Atlantic 10 Men's Basketball Notebook - 12/30

Dayton's Brian Roberts celebrates Pitt win

This is the Atlantic 10 Conference's Men's Basketball Notebook for the week of December 24 though the 29th. Dayton's Brian Roberts is the player of the week and Duquesne's Damian Saunders shares his third rookie of the week honor with Jerrell Williams of La Salle.


A-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Brian Roberts - Dayton
Senior, Guard, 6-2, 185 lbs.
Toledo, Ohio/St. John's HS

Roberts scored 31 points on 10-of-17 shooting and dished out five assists in Dayton's 80-55 home win over sixth-ranked Pittsburgh on Dec. 29...shot 5-of-8 from beyond the arc and 6-for-7 from the foul line...had just one turnover in 35 minutes of action...marked his second 30-point performance of the season.

A-10 ROOKIES OF THE WEEK

Damian Saunders - Duquesne
Freshman, Forward, 6-7, 205 lbs.
Waterbury, Conn./Crosby HS

Saunders earns his third A-10 Rookie of the Week award after scoring eight points and grabbing seven rebounds on Dec. 28 as Duquesne turned aside Robert Morris, 86-70...added four blocks and a pair of assists...made 4-of-7 shots from the field.

Jerrell Williams - La Salle
Freshman, Forward, 6-8, 210 lbs.
Patterson, N.J./Northfield Mount Herman (Mass.)

Williams scored 12 points and grabbed five rebounds in La Salle's 71-58 loss at #16/#18 Villanova on Dec. 29...marked his seventh double-figure scoring effort of the season.


NEWS FROM AROUND THE ATLANTIC 10

WEEKLY HONOR ROLL

  • Duquesne senior guard Reggie Jackson scored 14 points and set career highs for rebounds (nine) and assists (seven) in the Dukes' 86-70 win over Robert Morris on Dec. 28
  • Fordham senior forward Bryant Dunston registered his 27th career double-double with 24 points and 14 boards on Dec. 28 as the Rams turned aside Binghamton, 72-60
  • Junior forward Rob Diggs scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in George Washington's 93-57 loss at Alabama on Dec. 29
  • Senior guard/forward Gary Forbes notched his third double-double of the year with 25 points and 13 rebounds on Dec. 29 as Massachusetts earned a 70-61 win over Boston University
  • Rhode Island senior forward Will Daniels earned MVP honors of the Islander Invitational after averaging 23 points and seven boards in a pair of games
  • Senior forward Pat Calathes scored 14 points and grabbed a career-best 16 rebounds in Saint Joseph's 74-68 victory at Siena on Dec. 28
  • Saint Louis senior guard Kevin Lisch scored a game-high 21 points on Dec. 29 as the Billikens downed I.U.P.U.I., 66-57
  • Junior guard Dionte Christmas scored 32 points on 11-of-17 shooting in Temple's 86-69 setback versus Florida on Dec. 29.

OUT AND RUNNING

Several A-10 teams enter the New Year boasting their best starts in decades. Below is a look at these fast starts:

  • Dayton (11-1) has notched its best start to a season since the Flyers won their first 14 games in 1955-56.
  • Duquesne (8-3) is off to its best start since 1979-80.
  • Massachusetts (10-2) has recorded its best start since the 1995-96 campaign when the Minutemen opened the year 26-0 en route to the Final Four.
  • At 13-1, Rhode Island has achieved its best start the 1946-47 season.

PACKING THEIR SLINGSHOT

Dayton's 80-55 win versus sixth-ranked Pittsburgh on Dec. 29 marked the highest-ranked opponent the Flyers knocked off since a 72-71 win versus No. 3 DePaul on Feb. 18, 1984. It was also the Flyers' largest margin of victory over a ranked team since UD defeated No. 9 Duquesne, 71-48, on Feb. 17, 1962.

50'S STYLE

Saint Louis earned a 66-57 home victory over I.U.P.U.I on Dec. 29 to improve to 8-0 on the year when holding its opponents to under 60 points. The Billikens lead the A-10 in scoring defense (57.9 ppg.) and are yielding an average of just 27.7 points in the first half through 14 games.

RAM POWER

Rhode Island (13-1) is ranked 25th in the latest Associated Press top 25 poll for the first time since the 1998-99 campaign. The last time URI was nationally ranked by the Associated Press was Nov. 16, 1998 when it was also 25th.

QUITE THE D

Xavier turned aside Delaware State on Dec. 28, 65-33, the fewest points scored by an XU opponent since the introduction of the shot clock in the 1985-86 season. The last time a Xavier opponent scored less than 33 points was in a 30-28 loss to Oklahoma City in a Midwestern City Conference clash at XU's Schmidt Fieldhouse during the 1981-82 campaign.

RAISING ITS LEVEL

The Atlantic 10 boasts four teams ranked in the top 30 of the collegerpi.com rankings thru games of Dec. 29. Dayton comes in at No. 7, followed by Rhode Island (13th), Massachusetts (22nd) and Xavier (27th). In addition, the Atlantic 10 boasts a record of 103-60 (.632) in non-conference action this season which, if maintained for the remainder of the season, would be the fourth-highest winning percentage since the formation of the league in 1976-77 and highest since the 1993-94 campaign (69-35 - .663). A-10 teams were 104-85 (.550) in non-conference matchups a year ago. Below is a look at the league's top five non-conference records based on winning percentage since the formation of the Conference in 1976-77:


Year      Record  Win %
1992-93    79-32   .712
1991-92    96-36   .679
1993-94    69-35   .663
2007-08   103-60   .632
1997-98    90-58   .608

RETURN TO SENDER

Freshman forward Papa Lo registered six of Massachusetts' 18 blocked shots on Dec. 22 in the Minutemen's 79-55 win versus Central Connecticut State. The 18 blocks marked the second-highest single-game total in program and league history. UMass tallied an A-10 record 20 blocks versus West Virginia on Jan. 3, 1995. Lo added six rejections in just 11 minutes of action in the Minutemen's 70-61 victory over Boston University on Dec. 29. He has amassed 15 blocks in 45 minutes on the year.

WINNING WAYS

Duquesne's (8-3) eight pre-January wins are the most since the 1971-72 team posted an 8-0 mark. The school record for pre-New Years Day wins is 10 (10-0 in 1953-54). The Dukes can tie their second-highest pre-January win total in school history (9-1 in 1968-69) with a win over South Carolina Upstate on Dec. 30.

SHOOTING STRAIGHT

Charlotte senior Leemire Goldwire has scored at least 20 points in four of his last five games.

HOME SWEET HOME

George Washington turned aside Longwood on Dec. 23, 63-54, to improve to 4-0 at home this season. GW boasts an impressive mark of 65-14 (.823) at home under Karl Hobbs, now in his seventh season as head coach of the Colonials.

ONE FOR THE BOOKS

Temple won its 100th game at the Liacouras Center as a result of its 58-55 win over Eastern Michigan on Dec. 22. The Owls are now 100-36 since the building opened on Dec. 9, 1997.

ONE POINT

La Salle's 117-86 win over Puerto Rico-Mayaguez on Dec. 19 in the opening game of the San Juan Shootout marked the most points scored by the Explorers since a 120-88 win over Iona on Jan. 4, 1992.

BLOCK PARTY

Duquesne junior Shawn James has blocked at least one shot in every college game he has played (66 total games), including seven rejections on Dec. 21 in the Dukes' 99-80 win over Saint Francis (Pa.).

ON THE CUSP

After scoring 21 points on Dec. 29 in his team's 66-57 win over I.U.P.U.I., Saint Louis junior guard Kevin Lisch is two points shy of becoming the 23rd player in program history to reach the 1,000-point milestone. The Billikens resume action on Jan. 10 when they visit George Washington.

NO NEED TO PACK

Richmond will be playing just its second game since Dec. 8 when they host VMI on Dec. 30. UR defeated Old Dominion, 55-49, in its last game on Dec. 19. The Spiders have not played outside of the city of Richmond since Nov. 24 and will not play a game outside the city limits until Jan. 9 at La Salle, a span of 45 days.

BROTHERS IN ARMS

Saint Joseph's senior forward Pat and his younger brother Nick Calathes share the distinction of being the only brothers in basketball to be their teams' leading scorers. Pat is averaging a team-high 17.1 points for the Hawks while Nick, a freshman at Florida, is scoring 14.8 ppg.


A-10 Players of the Week

Nov. 5-10         Kieron Achara, Duquesne
Nov. 11-17        Will Daniels, Rhode Island
                  Gary Forbes, Massachusetts
Nov. 18-24        Will Daniels, Rhode Island
Nov. 25 - Dec. 1  Michael Lee, St. Bonaventure
                  Joe Mbang, Rhode Island
Dec. 2-8 -        Leemire Goldwire, Charlotte 
                  Drew Lavender, Xavier
Dec. 9-15         Gary Forbes, Massachusetts
Dec. 16-22        Dionte Christmas, Temple
                  Will Daniels, Rhode Island
Dec. 23-29        Brian Roberts, Dayton

A-10 Rookies of the Week

Nov. 5-10          Chris Wright, Dayton
Nov. 11-17         Damian Saunders, Duquesne
Nov. 18-24         Chris Wright, Dayton
Nov. 25 - Dec. 1   An'Juan Wilderness, Charlotte
Dec. 2-8           Chris Wright, Dayton
Dec. 9-15          Chris Wright, Dayton
Dec. 16-22         Damian Saunders, Duquesne
Dec. 23-29         Damian Saunders, Duquesne
                   Jerrell Williams, La Salle 

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