance on the court for the Rams. The emergence of Garrett in conference play, 56% from 3-point range and a 4/1 assist to turnover ration, has helped light a fire under the Rams offense. I like Rhody at home in this one to cover the 15.
Fordham at Saint Joseph’s (Line: Saint Joseph’s -11)
- A rough spot to say the least for the Rams today as they into Philly to play Saint Joe’s. The Rams were completely pulverized by VCU on Wednesday night, losing 88-54 in a game that wasn’t competitive after 10 minutes of play. Saint Joseph’s went on the road and took care of a scrappy George Mason team Wednesday night and now stands at 13-3 on the season and 3-1 in A10 play. The dynamic duo of DeAndre Bembry and Isaiah Miles is must see TV if you are a fan of quality basketball and aren’t in Philadelphia. These two are a joy to watch as they share the ball and always are looking to make the best basketball play for their team, not for themselves. Seems simple but if you watch enough basketball you know that it is not. Saint Joe’s has had nice improvement from other players not named Miles as well this season. Newkirk, Demry, and Ndao all have provided quality minutes for the Hawks at different times this season. I really like Joe’s and think it could definitely be a Top 4 team in the conference by the end of the season. Joe’s reminds me of the OKC Thunder in that it has two of the top 8 players in the league on its team. Fordham, while much improved from last season, still has a ways to go. Rhoomes is a quality big in the post and Thomas is as hard a playing kid as you will find anywhere but without Chartouny in the line-up, the Rams just don’t have enough to keep up with the upper-level teams in the conference. Saint Joe’s does a great job not turning the ball over, 15th in the country turnover% offense at 15.1%, and that combined with Bembry and Miles being back in their home gym makes the Hawks my team to pick in this one.
St. Bonaventure at Duquesne (Line: St. Bonaventure -3)
- The final game of the day will be played in Pittsburgh as the Bonnies head southwest to play the Dukes in what could be an offensive showcase. The Bonnies are 4-0 in A10 play and tied with VCU for the conference lead. The emergence of Jaylen Adams coming off of an injury that ended his freshman season prematurely has been very impressive. The point guard is running his team efficiently and making timely plays when they need him the most. He is shooting 41-87 from 3 point range this year and is setting up Marcus Posely and Dion Wright nicely on a consistent basis. Posley can shoot Bona into or out of game at times but he is never scared of the moment and will always look for his shot when Bona needs a hoop. I think Wright is one of the most underrated players in the conference. The fact that he is playing out of position and still providing Bona with a consistent post player who can take bigger defenders off the dribble is significant. The improvement of Denzel Gregg has been a game changer for the Bonnies and is a big reason why they are undefeated in conference play. The Dukes are tough at home which explains why the line is only 3. Colter is an electric point guard and I can’t wait to see him match up with Adams tonight. This is going to be a fun game because of the styles of play by each team. I like Bona to cover the 3 but not by much.
This past week 3-2 on picks against the spread. I’ll be updating my picks each week from here on out. They will be very bad most likely. Enjoy the hoops today people