Friday night was fun for Atlantic 10 fans as Dayton and Rhode Island played a truly classic game. But the fun does not stop there because Saturday’s slate of hoops is full of some solid conference games and some tough home tests for quality teams. We definitely don’t know how this league is going to play out this year, but we could have a slightly better idea after today. Here are today’s games to keep an eye on.
Massachusetts vs. VCU | 1 ET | VCU -11.0
Though last night’s game may have been the preview for the Atlantic 10 Championship, VCU might have something to say about that. The Rams have taken care of their first two A-10 games, both away from home, and now get two good chances at the Siegel Center before hitting the road once more. The Minutemen face a challenging start to conference play, and things don’t get any easier today. One player to keep an eye on in this one is Rashaan Holloway. He feasted for 17 points and 10 boards against George Mason recently, and he could be a problem for VCU’s big men. This could be a close game, but the Rams are too good at home and are seemingly finding their stride having won 6 straight. My Pick: VCU -11.0.
Saint Joseph’s vs. Fordham | 3 ET | Saint Joseph’s -2.0
The Hawks hit the road for an interesting matchup against Fordham on Saturday afternoon. Saint Joseph’s is coming off of two crushing defeats: the loss of stud point guard Shavar Newkirk for the season and a subsequent 30 point pounding from Rhode Island. Fordham has had its own issues. The Rams have lost 8 of their last 9 including home games to Sacred Heart and Duquesne. The Hawks may not be the same team without Newkirk, but the way Fordham fans fill Rose Hill Gym, this might as well be a neutral site game. My Pick: Joes -2.0
George Mason vs. St. Bonaventure | 5 ET | St. Bonaventure -6.0
The Bonnies looked really good on the road in taking down Massachusetts to start conference play, but the Flyers went into Olean and seemingly found this team’s achilles heel: three point defense. St. Bonaventure ranks 325th in the nation at defending the long ball. That’s bad, in case you didn’t know. George Mason is not a spectacular shooting team from three point range (though much better than last year), and Jaylen Adams may run away with this one, but don’t count out Marquise Moore and the Patriots. My Pick: George Mason +6.0
Duquesne vs. La Salle | 8 ET | La Salle -9.5
La Salle got its first conference win of the season over Saint Louis the other day and has a good chance of improving to 2-1 tonight. That said, Duquesne hasn’t looked too bad. The Dukes definitely put up a fight against VCU and even have a road win over Fordham. I think the Explorers are still looking like they could be a dark horse in the Atlantic 10, but expect the Dukes to keep this one close. My Pick: Duquesne +9.5
Grant’s Picks Record: 3-1-2