The Winners, Losers, and Limbos of the 2023 Atlantic 10 Offseason: Part One

Welcome to the dog days of summer, when most sports have hit their dead period except Baseball. If you’re hungry for college basketball at this point of the year, there is one thing you can do and that is assess the offseason for your favorite team. Here is my “midnight snack” for all the Atlantic 10 hoops fans, the first part of my off-season grades.

Saint Joseph’s

The Hawks took the old-school path of team building by adding four true freshmen. Cameron Brown will return for his 5th season alongside Erik Reynolds and Lynn Greer III for another rendition of this dynamic guard trio. Three of the freshman stand between 6’6” and 6’8” and hail from Philadelphia, a rarity in considering most of the local Philadelphia talent goes elsewhere nowadays. 

Joe’s jacked up the most threes in the conference last season with 26.7 attempts per game and hitting the second most per contest at 8.8 but only shot 33% as a team, suitable for only 10th best in the A10. Reynolds averaged 19.6 points, Greer was a solid third option with 12.5 a game, and Brown bounced back after two consecutive single-digit scoring seasons with 13.3 per contest. Perimeter defense was a problem last season for the Hawks, but they have seemed to address that in theory. 

There is no wrong in keeping your home-grown guys around, especially if you aren’t losing any significant pieces, but it would have been nice to see them add an experienced transfer or two. There is no doubt Lange has assembled the most talented team since 2016, but if he can’t get this group to take the jump there are going to be problems. 

Final Grade: B+ for the Hawks. 



“Urgonomics” continues to roll. Much like Joe’s, Fordham kept every major piece that wasn’t graduating and only gained rather than losing to the portal. Headlining the returnees is one of the best rim protectors in the nation: Abdou Tsimbila. He finished 30th with KC Ndefo in block percentage last year. Kyle Rose will exercise his COVID year and maintain his place as the best perimeter defender in the conference. Every piece that was part of last year’s rotation returned which has only grown in the summer months.

Fordham added two transfers early on: UTSA graduate student Japhet Medor averaged 13.7 points and 3.8 assists on 41% shooting. Fordham made a considerable addition when they stole Josh Rivera away from Lafayette; an all-freshman and all-

tournament pick in the Patriot League with three years of remaining eligibility. Graduate student Ogheneyole “Savior” Akuwovo of Binghamton signed at the start of July, a 6’9” center who will likely backup Tsimbila, and freshman Jahmere Tripp who will likely make an immediate impact in all areas.

Hidden backstage is the potential x-factor: Angel Montas, a highly touted freshman who was expected to contribute but endured some knee problems which caused him to sit out (Sam Basel discusses it here). All indications, and by that I mean social media posts, Montas has been practicing with the team this summer. If he is ready to play while contributing at even a moderate level, the outlook changes drastically. Urgo capitalized on the momentum from last season whilst helping some in-house guys improve and fill voids.

Final Grade: A+ for the Rams.


Saint Bonaventure

This is one of the teams all A10 media folks are appointing as the most improved team for this coming season. After losing five all-time greats the summer before, the Bonnies took a major stepback going 14-18 with not a single returning player. In true away games, the team compiled a 2-11 record while going 1-3 in neutral site games. This was also Mark Schmidt’s worst season as the Bonnies’ head coach since 2013 when they went 14-15. They needed two things: experience and depth. 

Things started rough when four guys entered the portal. Two of those spots will be taken by freshman forward Duane Thompson and Miles Rose for guard depth. Melanin Martinez will come off the redshirt season and solidify the center position as well. Schmidt recruited in-conference with the signing of former George Washington big Noel Brown. Graduate student Mika Adams-Woods will spend his final year of eligibility in Olean after serving as a legit fourth option on a 23-win Cincinnati team. Charles Pride is also coming aboard after 1,528 points over four years at Bryant.

All those new guys come in addition to keeping the main core of Daryl Banks, Kyrell Luc, Chad Venning, Moses Flowers, Yann Farell, and Barry Evans. Schmidt is still widely considered one of the best x’s and o’s coaches at the mid-major level. The Bonnies got what they needed, kept everyone who was significant, and are adding freshmen for the long run. Barring injuries, they should make a drastic turnaround.

Final Grade: A+ for the Bonnies.



Grading all of these teams for their offseason work is mentally taxing, but Richmond’s summer is a real head-scratcher. The championship hangover from 2022 showed last season. Tyler Burton was still excellent with 19 points and 7.4 but the roster didn’t give Burton any real help. Neal Quinn had solid games but was dealing with minute fluctuation, Matt Grace had some 20-point games, and Isaiah Bigelow was up and down offensively. All of this and Chris Mooney had a heart surgery which forced him to shut down for the remainder of 2023, the first time since the 2004-2005 season that someone other than Mooney roamed the Richmond sidelines. Grace and Andre Gustavson have graduated, Burton decided to use his COVID year at Villanova, and Jason Nelson betrayed the Spiders and joined VCU. Richmond’s replacements are a mixed bag when you look at them on paper. 

Starting at point guard, Mooney’s efforts at finding replacements for Jacob Gilyard will continue with graduate transfer Jordan King from ETSU and DeLonnie Hunt from Wagner. Both are even 6’, excellent offensive talents but objectively awful defenders (Hunt’s DBPM was -0.5 last year and King’s was -1.6). Tyler Harris comes along from Western Carolina for his final year, a 6’7 wing who is solid defensively but underwhelming on offense because of his 29% from three and 63% from the line. Mooney also adds four freshmen total at point guard, the wings, and another big man to help Quinn.

Mooney’s roster construction is highly specific due to the Princeton offense. It requires key passes, constant motion, and deadly three-point shooting. Players need to be in the system for a season or two to get things down. Mooney will have a 20-win team contending for the A10 crown, just not now. The transfer portal allows for holes to be patched instantaneously, but this offseason leaves something to be desired. 

Final Grade: C+ for the Spiders.


La Salle

In a season of extremes, La Salle’s highs far outweighed the lows. For starters, 74-year-old Fran Dunphy won his ninth Big 5 Coach of the Year award becoming the second La Salle head coach to do so. Khalil Brantley and Josh Nickelberry were named to the all-Big 5 first and second teams, as well as Nickelberry, who took home the A10’s sixth man of the year honors. A five-game skid to end the regular season was avenged by a surprise run to the A10 quarterfinals. Some questions about the direction of the program were answered: one being that Brantley and Jhamir Brickus are a great A10 backcourt. The other being that Dunphy, despite his inclining age, still had the Midas touch when managing a game.

Where he is showing age is recruiting in the modern era with portal mania. Nickelberry is going south to Florida State, and the Drame twins transferred to Duquesne for their graduate seasons. La Salle has maintained Brantley and Brickus, both of whom will likely hit the 1,000-point mark this coming season. They also were able to keep Daeshon Shepherd after his initial entry to the portal and Anwar Gil for his senior year. A large crater exists at the center and power-forward spots with Rokas Jocius as the only big man that Dunphy has at his disposal. Tunde Fasasi is the only true freshman with some promise at 6’8”, but he is also the only new roster addition for the Explorers.

La Salle isn’t the most glorious brand in college basketball right now but there are some positives: Dunphy is still a great in-game coach with a strong reputation throughout college basketball, they have a legitimate history, and are located in a premiere market for the conference. But nobody seems to want to play at Tom Gola arena and the modern era has passed Dunphy somewhat. He will coach a competitive product regardless of who is out there, keeping three of your top five guys from last season is positive, but little-used players are going to be asked to play larger roles with the lack of portal success.

Final Grade: C- for the Explorers.