What each Atlantic 10 team is thankful for

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Davidson: Kellan Grady

It was up in the air as to whether or not the Wildcats could be able to effectively replace Jack Gibbs. Enter Kellan Grady. The freshman has scored 57 points, dished out 11 assists, and has committed just 1 turnover in his first 3 games. It’s safe to say that the PG position is well-occupied this year.

Dayton: Darrell Davis

The Flyers had a rough showing in the Charleston Classic, but a star was born in Darrell Davis. The senior had his coming out party in front of a crowd of mobile Flyer fans, scoring 72 points in 3 games. He also knocked down 14 three pointers. While Dayton was hoping for better than a 6th place finish in the Thanksgiving tournament, the Flyers will be happy to have Davis around this season.

Duquesne: Home games

The Dukes don’t have to travel much this non-conference season, which is nice for a green team. Keith Dambrot did a nice job securing wins in his first 2 contests, but dropping a home game to RMU is a bad look. Still, Duquesne is lucky that it doesn’t have to play a true road game until a new calendar year.

Fordham: Will Tavares

The senior has been an unexpected star for the Rams and is proving to be Robin to Chartouny’s Batman. Averaging 18.5 points in Jamaica against Florida St. and Tulane, Tavares is having quite the coming out party early in the season. However, he’s going to have to do a lot more to help Fordham start tallying some wins.

George Mason: The second half

The Patriots have outscored their last 4 opponents by a total of 42 points in the second half despite going 2-2 during that stretch. Dave Paulsen’s bunch just has to get off to some hotter starts; if the first half becomes a friend of GMU, it won’t have to rely on spirited second half comebacks moving forward.

George Washington: A tough non-conference schedule

If you think George Washington will be unprepared for conference play, think again. In addition to facing #15 Xavier this afternoon, the Colonials have faced Florida St. and will take on Temple, Princeton, Miami (FL), Penn St., and Harvard before the start of league play. GW will undoubtedly be battle-tested come January.

La Salle: B.J. Johnson

Isn’t this one obvious? The senior’s already exceeding expectations, having notched 4 double-doubles on the season. Quite frankly, La Salle has held its own against opponents like Miami (FL) and Northwestern, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Explorers do some damage in league play. He’s the reason why.

Massachusetts: Matt McCall

Somehow, this guy’s made it work. Honestly, McCall’s been dealt some crummy cards with the loss of Jaylen Brantley at the start of the year. Not to mention, he’s got a rotation that maxes out at 8 players, one of which is a walk-on who’s gotten serious minutes. All in all, McCall’s made it work, the Minutemen are 3-1, and they almost beat Harvard on the road. LuWane Pipkins has really been a big key for Massachusetts though.

Rhode Island: E.C. Matthews will be back for league play

As easy as it is to feel bad for the A-10 this year due to injuries, it’s good to know that E.C. Matthews will be back. Instead of missing an entire season like Lamarr Kimble of SJU, Matthews should be back by A-10 play, if not a couple games in. If you’re from Rhode Island, yeah, this isn’t fun, but be thankful you’ll have your stud back to wreak havoc in what should be a wide open A-10.

Richmond: Grant Golden

The Spiders may be struggling, but at least Grant Golden looks like a star for the future. He put up 26 and 24 point performances against UAB and Louisiana Lafayette in the Cayman Islands Classic. He also had 12 boards over those 2 games. The redshirt freshman will emerge as a serious force this year and in the future.

Saint Joseph’s: Taylor Funk

With all of the horrible injury luck Saint Joseph’s has faced, it may look like there’s little to be thankful for. However, freshman Taylor Funk is an early favorite for A-10 Rookie of the Year, and he’s putting up scary shooting numbers for the Hawks through his first 3 contests. Once Charlie Brown reenters the lineup, the Hawks are going to have a deadly group with Brown, Newkirk, and Funk.

Saint Louis: A win over Virginia Tech

Sure, a home loss to Detroit Mercy looks pretty awful, but at least the Billikens pulled out a good non-conference win on a neutral court over Virginia Tech. Honestly, this is one of the only wins keeping the A-10 afloat right now, and it shows that Travis Ford’s club clearly has potential. Watch out for this team once everyone’s back.

St. Bonaventure: Things will get better

A home loss to Niagara stings, but things will get better. Jaylen Adams will come back, and the Bonnies will catch their stride once more. They’re going to need that solid non-conference win to push them over the edge though, and it looks like that opportunity could come in the Carrier Dome in a few weeks…

VCU: Impressive showings

I know this sounds like kind of a cop out, but if you’re a VCU fan, you have to be impressed with the way your team has played so far. The Rams haven’t been great at closing games, but the talent is there. VCU stuck with Michigan for the entirety of the contest in Maui, but it fell short. The pieces are all there for Mike Rhoades.

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About Author

Grant Labedz is a college basketball superfan who loves the entire sport but definitely has favorites in the A-10 and the Big Ten. He has written for SB Nation's BT Powerhouse (Big Ten Basketball) and The Champaign Room (Illinois Basketball). He also co-founded his own Illinois Basketball blog called The Groce Report. Grant is a member of the Davidson Class of 2020. Shoot him an email at [email protected] Follow @GrantLabedz

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