Atlantic 10 Men's Basketball Notebook - 1/6
Richmond freshman Kevin Smith
Richmond freshman Kevin Smith

Posted Jan 6, 2008


This is the Atlantic 10 Conference's Men's Basketball Notebook for play from December 30, 2007, through January 5, 2008. The league weekly honors go to Pat Calathes of Saint Joseph's, Richmond's Kevin Smith and Jerrell Williams from La Salle.


A-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Pat Calathes - Saint Joseph's
Senior, Forward, 6-10, 205 lbs.
Casselberry, Fla./Lake Howell HS

Calathes recorded his second double-double performance of the year with 20 points and 10 rebounds on Dec. 31 as Saint Joseph's turned aside Drexel, 69-51...shot 7-of-9 from the field and 5-for-7 from the line...added five assists, three blocks and a pair of steals...had just one turnover in 33 minutes of action...leads the Hawks with four games of 20 or more points this season.

A-10 ROOKIES OF THE WEEK

Kevin Smith - Richmond
Freshman, Guard, 6-4, 180 lbs.
Murfreesboro, Tenn./Riverdale HS

Smith scored a career-high 13 points on 6-of-6 shooting and added five rebounds and five assists in Richmond's 52-49 victory over Virginia Tech on Jan. 3...also recorded a pair of steals in the contest...had six points, four boards and three assists on Dec. 30 despite missing most of the second half due to an injury over his right eye that required stitches in the Spiders' 71-69 win versus Virginia Military Institute...shot 9-of-11 from the field in the two contests.

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

Williams scored 12 points and grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds in 25 minutes of action on Jan. 5 as La Salle dropped an 81-76 decision at Florida State...also dished out a pair of assists...leads the Explorers and is tied for second in the Conference with three double-doubles...earns his second consecutive A-10 Rookie of the Week honor.


NEWS FROM AROUND THE ATLANTIC 10

WEEKLY HONOR ROLL

  • Freshman center Gaby Ngoundjo had six points, six blocks and eight rebounds in Charlotte's 65-59 win over Fairleigh Dickinson on Dec. 30
  • Dayton sophomore guard Marcus Johnson scored 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds on Jan. 2 as the Flyers edged Akron in double overtime, 83-81
  • Senior guard Reggie Jackson averaged 13 points and six assists in a pair of wins for Duquesne, while freshman swingman Bill Clark averaged 10.5 points and 8.5 boards
  • Fordham senior forward Bryant Dunston registered his 28th career double-double with 20 points and 16 boards in the Rams' 82-55 loss at Georgetown on Dec. 31
  • Junior guard Chris Lowe averaged 20 points and five rebounds in a pair of contests for Massachusetts
  • Rhode Island junior guard Jimmy Baron scored 22 points on 6-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc in the Rams' 94-63 victory over Fairleigh Dickinson on Jan. 2
  • Sophomore guard David Gonzalvez of Richmond averaged 14 points and three assists in a pair of wins
  • St. Bonaventure senior forward Michael Lee scored a game-high 24 points on Jan. 5 in the Bonnies' 65-62 win over Bucknell
  • Senior guard Drew Lavender averaged 17 points on 13-of-20 shooting and added 12 assists. in a pair of wins.

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES

  • Duquesne's 10 wins equal its total from all of last season, while its six home victories have already surpassed its total (five) from 2006-07.
  • St. Bonaventure's six victories are one shy of its total from all of last year, while its four home wins are more than it earned a year ago (three).
  • Richmond's seven wins are one shy of its total from 2006-07.
  • Dayton's three road victories surpass its total (two) from a year ago.

MAKING HISTORY

The URI-Dayton contest on Jan. 9 will mark the first time in league history that two ranked teams will meet in their respective Conference opener. The last two ranked A-10 teams met during the regular season was on Feb. 22, 2003, when No. 14 (AP) Xavier edged No. 25 (AP) Dayton, 73-72. The last time a pair of ranked A-10 teams met was on Mar. 14, 2003, in the semifinals of the 2003 A-10 Championship as No. 22 (AP) Dayton edged No. 22 (AP) Saint Joseph's, 76-73. The last time two A-10 teams were ranked in the Associated Press top 25 was on Dec. 29, 2003, as Saint Joseph's came in at No. 10 and Dayton at No. 23, which also marked the Flyers' last appearance in the national polls.

PLENTY OF DISHING

Duquesne leads the A-10 and is tied for second nationally with an average of 20 assists per game. During their current four-game winning streak, the Dukes have assisted on an astounding 90-of-124 field goals (72.6 percent). Duquesne has amassed 20 or more assists eight times this season. Junior guard Kojo Mensah leads the team with an average of 4.1 apg.

STREAKIN'

Dayton's 11-game winning streak matches its longest in 40 seasons. The Flyers last won 11 straight contests during the 1989-90 season. To find a longer one, you have to go back to a 19-game win streak at the end of 1967-68 and beginning of 1968-69 seasons.

RAISING ITS LEVEL

The Atlantic 10 boasts four teams ranked in the top 18 of the collegerpi.com rankings thru games of Jan. 5, the most of any conference. Dayton comes in at No. 9, followed by Xavier (15th), Massachusetts (16th) and Rhode Island (18th). In addition, the Atlantic 10 boasts a record of 115-65 (.639 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   115-65   .639
1997-98    90-58   .608

BALANCING ACT

Xavier's 108-70 victory over Virginia on Jan. 3 marked its second straight contest that seven different players scored in double figures. The Musketeers are 10-0 on the year when four or more players score in double figures. In addition, XU has topped the 100-point mark in consecutive games for the first time since the 1995-96 season.

DRIVING FORCE

Junior guard Tasheed Carr has dished out at least nine assists in four of Saint Joseph's first 11 contests this season. By comparison, no SJU player recorded more than seven assists in any game last season, with senior forward Pat Calathes notching a pair of seven-assist performances a year ago.

BACK IN THE WEB

Richmond's 52-49 win versus Virginia Tech on Jan. 3 marked the Spiders' first win over an ACC opponent since Nov. 16, 1997, when they edged Virginia (83-79) in double overtime. UR is riding a three-game winning streak for the first time since opening the 2006.

TOP SHOWING

Rhode Island's 14-1 mark and .933 winning percentage in non-conference regular season play this year is its best-ever record in program history. The Rams' previous best came during the 1987-88 season, when URI went 10-1 in non-league play.

FRIENDLY CONFINES

Senior forward Michael Lee has scored at least 20 points in all five of St. Bonaventure's home contests this season. The Bonnies' next home game is Jan. 12 versus La Salle.

X MARKS THE SPOT

Xavier tied a program record with 16 three-pointers made in its 108-70 win over Virginia on Jan. 3. The Musketeers shot a blistering 16-of-26 from beyond the arc in the victory, with junior forward B.J. Raymond hitting 4-of-5 shots from three-point range.

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.

GOOD AS GOLD

Leemire Goldwire of Charlotte has scored in double figures in all 13 of the 49ers' contests this season and leads the A-10 with 51 three-point field goals made. Over his last seven games, the senior guard has knocked down 33 field goals from beyond the arc.

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.

RAM POWER

On Dec. 24, Rhode Island (14-1) cracked the 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 garnered a No. 25 ranking.

BLOCK PARTY

Duquesne junior Shawn James has blocked at least one shot in every college game he has played (68 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.

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.


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
Dec. 30 - Jan. 5  Pat Calathes, Saint Joseph's

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
Dec. 30 - Jan. 5   Kevin Smith, Richmond
                   Jerrell Williams, La Salle



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