Game of the Day: Rhode Island @ Nevada
In one of the more exciting non-conference games we’ll see regarding the A-10 this season, Rhode Island and Nevada should have an absolute battle. Both teams come off opening victories and look for a statement win to bolster their respective resumes. The Wolf Pack lost just one home game last season and look to be just as deadly at the Lawlor Events Center this year. In an opening win over Idaho, Nevada’s Caleb Martin had 26 points and 7 rebounds. Keeping him in check will be key for the Rhode Island Rams.
URI looked very sharp in its opening game against UNC Asheville. However, this road opponent is no UNC Asheville. Arguably the favorites to win the MWC, the Wolf Pack is going to be a difficult team to beat in Reno. However, if more than just Stanford Robinson can catch a spark on Monday night, I have no doubt Rhody is more than capable of pulling out a big road win. Dan Hurley’s club is going to need all hands on deck though.
Prediction: Rhode Island 73, Nevada 71
VCU vs. North Florida
The Ospreys gave Michigan a scare on Saturday night before the Maize and Blue pulled away for good late in the second half. Historically, this has been a difficult mid-major that’s given some strong teams problems. That said, I don’t expect this to be much of a game, as VCU tends to handle lesser opponents at home with ease. Look for the Rams to take advantage of a team that ranks 260th nationally in average height.
Prediction: VCU 86, North Florida 63
Saint Louis vs. Rockhurst
I can’t imagine the Billikens have any trouble with Rockhurst on Monday night. Javon Bess was a force in SLU’s opening night victory over Seattle. Once again, it seems Travis Ford’s ball club will rely on balances scoring, and it’s difficult to predict who will lead the team in that metric this year. The Billikens will start 2-0 this year.
Prediction: Saint Louis 78, Rockhurst 59
Richmond vs. Jacksonville St.
On Friday night, Richmond made it obvious that no win will come easy without Khwan Fore in the lineup. Following a very disappointing home loss to Delaware, the Spiders are going to have to find a way to bounce back. Jacob Gilyard and De’Monte Buckingham were good Friday night, but the Spiders need plenty more production, especially from guys off the bench.
Prediction: Richmond 74, Jacksonville St. 70
Fordham vs. LIU Brooklyn
Welcome back Derek Kellogg to an A-10 stadium, though he won’t be coaching the Minutemen. Though LIU Brooklyn is a very bad team, so was Miami OH, and the Rams played just about as bad as they possibly could have last Friday night. This team is going to seriously struggle unless it fixes a number of glaring issues. I’ve got the Rams to improve to 1-1, but I’m really not so certain.
Prediction: Fordham 61, LIU Brooklyn 53
La Salle vs. Pennsylvania
La Salle actually looked pretty sharp in its home opener against Saint Peter’s, but this road matchup carries a lot more weight. Historically speaking, the Explorers haven’t been great on the road, and they’ve dropped their last two games against Penn. The Quakers seem like the favorites in this one unless Johnson and Powell come to play.
Prediction: Penn 73, La Salle 69
Saint Joseph’s @ UIC
The injury woes continue for Saint Joseph’s as Lamarr Kimble has returned to Philly after re-injuring his foot in a road loss to Toledo. The Hawks are now very limited without Kimble or Brown, and winning this game will depend a lot on freshmen Taylor Funk and Anthony Longpré. The Hawks need to avoid an 0-2 start at all costs.
Prediction: UIC 81, Saint Joseph’s 77