Atlantic 10 Wednesday Preview: Can St. Bonaventure remain perfect in A10 play?

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Game of the Night

St. Bonaventure Bonnies vs. Rhode Island Rams – 7 ET

The Bonnies (11-3, 3-0 A10) look to defend their perfect conference record at home Wednesday night when they host Rhode Island (10-6, 2-1 A10) at 7:00 PM Eastern. The feared backcourt tandem of Marcus Posley and Jaylen Adams is averaging a combined 35.7 PPG, which accounts for just over 46% of St. Bona’s scoring. They face off against the Rams, who boast the 34th best defense in the nation, allowing just 64.3 PPG.

An interesting fact in this one is that URI is currently ranked #59 in the nation in KenPom, but SBU is listed as #79. Despite the fact that many experts have the Bonnies listed ahead of the Rams in bracketology, the popular stats site claims that Rhode Island currently has better wins than St. Bonaventure (Houston, Richmond). Those on the side of the ladder would likely disagree.

This is essentially a battle between team play and star players. Rhody has five men averaging at least 11.2 PPG, one of the most balanced lineups in the nation. St. Bona, on the other hand, has three players that combine for 67.6% of the team’s points. Look for URI to be doubling up on Posley and Adams to eliminate the two top scoring options. This means Bonnies forward Dion Wright will need to have an excellent game in the post if he becomes the deferred scoring option.

KenPom predicts a 71-68 win for the Bonnies. Regardless, this should be a very close game.

Elsewhere in A10 Action

VCU Rams vs. Fordham Rams – 7 ET

Perhaps no team in the A10 is hotter right now than VCU. The Rams (11-5, 3-0 A10) have won six straight and have been playing their best basketball as of late. Melvin Johnson is averaging 20.0 PPG over his last five outings which bodes very well for this team’s offensive efficiency. Fordham, on the other hand, is falling quickly. The Rams (no, these Rams) are coming off an eleven point loss to Richmond and do not look as if they will be making a run at an NCAA tournament bid. KenPom calls VCU in this one, 77-66.

Richmond Spiders vs. La Salle Explorers – 7 ET

This matchup between Richmond’s Terry Allen (19.7 PPG, 7.9 RPG) and La Salle’s Jordan Price (22.2 PPG, 5.2 RPG) should be quite fun to watch. While the game itself may not have too many big picture implications, these two stars represent some of the best that the A10 has to offer. We’ll see how the Spiders’ 16th nationally ranked offensive efficiency gets through the Explorers as easily as expected. Even coming off an upset win over Dayton, La Salle doesn’t have a good chance at pulling this one out.

Duquesne Dukes vs. Saint Louis Billikens – 7 ET

Duquesne is on a skid, and is showing no signs of stopping anytime soon. After a solid start to the season, the Dukes have dropped four straight games by 6, 8, 11 and 27 points. This not to say that the Billikens are much better. Barring an out-of-the-blue win over George Washington, SLU has looked dismal this season; an evaluation reasserted by their 12-point loss to VCU last week. KenPom calls a 73-64 win for the Dukes here, but honestly, this game could get straight up ugly.

George Mason Patriots vs. St. Joseph’s Hawks – 7 ET

As far as games go, this one is a must win for the St. Joe’s. The Hawks (12-3, 2-1 A10) are in the thick of a race for an NCAA bid and cannot afford an ugly loss like this on their resume. DeAndre’ Bembry continues to perform at a high level and Isiah Miles has continues to be a consistent contributor. I’m picking the Hawks to get a win on the road in this one.

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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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