Busy Wednesday Night in the A10!

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The A10 has five games tipping off at 7:00 tonight.  We have some quick previews and points of interest for you to check out before watching your squad get after it tonight.  Any gambling advice should be ignored at all costs.

Fordham at VCU (Line: VCU -13)

  • Both of these teams are great at forcing turnovers; VCU is currently 4th in turnover % and 2nd in steal % in the country. Fordham is 7th in turnover % and 3rd in steal %.  The improving Fordham Rams will throw some different looks at VCU, mainly an aggressive 1-3-1 that it uses to get steals but can also result in easy looks for the opponent, see Trey Davis’ 11 assists on Sunday.  It should be a fast-paced game in Richmond tonight.  VCU got a nice lift from Doug Brooks at Saint Louis on Sunday.  Can he continue to provide a spark with Jordan Burgess out?  Will Justin Tillman get more minutes and continue to provide energy off the bench?  Ryan Rhoomes is shooting 70% from the floor so far this year.  I’ll be interested to see how VCU defends him and if Mo Alie-Cox gets the assignment to start the game.  I like VCU to win this game but 13 is a hefty number to cover.  No thanks.

La Salle at Richmond (Line: Richmond -14)

  • The Spiders and Explorers are coming off of solid wins from this past weekend and both teams are looking to build some much needed momentum as conference is now upon us.  La Salle has one true road win this season, a 30-point victory at Rowan.  Dr. John used a ball control strategy of milking the clock to shorten the game against Dayton on Saturday and it worked to perfection.  Might he try a similar technique tonight?  La Salle doesn’t want to get into a scoring contest with Richmond on the road.   The Spiders are currently 16th in the country in adjusted offensive efficiency, 115.7, and 10th in effective field goal %; coming in at 56.6%.  Jordan Price is a relentless player and he basically is the La Salle offense at this point in the season, taking 33% of all the Explorers shots. I don’t see La Salle being able to slow down Cline, Allen, and Jones enough to win this game and I actually kind of like Richmond to cover the 14 points. But that line does scare me.

Rhode Island at Saint Bonaventure (Line: Bona -1.5)

  • The game of the night in A10 has Bona hosting Rhody in what has all of the makings of a great battle.  The Bonnies are 3-0 in the conference and playing with a lot confidence and swagger.  The Rams are 2-1 in the conference after falling to Saint Joe’s on the road in a tight game on Sunday.  The Bona offense vs. The Rhody D is definitely the storyline everyone will and should pay attention to but I’m looking at some other match-ups which I feel might be worth checking out.
    • How will Bona deal with the size of Rhody?  Martin, Iverson, Watson, and Akele are all big boys.  Can Gregg, Wright, and Woods keep them off the glass and the foul line tonight?
    • Does Bona get a lift from Woods, Kaputo, Gregg or Taqqee?  All of these roll players have shown flashes of great play for the Bonnies this year, with Kaputo really shining as of late.  If Rhody is able to lock down any combination of the Posley, Wright, and Adams trio, who steps up for Bona?
    • Garrett vs. Adams   Hard not to excited about watching these point guards go at each other for 40 minutes.  It is well known that we love us some Jaylen Adams.  The kid is playing incredible ball right now.  Jarvis Garrett is a player who is showing signs of taking a big step in his development as a player this season.  In his last two games, Garrett has 30 points, 14 assists, and 1 turnover.  How he goes might very well determine how Rhody goes tonight. This game is basically a toss-up and I wouldn’t touch it with a 10 foot pole but if I had to make a pick, I’d take Bona at home.

Saint Louis at Duquesne (Line: Duquesne -8)

  • Saint Louis made two shots from the floor in the first half of its game on Sunday against VCU. 2 shots. I once coached a middle school girls JV team so I’ve witnessed some pretty horrible basketball.  Sunday gave me some wicked flashbacks.  The Dukes have lost 4 straight and most recently got smacked around in D.C. on Saturday night by GW.  This game has more desperation in the air than a middle school Sadie Hawkins dance.  The Dukes are counting on Colter and a banged-up Mason to lead them to a much needed victory.  I like the Dukes to get this one and cover in the process.  IF SLU can get some points from Yacoubou or Yarbrough or a manager or the bus driver early, this could become a much more interesting game.  Or not.

Saint Joseph’s at George Mason (Line: Saint Joseph’s -5.5)

  • I’m filing this game away in the “sneaky good” category today.  GMU has lost 3 consecutive games but its last performance against Davidson was a very solid effort.  GMU doesn’t force turnovers, currently 351st in turnover % and steal %.  It doesn’t shoot the ball all that well or score at a high rate.  The reason I like this game it because of Mason’s length and GMU’s history of playing the underdog at home better than most expect.  GMU has 4 players over 6-7 who get significant minutes, including the 6-11 freak of an athlete, Shevon Thompson.  GMU played Northern Iowa tough at home earlier in the season.  In match-ups against more athletic OK State and Ole Miss, GMU played to the level of its competition and came away with victories.  This is just a stupid gut feeling but I’m going with it.  I still think Joe’s is a top 4 team in the league and I think it gets a win tonight.  Bembry and Miles are just incredible to watch.  The development of Newkirk and Brown has given Joe’s a more balanced offensive attack than what it has had over the past few years.  I’m taking GMU to cover the 5.5 tonight.  I’ll probably regret this later but whatever, got to go with the gut on this one.
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Brian Keiper is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University and has a M.Ed from University of Richmond. He teaches, coaches, and spends way too much time involved with local basketball in Richmond, Virginia but wouldn't have it any other way.

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