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Weekly Atlantic 10 Power Rankings: Rhode Island tops the preseason list

Each week, A10 Talk’s staff ranks each team in the Atlantic 10 conference (1-14) based on where they believe each team places overall. Each team’s ranking is averaged, and A10 Talk creates a compiled ranking to represent the site. 11 different contributors vote in each week’s rankings. Here are this week’s power rankings.

1. Rhode Island Rams (Avg: 1.50)

The Rams take the top spot in our preseason polls as there are high expectations for Dan Hurley’s squad this season. Rhode Island finds itself ranked 23rd in the AP preseason poll and 24th in the Coaches’ Poll. The Rams open up the regular season with a home game against Dartmouth this Friday.

2. Dayton Flyers (Avg: 2.00)

The Flyers come in 2nd in our preseason rankings, though they showed signs of weakness as they struggled to beat Findlay in their opening exhibition game. Regardless, there are high expectations for this Dayton team, and if all goes well, Archie Miller’s squad should be in the NCAA Tournament once again. Dayton opens up the regular season this Friday with a home game against Austin Peay.

3. VCU Rams (Avg: 3.33)

The Rams come in 3rd in our preseason power rankings, and even though they suffered a head-scratching exhibition loss to Queens this past weekend, VCU is still expected to be one of the best teams in the Atlantic 10 once more. They’ll open up the regular season on Friday at the Siegel Center where they’ll face UNC Asheville.

4. Davidson Wildcats (Avg: 3.67)

Expectations are sky-high for the Davidson Wildcats who rank 4th in our preseason power rankings. They had a very nice showing in their opening exhibition game, and it seems they may have the parts necessary to piece together a solid season. The Wildcats open regular season play on Saturday against Appalachian State.

5. St. Bonaventure Bonnies (Avg: 5.17)

The Bonnies come in 5th in our preseason rankings as they’ll try to follow up a season where they won a share of the Atlantic 10 regular season title. Despite being snubbed out of the Big Dance, the Bonnies are back and seemingly have what it takes for another impressive season. St. Bonaventure will open up the regular season on Saturday with a home game against St. Francis (PA).

6. Richmond Spiders (Avg: 6.67)

The Spiders come in 6th in our preseason power rankings, and despite losing some valuable talent this offseason, this team seems like it’s going to be better than it was last year. Richmond will more than likely be a middle-of-the-pack team this season. The Spiders open regular season play on Friday at home against Virginia Military Institute.

7. La Salle Explorers (Avg: 6.83)

The Explorers have skyrocketed in our rankings since last year where they finished the regular season at the very bottom. This is a brand new Explorer team fit with transfers and returning talent, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see this team finish in the top 5. La Salle opens up regular season play with a tough away game against Temple on Friday.

8. George Washington Colonials (Avg: 8.17)

The Colonials are back with new head coach Maurice Joseph, and though this team lost a lot of senior and transfer talent, there are some notable returnees and newcomers. This team might not be as good as the one that won the NIT last season, but it still has a shot. George Washington will face Maryland-Eastern Shore at home in its season opener on Friday.

9. Saint Joseph’s Hawks (Avg: 9.50)

The Hawks have lost quite a bit of talent from last years team that won the Atlantic 10 Tournament in Brooklyn, but it’s tough to imagine a team that’s coached by Phil Martelli that isn’t competitive in the Atlantic 10. Saint Joseph’s opens up regular season play on Saturday when it faces Toledo at home.

10. Fordham Rams (Avg: 10.33)

The Rams come in 10th in our preseason polls, and though they lose a couple of stud seniors, they should have some valuable talent that could keep them away from the bottom this season. Fordham will open up the regular season in an away game against East Tennessee State on Friday.

11. Massachusetts Minutemen (Avg: 10.67)

The Minutemen come in a bit lower than I expected them to, as this team is said to be one of the breakout teams to watch in the conference this year. Expect them to make a movement up the list in the coming weeks. The Minutemen open up regular season play against UMass Lowell at home on Friday.

12. George Mason Patriots (Avg: 11.33)

The Patriots are back this season under 2nd year head coach Dave Paulsen, and even though this is not going to be an NCAA Tournament by any means, fans can hope for a slightly better season than last year. George Mason opens up the regular season on Saturday at home against Towson.

13. Saint Louis Billikens (Avg: 12.00)

The Billikens will start the regular season under brand new head coach Travis Ford, and even though most of this team’s talent has yet to arrive or is not yet eligible to take the court, the Billikens looked sharp in their opening exhibition game. Saint Louis opens the regular season at home on Friday against Ball State.

14. Duquesne Dukes (Avg: 13.83)

The Dukes suffered a disappointing exhibition loss to Mansfield, which may just characterize what kind of a season it’s going to be for this team. While fans can hope for a decent year, this team is likely to finish at or near the bottom. Duquesne opens regular season play on Friday at home against Loyola (MD).