Atlantic 10 Men's Basketball Notebook - 1/27

3 players from the City of Brotherly Love honored

This is the Atlantic 10 Conference's Men's Basketball Notebook for play from January 20, 2008, through January 26, 2008. An all-Philadelphia honors lists this week with the Hawks' Pat Calathes and Temple's Dionte Christmas sharing each's second player of the week honor while La Salle's Jerrell Williams gets his third rookie of the week citation.


A-10 PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

Pat Calathes - Saint Joseph's
Senior, Forward, 6-10, 210 lbs.
Casselberry, Fla./Lake Howell HS

Calathes averaged 20 points and 9.5 rebounds in leading Saint Joseph's to a pair of victories...scored 24 points, including the game-winning three-pointer with 3.9 seconds remaining in the Hawks' 68-67 win at Temple on Jan. 26...was 8-of-14 from the field and added nine rebounds versus TU...scored 16 points, grabbed ten rebounds, dished out five assists and added three steals on Jan. 23 as Saint Joseph's edged Massachusetts, 81-77...named the A-10 Player of the Week for the second time this season.

Dionte Christmas - Temple
Junior, Guard, 6-5, 190 lbs.
Philadelphia, Pa./Philadelphia Lutheran Christian Academy

Christmas averaged 21.7 points and knocked down five three-pointers in each of Temple's three contests on the week...scored a game-high 20 points on Jan. 20 in the Owls' 54-53 (OT) victory at Saint Louis...scored 24 points and added four rebounds and four assists as Temple downed Pennsylvania on Jan. 23, 80-64...scored a team-high 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds in the Owls' 68-67 loss to Saint Joseph's on Jan. 26...earns his sixth career A-10 Player of the Week award and second of the season.

A-10 ROOKIE OF THE WEEK

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

Williams earns his third A-10 Rookie of the Week award after registering a pair of double-double efforts on the week...scored 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting and grabbed 11 rebounds in La Salle's 84-78 loss to Charlotte on Jan. 23..scored 14 points and pulled down 11 boards on Jan. 26 in the Explorers' 81-74 setback to Saint Louis...made 6-of-11 field goal attempts versus the Billikens...leads all A-10 freshmen with six double-doubles.


NEWS FROM AROUND THE ATLANTIC 10

WEEKLY HONOR ROLL

  • Charlotte junior Lamont Mack averaged 17.5 points and 5.5 rebounds in a pair of victories for the 49ers
  • Senior guard Brian Roberts scored 20 points on 8-of-15 shooting in Dayton's 80-63 loss at Richmond on Jan. 26
  • Junior forward/center Shawn James scored 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds on Jan. 26 as Duquesne turned aside George Washington, 92-67
  • La Salle sophomore forward Yves Mekongo Mbala averaged 16.5 points in a pair of home contests, including a season-high 18 points on Jan. 26 in the Explorers' 81-74 loss to Saint Louis
  • Sophomore guard Ricky Harris scored 30 points in Massachusetts' 81-77 loss at Saint Joseph's on Jan. 23
  • Rhode Island senior guard Parfait Bitee averaged 15 points and 6.5 assists while shooting 6-of-11 from beyond the arc in a pair of victories
  • Sophomore guard David Gonzalvez scored 20 points on 6-of-8 shooting from three-point range on Jan. 26 as Richmond downed Dayton, 80-63
  • St. Bonaventure senior guard Zarryon Fereti scored 26 points in the Bonnies' 89-77 loss to Rhode Island on Jan. 26
  • Junior guard Kevin Lisch scored 26 points on 10-of-17 shooting on Jan. 26 as Saint Louis turned aside La Salle, 81-74.

BLOCK PARTY

Duquesne junior forward/center Shawn James became just the 18th player in NCAA Division I history to post 400 career blocked shots as he recorded five blocks in the Dukes' 92-67 win over George Washington on Jan. 26. James has 403 rejections in 72 career games.

EXTENDING ITS WEB

Richmond's 80-63 win versus #16/#19 Dayton on Jan. 26 marked the Spiders' first home victory over a ranked opponent since a 73-71 win over No. 14 Georgia Tech on Dec. 1, 1990. In addition, the 17-point victory marked the largest margin of victory over a ranked foe in program history.

OWL OF AN ACHIEVEMENT

Senior Mark Tyndale scored 18 points and grabbed five rebounds versus Saint Joseph's on Jan. 26 to become just the sixth Temple player to rank in the top 20 in program history in both points and rebounds.

ROAD DOGS

Saint Joseph's 68-67 win at Temple on Jan. 26 marked the Hawks' league-leading seventh road victory of the season. SJU boasts a record of 7-4 on the road this season, up from 5-7 a year ago.

GOOD AS GOLD

Leemire Goldwire of Charlotte scored a career and Atlantic 10 season-high 36 points in the 49ers' 70-66 victory over Saint Joseph's on Jan. 16. The senior guard and two-time A-1-0 Player of the Week has scored in double figures in all 19 of the 49ers' contests this season and leads the team with nine 20-point performances.

MAKING HISTORY

Rhode Island's Jimmy Baron scored his 1,000th point on Jan. 23 in the Rams' 81-70 win over George Washington. The junior guard is the 19th player in Division I and first in A-10 history to score his 1,000th point while playing two or more seasons for his father.

IF IT'S FREE, IT'S FOR ME

Saint Joseph's knocked down 39 of its 54 free throw attempts on Jan. 23 as the Hawks edged Massachusetts, 81-77. It marked the most free throws made and attempted by a UMass opponents in program history. In addition, the 39 made free throws are tied for the eight-highest single-game total in league history.

RAISING ITS LEVEL

The Atlantic 10 boasts four teams ranked in the top 25 of the collegerpi.com rankings thru games of Jan. 26 and five in the top 40. Xavier comes in at No. 16, followed by Dayton (17th), Massachusetts (19th), Rhode Island (28th) and Saint Joseph's (40th). The A-10 is ranked seventh among the 31 Division I conferences. In addition, the Atlantic 10 boasts a record of 120-66 (.645 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.


Year     Record   Win%
1992-93   79-32   .712
1991-92   96-36   .679
1993-94   69-35   .663
2007-08  120-66   .645
1997-98   90-58   .608

BOMBS AWAY

Since the start of the 2006-07 season, Rhode Island junior guard Jimmy Baron has drained 163 three-pointers in a span of 51 games, which is tied for seventh nationally among active players. Just ahead of Baron is Charlotte senior guard Leemire Goldwire with 165 three-pointers made in 48 games played.

BALANCE OF POWER

Conference play commenced on Jan. 9 and after just over one week of action, no A-10 team remains undefeated. In addition, 13 of the league's 14 teams have at least one victory. Since the formation of the league in 1976-77, 45 teams have opened league play with a 4-0 record. This season marks the first in Conference history that no team opened A-10 play with a 3-0 record.

THE STEAL CITY

Duquesne has amassed 29 steals in its last two contests and has recorded at least 14 steals six times this season. The Dukes, who rank among the nation's leaders with an average of ten steals per game, have eight players with ten or more steals on the year, led by freshman Damian Saunders with 31.

HISTORY LESSON

While in Alabama to play the Crimson Tide on Dec. 29, George Washington spent an off day taking the short trip from Tuscaloosa to Birmingham to visit the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, a state-of-the-art museum dedicated to the civil rights movement of the 1960s. The museum is located across the street from Kelly Ingram Park, site of the 1960s demonstrations where police turned fire hoses and dogs on demonstrators and a nearby church was bombed.

MAGELLAN...COLUMBUS...GIANNINI

La Salle improved to 2-0 on the road in A-10 play after turning aside Richmond on Jan. 19, 76-67. The Explorers are 5-5 on the road this season after posting three wins in ten road dates a year ago. La Salle's next road contest is Feb. 2 at Xavier.

BOARD WORK

Bryant Dunston grabbed ten rebounds at Charlotte on Jan. 26, extending his streak of double-digit rebounding performances to seven. The senior forward leads the A-10 with an average of 9.4 rpg.

NOT FLYING

Dayton freshman forward Chris Wright underwent successful surgery on Jan. 14 to repair a fractured bone in his right ankle. A typical rehab program for this injury is four-to-eight weeks. Wright is averaging 10.4 ppg. and 6.0 rpg. and is a four-time A-10 Rookie of the Week selection. Meanwhile, junior forward Charles Little broke a bone near his right big toe on Jan. 16 and is currently projected to be on the shelf for four-to-seven weeks. Little is averaging 8.2 points and 4.9 rebounds.

BASKETBALL BOOKWORMS

Taking a page from Hall of Fame coach Clarence "Big House" Gaines, Fordham head coach Dereck Whittenburg assigned books for each of his players to read over the holiday break. The books range from self-help to biographies of famous personalities. "On break, the guys didn't have any assigned reading from school so I decided to give them some," said Whittenburg. "After they read the book, we'll have a conversation about it. These are books that not only will help them now but also will benefit them in the future." Whittenburg also exposed his squad to some history on the Rams' road contest at Xavier on Jan. 12 as he took the team to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

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 13-0 on the year when four or more players reach double digits.

MODEL OF CONSISTENCY

Senior guard/forward Gary Forbes of Massachusetts has scored in double figures in 22 consecutive games and has ten performances of 20 or more points this season. Forbes ranks third in the Conference in scoring at 20.3 ppg.

ELITE COMPANY

Temple junior Dionte Christmas leads the league in scoring with an average of 20.8 ppg. He is vying to become just the fourth player in A-10 history and first since George Washington's SirValiant Brown (2000, 2001) to lead the A-10 in scoring in successive years. The two other players to hold that distinction are John Battle of Rutgers (1984, 1985) and St. Bonaventure's Earl Belcher (1980, 1981).


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
Jan. 6-Jan. 12    Leemire Goldwire, Charlotte
                  Brian Roberts, Dayton
Jan. 13-19        Ricky Harris, Massachusetts
Jan. 20-26        Pat Calathes, Saint Joseph's
                  Dionte Christmas, Temple

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
Jan.6-12          Charles Dewhurst, Charlotte
Jan. 13-19        Kevin Anderson, Richmond
                  Paul Eckerle, Saint Louis
Jan. 20-26        Jerrell Williams, La Salle 

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