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Week 1 Atlantic 10 Power Rankings: SLU and Davidson hold top spots despite early scares

As voted on by our staff, here is this week’s Atlantic 10 Power Rankings.

1. Saint Louis Billikens

Despite shaky performances against SEMO and Troy, Saint Louis holds the top spot after week 1. The Billikens showed they’ll need to work on their free throws though; they’re shooting 53.4% from the stripe on the young season, and it almost cost them against a pesky Troy team.

2. Davidson Wildcats

Davidson avoided disaster on Friday night, as a late trio of free throws from sophomore Kellan Grady gave the Wildcats the lead they wouldn’t relinquish over Dartmouth. Shooting 4-18 from three, Friday night was an indication of what can happen when Davidson’s not hitting outside shots — Dartmouth never went away. Credit Jon Axel Gudmundsson and Kellan Grady for willing their team to victory despite the off night.

3. Saint Joseph’s Hawks

The Hawks were undoubtedly the biggest winners in week 1, taking down a Kenpom top 100 Old Dominion team by 15 to start the season. Pierfrancesco Oliva’s double-double (17 points, 14 rebounds) helped give Saint Joseph’s the edge over the Monarchs, and freshman Jared Bynum had a solid night as well.

T4. Rhode Island Rams

The Rams come up and grab the T4 spot in week 1 after a dominant performance over Bryant. They’ll have plenty to prove this week when they go on the road to face a difficult Charleston team and then return home to face Harvard. Jeff Dowtin and Fatts Russell looked superb on opening night.

T4. Dayton Flyers

Dayton’s opening week featured 2 wins over nobodies, but the Flyers were without star forward Josh Cunningham who is expected to make his return very shortly. As November marches along, the Flyers’ schedule will get more difficult, but wins haven’t been too difficult to grab thus far.

6. Massachusetts Minutemen

The Minutemen survived a bit of a scare at home against UMass Lowell but followed that up with a dominating performance against New Hampshire. Rashaan Holloway had a very strong showing in Massachusetts’ 2nd game of the season. The Minutemen will have a good one against Harvard this week.

7. Duquesne Dukes

Duquesne played better than expected at home against William & Mary in its season-opener, and it was most impressive to see big men Mike Hughes and Austin Rotroff carrying a lot of the load in the paint. The Dukes have some tough games ahead of them, but it was a promising start to the young season.

T8. VCU Rams

Here’s something you don’t see every day: VCU won with the exact same score of 69-57 in both of its opening contests, taking down Gardner Webb and Hampton. The Rams are thankful to have Marcus Evans back in the mix, the highly-touted Rice transfer is slowly getting back into a groove off his injury.

T8. George Mason Patriots

Losing to Penn at home wasn’t absolutely disastrous, but dropping one to American three days later was. The Patriots’ rough start is coming from poor shooting, particularly from three, as well as bad defense. They’ll need to lock in for a tough road game against Georgia Southern this week.

10. St. Bonaventure Bonnies

A home loss to Bucknell was a less-than-ideal way for Bona to start the season. Though they’d bounce back against Jackson St., the Bonnies proved they could be in for a long season. Shooting just 23.8% from three on the year thus far, this team desperately needs Courtney Stockard back in the lineup.

11. Richmond Spiders

A home loss to Longwood was definitely a terrible way to start the season. The Spiders hit 37.5% of their free throw attempts and got outrebounded by 10 against a team that ranks in the 300s according to Kenpom. That was one of the easiest games on UR’s schedule, so things need to change quickly.

12. La Salle Explorers

An 0-2 start to the season comes from an excusable loss on the road to Temple and a head-scratching loss at home to Lafayette. Despite Lafayette turning it over 17 times, the Explorers couldn’t get the win.

13. George Washington Colonials

It’s been a nightmare for Maurice Joseph and company, as the Colonials drop to 0-3 through the first week of the season. GW blew a 22-0 lead against Stony Brook, couldn’t outlast Siena at home, and took a beating on the road against Virginia. The Colonials will struggle this season.

14. Fordham Rams

With all of George Washington’s issues, it seems Fordham could make a case for the 13 spot right now. However, a road loss to Houston Baptist isn’t doing this team any favors, and despite a dominant win over CCNY, I don’t see things getting much easier for the Rams moving forward.

Grant Labedz is a college basketball superfan who loves the entire sport but definitely has favorites in the A-10 and the Big Ten. He has written for ...