Atlantic 10 Wednesday Preview: Can Davidson remain undefeated at home?

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Game of the Night

Davidson Wildcats vs Duquesne Dukes – 7:00 ET (WMYT/A10 Network)

The Essentials:

Category Davidson Duquesne
Record 8-4 10-4
Conference Record 0-1 0-1
Home Record 7-0
Away Record 1-1
KenPom Ranking 114 148
RPI Ranking 40 109
Points Leader Gibbs (24.0) Colter (17.6)
Rebounds Leader Aldridge (5.7) Gill (6.7)
Assists Leader Gibbs (4.4) Mason (4.5)
Spread -6.6 +6.5

Davidson and Duquesne both look for their first A10 win of the season Wednesday night when they do battle at Belk Arena, home of the Wildcats. In what could be a game of NCAA tournament implications, both programs could seriously benefit from improving to .500 in conference play.

The story right now for Davidson is injuries. The Wildcats are currently missing guards Brian Sullivan and Jordan Barham, both of whom are questionable for tonight’s matchup. Forward Jake Belford is also out for the season with a concussion sustained earlier this season. With a lack of depth on the bench, Davidson has had to rely too much on superstar Jack Gibbs, and despite his skill it has not been enough. Secondary scoring options need to emerge, and a guy like Peyton Aldridge may be the answer. Look for the sophomore, who is averaging 15.0 PPG, to continue to emerge throughout the conference season. Duquesne will need to pay careful attention to him in the post.

The Dukes are off to a solid start this season and need this win to boost their tournament resume. While they have been good at defending the paint this season (teams are shooting 41.9%), they have struggled to guard beyond the arc (teams are shooting 39.2%, 323rd in the nation). Davidson is an average three-point shooting team, but if shooters like Gibbs and Jordan Watkins get hot, it could be a long night for the boys from Pittsburgh.

Elsewhere in A10 Action

St. Louis Billikens vs. George Washington Colonials – 7:00 ET (Fox Sports Midwest)

The Colonials look to maintain pace with the top of the A10 when they for their second win of the conference season against SLU. George Washington enters having won their last two games over UCF and Fordham. The Billikens lack the ability to rebound on offense (330th in the nation), which will hurt them against players like Kevin Larsen (8.0 RPG) and Tyler Cavanaugh (7.3 RPG). KenPom predicts George Washington to win this game by a score of 70-63. All things considered, this should be an easy win for the Colonials.

George Mason Patriots vs. St. Bonaventure Bonnies – 7:00 ET (American Sports Network)

George Mason has been near the bottom of the A10 this season, but St. Bonaventure has a ton to play for. After an upset win over Davidson last week, the Bonnies surprised everyone and now is seen as at least a temporary contender near the top of the conference. In order to retain this status, a win over the Patriots is necessary. The player to watch here is Jaylen Adams. The Bonnies’ sophomore guard is coming off a career-high 30 point performance against Davidson and leads his team in PPG, APG, FG% and 3P%. The offense runs through him and the Patriots will need to find a way to stop the star.

Fordham Rams vs. La Salle Explorers – 7:00 ET (A10 Network)

Fordham dropped a close game to George Washington last week, and will need to fight its way back into the A10 race if it wants a chance to go for the title. The Rams have been fantastic defensively and are ranked 3rd in the nation in steal percentage and opponents’ three-point percentage. Look for their stifling defense to shut down a lackluster Explorers offense. If they can stop La Salle’s Jordan Price (22.8 PPG), this should be an easy win for Fordham.

Dayton Flyers vs. Massachusetts Minutemen – 8:00 ET (CBS Sports Net)

The Flyers represent the A10’s lone team in the top 25 this week and will try to continue their good fortunes against UMass. Charles Cooke has been stellar for Dayton and will need to continue to play well as his team marches towards what appears to be another NCAA tournament birth. The Minutemen have been very average this season and according to KenPom have just a 14% chance at winning this game. I expect Dayton to win this one big.

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About Author

Huge college basketball fan. Co-owner/writer @ A10Talk.com (@A10Talk). Formerly ran The Groce Report (@TheGroceReport), wrote for SB Nation’s BT Powerhouse, and SB Nation's The Champaign Room. Davidson Wildcat, forever bleeding Orange and Blue.

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