Initial reaction to 2015-16 Atlantic 10 schedule pairings

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The mothership just released next season’s Atlantic 10 schedule pairings. Take a second to savor these matchups then we’ll discuss. Sound good?

DAVIDSON
Home: LaSalle, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Saint Joseph’s, Duquesne, George Mason, George Washington, Richmond, VCU
Away: Dayton, Fordham, St. Bonaventure, Saint Louis, Duquesne, George Mason, George Washington, Richmond, VCU

DAYTON
Home: Davidson, George Washington, Massachusetts, VCU, Duquesne, LaSalle, Rhode Island, St. Bonaventure, Saint Louis
Away: Fordham, George Mason, Richmond, Saint Joseph’s, Duquesne, LaSalle, Rhode Island, St. Bonaventure, Saint Louis

DUQUESNE
Home: Fordham, LaSalle, Massachusetts, Richmond, Davidson, Dayton, George Washington, St. Bonaventure, Saint Louis
Away: George Mason, Rhode Island, Saint Joseph’s, VCU, Davidson, Dayton, George Washington, St. Bonaventure, Saint Louis

FORDHAM
Home: Davidson, Dayton, George Mason, St. Bonaventure, LaSalle, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Richmond, Saint Joseph’s
Away: Duquesne, George Washington, Saint Louis, VCU, LaSalle, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Richmond, Saint Joseph’s

GEORGE MASON
Home: Dayton, Duquesne, St. Bonaventure, Saint Joseph’s, Davidson, George Washington, Richmond, Saint Louis, VCU
Away: Fordham, LaSalle, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Davidson, George Washington, Richmond, Saint Louis, VCU

GEORGE WASHINGTON
Home: Fordham, LaSalle, Rhode Island, Saint Joseph’s, Davidson, Duquesne, George Mason, Richmond, VCU
Away: Dayton, Massachusetts, St. Bonaventure, Saint Louis, Davidson, Duquesne, George Mason, Richmond, VCU

LA SALLE
Home: George Mason, St. Bonaventure, Saint Louis, VCU, Dayton, Fordham, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Saint Joseph’s
Away: Davidson, Duquesne, George Washington, Richmond, Dayton, Fordham, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Saint Joseph’s
MASSACHUSETTS 
Home: George Mason, George Washington, Saint Louis, VCU, Fordham, LaSalle, Rhode Island, St. Bonaventure, Saint Joseph’s
Away: Davidson, Dayton, Duquesne, Richmond, Fordham, LaSalle, Rhode Island, St. Bonaventure, Saint Joseph’s

RHODE ISLAND
Home: Duquesne, George Mason, Richmond, Saint Louis, Dayton, Fordham, LaSalle, Massachusetts, Saint Joseph’s
Away: Davidson, George Washington, St. Bonaventure, VCU, Dayton, Fordham, LaSalle, Massachusetts, Saint Joseph’s

RICHMOND
Home: Dayton, LaSalle, Massachusetts, Saint Joseph’s, Davidson, Fordham, George Mason, George Washington, VCU
Away: Duquesne, Rhode Island, St. Bonaventure, Saint Louis, Davidson, Fordham, George Mason, George Washington, VCU

ST. BONAVENTURE
Home: Davidson, George Washington, Rhode Island, Richmond, Dayton, Duquesne, Massachusetts, Saint Joseph’s, Saint Louis
Away : Fordham, George Mason, LaSalle, VCU, Dayton, Duquesne, Massachusetts, Saint Joseph’s, Saint Louis

SAINT JOSEPH’S
Home: Dayton, Duquesne, Saint Louis, VCU, Fordham, LaSalle, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, St. Bonaventure
Away: Davidson, George Washington, George Mason, Richmond, Fordham, LaSalle, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, St. Bonaventure

SAINT LOUIS
Home: Davidson, Fordham, George Washington, Richmond, Dayton, Duquesne, George Mason, St. Bonaventure, VCU
Away: LaSalle, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Saint Joseph’s, Dayton, Duquesne, George Mason, St. Bonaventure, VCU

VCU
Home: Duquesne, Fordham, Rhode Island, St. Bonaventure, Davidson, George Mason, George Washington, Richmond, Saint Louis
Away: Dayton, LaSalle, Massachusetts, Saint Joseph’s, Davidson, George Mason, George Washington, Richmond, Saint Louis

INITIAL REACTION

This is about what I expected after the last few seasons of play with all the recent conference realignment. A few changes here and there but for the most part schedules/matchups we’ve gotten used to over the last couple of seasons. I think that continuity — especially with all the realignment — is good in attempting to develop some rivalries within conference play.

TOUGHEST HOME SCHEDULE

George Mason – After a 4-14 season in conference this past year things aren’t looking much better for the home team at the Patriot Center for 2015-16. Mason has the yearly disadvantage of being in what I like to call the Atlantic 10 South (Mason, Richmond, VCU, Davidson and GW), a region that includes three top-four caliber teams (Davidson, VCU, Richmond) as well as a George Washington squad who should challenge to be near the top of the conference as well. Add home games with Dayton, Bona, a rising Saint Joseph’s team and some banana peels against Duquesne and Saint Louis and Dave Paulsen has his work cutout for him in his first season in Fairfax.

TOUGHEST ROAD SCHEDULE

Duquesne – When you’re a conference bottom feeder your odds of drawing a tough home or road schedule increase, but being the Dukes and having to head to Rhode Island, VCU, Davidson and Dayton — four teams I expect to compete for top-four spots in next year’s conference — not to mention potential challengers in St. Bonaventure, GW and Saint Joseph’s, makes things extra tough.

CLEAREST PATH(S) TO A TITLE

Dayton and Rhode Island – Two things go into a clear path to a title: 1) a talented team and 2) a favorable schedule. Once against Dayton and Rhode Island have both. Dayton and Rhode Island boast just one home-and-home opponent that will be predicted to finish within the top-four and really challenge for an A-10 title: each other. Outside of that you’ve got a bunch of rebuilding teams and bottom feeders. I think of the two squads Dayton has the easier path as they face just two kenpom top-100 teams from last season (Richmond and Rhode Island) away from UD Arena. Expect the Flyers to rack up the wins in Archie Miller’s fifth season with the Flyers.

 

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About Author

Mat Shelton-Eide has been involved in college athletics since 2007, starting as a co-founder of VCURamNation.com where he covered the Rams all the way to Houston as the one-time CAA darling shocked the hoops world with a historic run to the Final 4. He has worked within two Atlantic 10 athletic departments, first as a graduate assistant in the VCU Sports Information Department during the '09-'10 basketball season, then after receiving his M.Ed. from VCU's Center for Sport Leadership, as a ticketing and marketing intern in the University of Richmond's athletic department during the inaugural season of Richmond's Robins Stadium, months before the Spiders 2011 Sweet 16 run.

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