Revisiting the A10 Coaches Rankings

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It’s been almost a year and a half since the last A10 Coaches Rankings, and much has changed. Two postseasons, two recruiting classes, and six coaching changes have certainly shaken the rankings.

Going Out

Dan Hurley, UConn

Hurley left for UConn after leading the Rams to an A10 Tournament Championship and two straight NCAA tournaments. Had he stayed with Rhody, he undoubtably would have been in the top tier of these rankings.

John Giannini, NA 

Dr. G had only one NCAA appearance in 14 seasons with La Salle. On top of that, he had a career losing record, and finished .500 or worse (in conference play) in 9 seasons. It was time for him to go.

Jim Ferry, NA

Ferry was relieved of his duties at Duquesne after five unsuccessful seasons leading to a combined 60-97 (.382) record. Even worse, he was 21-65 (.244) in conference.

Derek Kellogg, LIU Brooklyn 

Kellogg was fired at the conclusion of his 9th season at the helm of the Minutemen. He had a career .447 in conference winning percentage. Last year, he took LIU Brooklyn to the NCAA tournament though, and was still the eighth highest paid state employee in Massachusetts.

Will Wade, LSU

Will Wade took over for Shaka Smart at VCU for only two seasons, but made the NCAA Tournament in both of them. His teams won 51 games, and didn’t take a noticeable step back from Smart’s famed squads.

Archie Miller, Indiana 

Archie left Dayton after making the Flyers a perennial power in the A10 and a recognizable face in the NCAA Tournament. The Flyers went to four straight tournaments under Miller, including their Elite Eight run.

Coming In

Ashley Howard, La Salle

Howard takes over for Dr. G at La Salle after five years as an assistant at Villanova. He isn’t new to La Salle, or Philly, as he played point guard at Drexel, and was an assistant at La Salle from ’04 to ’08.

David Cox, Rhode Island

Unlike Howard, Cox has no rebuilding to do. Even though Rhody loses a stellar senior class, with a high-ranking recruiting class and a core of Fatts Russel, Jeff Dowtin, and Cyril Langevine returning, Rhode Island is in a position to compete in the A10 even without Hurley.

Power Rankings

1. Bob McKillop, Davidson: Previous (3)

Another year, another highly competitive Wildcats team. There was no adjustment period when Davidson entered the league, as they managed to win the conference in their first season in the A10. He seems to always get the most out of his players, and will usually have his teams playing their best basketball when it matters most.

2. Mark Schmidt, St. Bonaventure: Previous (4)

Schmidt’s work in Olean speaks for itself. He’s taken the Bonnies to two NCAA tournaments after winning only 24 games in the previous four seasons before his arrival. Wins this past season over Maryland, Syracuse (two if you count their recent recruiting victory), and UCLA, solidify his position as a top coach in this league.

3. Phil Martelli, St. Joseph’s: Previous (1)

The four time A10 Coach of the Year, and 2004 National Coach of the Year, just keeps on rolling for the Hawks. In a “down” year this past season, where they were riddled with injuries, St. Joseph’s still finished 4th in the conference, and came up just short of playing in the Conference Championship game. If not for the unlucky injuries during these past two seasons, Martelli could have easily seen another (his 8th) NCAA tournament appearance.

4. Dave Paulsen, George Mason: Previous (6)

Paulsen has almost finished what many of the coaches in this league aspire to do; rebuild what was a struggling program. Mason finished 4th in the league last year and didn’t graduate a single senior. The Patriots will be one of the favorites next year, and will have a chance to get back to the NCAA’s for the first time since 2011. If Paulsen completes the rebuild, he can make a case for one the top spots in these rankings.

5. Keith Dambrot, Duquesne: Previous (NR)

Dambrot has only been at the helm of Duquesne for a season, but he seems to already be turning around their losing culture. having five eligible transfers and a slew of quality incoming freshman should make them competitive this upcoming season. Dambrot has been a winning coach his whole career, but if he can end up doing it at Duquesne, he’ll end a 41 year NCAA Tournament drought.

6. Mike Rhodes, VCU: Previous (NR)

Last season, for the first time in eight years, VCU did not play in the NCAA tournament. Rhodes didn’t have the same quality players that both Shaka Smart and Will Wade did, as he relied almost exclusively on Justin Tillman on both sides of the court. Rhodes has five new players this year though, and must hope that that he finds the same success that his last three predecessors have found in the Siegel Center.

7. Travis Ford, Saint Louis: Previous (NR)

In one season, Ford managed to get an 11th place team into 6th (and nearly 4th). The offense was miserable after the suspension of Jordan Goodwin, but the defense was stellar, and potentially the best in the league. Ford has always been a great recruiter, and will have a chance to continue the climb up the standings with highly touted forward Carte’Are Gordon arriving this fall.

8. Matt McCall, UMass: Previous (NR)

On December 17th, Umass fans were ready to crown McCall king for turning around the program in less than a half of a season. They had just beaten Providence and Georgia, and were playing like contenders in the A10. The fans had to hold back their excitement though, as the Minutemen managed only five conference wins. McCall is still on track though, as he returns promising sophomores Carl Pierre and Unique McLean, and three high upside freshman.

9. Anthony Grant, Dayton: Previous (NR)

Anthony Grant seemed in over his head the entire season last year. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt in his first season and chalk it up to being at new program, and not having his “style” of players. These next two season will be different though, as he’ll get to bring in his own players. Dayton fans got used to winning with Archie Miller and won’t tolerate seasons like this past one for very long.

10. Maurice Joseph, George Washington: Previous (NR)

MoJo had a promising start to his head coaching career in 2016-17 when he lead an underrated GW team to a 6th place finish in the conference. Unfortunately, this past season the Colonials regressed significantly, managing only seven wins in the A10, and will graduate their only true impact player, Yuta Watanabe. He has a lot of rebuilding to do to get GW back into the upper echelon of the conference.

11. Chris Mooney, Richmond: Previous (7)

It’s been seven years since the Spiders have appeared in the NCAA tournament. Last year, it appeared almost certain that he’d be let go, but unfortunately for the “Fire Mooney Mafia” members, the Spiders won enough games to keep him around.

12. Jeff Neubauer, Fordham: Previous (9)

Neubauer hasn’t improved this Fordham team at all since taking over. After an eight win campaign in his first season, the rams have only won 11 in the past two. Additionally, every player that seems to find success ends up transferring, most recently Antwoine Anderson (UConn) and Joseph Chartouny (Marquette).

 

 

 

 

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About Author

Joel Revo is a Sophomore at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. Joel grew up in Vermont, where with his dad, he traveled to many Bona games in almost every A-10 venue. He has been to every A-10 tournament game since 2012, and will continue the tradition this year in Washington. You can reach Joel at [email protected]

16 Comments

  1. I like the rankings, however, I’m a bit skeptical on Mike Rhoades and Travis Ford. SLU will have the talent to finish top 3 this season, and if they don’t, I think that speaks real poorly on Ford’s coaching abilities. I thought Rhoades could have done a lot better in first season, and Tillman and Williams’ departure won’t make things any easier. This coming season will tell us a lot about some of these new head coaches.

    • SLUMedBilliken15 on

      Grant. Love your work. I noticed that you state the Billikens will have the talent to be in the top 3 of the A10 next year, but you have only ranked 1 player in your top 25 so far. I can’t wait to see how many billiken players will be in your remaining 7 spots then!

  2. Few UMass fans consider Unique McLean promising. We’re more excited about the four transfers who will be eligible this year McLean will probably warm the end of the bench and then take a grad transfer. Apparently he’s on track to graduate in after only three years.

  3. Bobby Collamore - Springfield Mass Insiders Basketball News on

    SPRINGFIELD A-10 BIRTH PLACE LIST – According to News makers Insiders leaks poll within ESPN, CBS, NBC, Sporting News, and the Fox Sport Early Bird A-10 Prophets Prediction in order tonight list.
    1. St. Louis
    2. Rhode Island
    3. UMASS
    4. Davidson
    5. St. Joe’s
    6. VCU
    7. Dayton.
    8.Saint Bonaventure
    9. Duquesne
    10. George Mason
    11. GW
    12. LaSalle
    13. Richmond
    14. Fordham
    BREAKING NEWS Poll Release – Midnight Madness

  4. Bobby Collamore - Springfield Mass Insiders Basketball News on

    SPRINGFIELD, MASS – A-10 New Report – The Buzz is that UMASS Junior Point Guard Luwane Pipkins most likely be picked and named the A-10 pre-season “Player Of the Year” by the coaches and the reporters polls. UMASS has had Dr.J., Marcus Camby, Lou Roe, Stefran Lasme, Gary Forbes and Chaz Williams that were prior named “Players of the Year”. From the A-10 in UMASS History Books. Totally Makes Sense.
    Breaking News Insiders – Bobby Collamore – The Birthplace News Report.

  5. Bobby Collamore on

    SPRINGFIELD, MASS. – BREAKING NEWS – UMASS Big-Center 6’11” 330 LBS Rashaan Holloway has just been granted a 5th season as a graduate student and prophets have indicated that Holloway most likely will be named to the A-10 first team pre-season picks. Just Released By “The Boston Globe” tonight.

  6. Bobby C. News On UMASS on

    SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Breaking News. – UMASS also has brought in a Top-5 Transfers Class bringing in 4 high-majors recruits. The Minutemen are loaded and brought in Rutgers 6-6 Jonathan Laurent, Kieran Hayward 6-4 from LSU, Keon Clergeot from Memphis & 6-4 Curtis Cobb From Fairfield. All 4 high-major tranfers sat-out last season. Breaking News in The A-10 tonight.

  7. Bobby C. News On UMASS Hoop on

    Springfield, Mass. – In+more news in the returners additions for UMASS is highly rated Boston national freshmen sensational guard Carl Pierre returns with national high-flyer Unique “Irish” McLean along with 6-9, 255 LBS Khalea Turner Morris for their sophomore seasons. UMASS has also brought in 3 top high major national ranking player stars frosh class in the likes of 6-7 Samba Diallo from Senegal, Sy Chapman 6-8 from St. Paul, Minnesota and 6-1 point guard Tre Woods from Baltimore, Maryland. – More Breaking News on UMASS in the A-10 new rise.
    Could UMASS ” become once again return to. “The New Beasts Of The East.”
    New England News

  8. Bobby C. - New England A-10 News Power Teams on

    NEW ENGLAND A-10 News – Insiders learned this month that both UCONN & Boston College are both chicken to play UMASS over the next 3 to 4 seasons. Plus Both UCONN & Boston College are also chicken to play Rhode Island over the next 3 or 4 seasons as well. Power News Release.
    New England College A-10 Basketball News

  9. Bobby - UMASS News - Springfield on

    Springfield Hoop – The new A-10 buzz insiders tonight in that UMASS has 3 players that are most likely will be named in both the reporters poll and the media poll “First Team” that will have 3 Minutemen. Player Of Year, Lawane Pipkins plus the largest player in the nation In Rashaan Holloway and sharpshooter Carl Pierre. BREAKING NEWS – “The Big 3”

  10. New England Report on

    NEW ENGLAND POWERS – Via the Boston Globe. Here is the new pre-season rankings on all of the 22 DI teams in New England polls picks. BREAKING NEWS – Top 22 New England Standings
    1. UMASS
    2. Rhode Island
    3. Providence College
    4. Boston College
    5. UCONN
    6. Harvard
    7. Boston University
    8. Yale
    9. Vermont
    10. Northeastern
    11.Fairfield University
    12. Holy Cross
    13. Central Conn.
    14. Hartford
    15. Lowell – Mass.
    16. New Hampshire
    17. Quinnipiac
    18. Maine
    19. Bryant
    20. Brown
    21. Dartmouth
    22. Sacred Heart
    The top 2 teams from New England are out of the A-10.
    BREAKING News
    BC Report – Springfield News

  11. BC Report New England on

    Springfield, Mass. – According to top insiders reports both within powerful Boston Globe & The Boston Herald Tonight sports bureau desks tonight NE power newspapers both agree via college basketball insiders reports that both websites all agree that both UMASS and Rhode Island Rule New England.1&2 ranked, Best Teams in New England. “A-10 Rules New England”. BREAKING NEWS – Birthplace News College Basketball Immediate Release – The best 2 teams out of 22 in division 1 rankings in New England.

  12. New England College Hoop News on

    SPRINGFIELD – The new buzz alert via top insiders tonight in the nation is that UMASS could have 3 players named to the “First Team” in all of the top pre-season magazines that come out on the newsstands in early October. Here are the UMASS “Big 3”, Lawane Pipkins, Center Rahseen Holloway and Carl Pierre.
    Breaking News – Immediate Release – 10:38 PM EDT Sports

  13. BC Report - New England College Hoop Extra on

    BOSTON BOTH MEDIA – According to both The Boston Globe & The Boston Herald Reporters College Insiders tonight in sharing in both NE top media sports markets newspapers bureau desks are both indicating tonight that both agree that UMASS & Rhode Island out of the A-10 in New England are both now considered top national rated 1&2 ranked poll as the 2 “National Top Premier Juggernauts” in national waiting.
    BC Report – 12 – News – “East Coast College Basketball.” – For Immediate Release

  14. BC Report A-10 New England on

    SPRINGFIELD, MASS. – Learned that UMASS had a basketball showcase clinic today in front of 200 fans at the basketball Hall of Fame in downtown on display with dozens of nation reporters in attendance and the press scribes could not believe how talented UMASS is. Shock & Awe today in Springfield just learned.
    BC Report New England News Alert

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