PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Tasheed Carr - Saint Joseph's
Senior, Guard, 6-4, 210 lbs.
Philadelphia, Pa./Mt. Zion Academy (N.C.)
In Saint Joseph’s lone contest of the week, Carr scored 21 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out six assists as Saint Joseph’s earned a 68-58 win at Richmond on Jan. 28...shot 7-of-11 from the field and 5-for-6 from the line...added a steal and a block...marked his second 20-point performance of the season.
B.J. Raymond - Xavier
Senior, Guard/Forward, 6-6, 226 lbs.
Toledo, Ohio/St. John’s Jesuit HS
Raymond averaged 22.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists while shooting 69.6 percent (16-of-23) from the field in a pair of victories...made 10-of-15 shots from beyond the arc and added three blocks and three steals...scored 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in Xavier’s 69-47 win versus on Jan. 28...added 22 points and five boards on Jan. 31 in the Musketeers’ 82-80 victory over Massachusetts...named the A-10 Player of the Week for the second time this season.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Andrew Nicholson - St. Bonaventure
Freshman, Forward, 6-9, 230 lbs.
Mississauga, Ontario/Father Michael Goetz Secondary HS
Nicholson earns his fifth A-10 Rookie of the Week honor after averaging 17.3 points, eight rebounds and three blocks over three contests...scored a season-high 29 points and added 12 rebounds and six blocks on Jan. 31 in St. Bonaventure’s 74-68 loss at Duquesne...shot 22-of-36 from the field on the week...leads the team with three outings of 20 or more points.
- Charlotte senior forward Lamont Mack scored 18 points in the 49ers’ 70-53 home win over Winthrop on Jan. 31
- Sophomore forward Chris Wright averaged 17.5 points and eight rebounds, while freshman forward Chris Johnson averaged 10.5 ppg. and 6.0 rpg. in a pair of UD victories
- Duquesne sophomore swingman Bill Clark averaged 19.5 ppg. and 5.5 rpg., while freshman guard Eric Evans averaged 13.5 points in a pair of victories
- Freshman guard Jio Fontan scored a season-high 25 points on Jan. 28 in Fordham’s 67-65 win at St. Bonaventure
- GW senior guard Noel Wilmore scored 16 points on 4-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc at La Salle on Jan. 28
- Junior guard Rodney Green of La Salle averaged 21 points and 6.5 assists in a pair of contests
- Rhode Island senior forward Kahiem Seawright scored a game-high 25 points on Jan. 31 in the Rams’ 98-88 (OT) win over La Salle
- Junior guard David Gonzalvez scored a career-best 36 points in Richmond’s 74-65 loss at Temple on Jan. 31
- Saint Louis senior forward Barry Eberhardt poured in a career-high 26 points, while freshman forward Willie Reed added 17 points in the Billikens’ 88-58 win at Fordham on Jan. 31
- Senior guard Dionte Christmas averaged 22 points and 9.5 rebounds over two games for the Owls
- Xavier freshman center Kenny Frease averaged 12.5 points in a pair of wins
SHOT CLOCK SNIPPETS...
- Saint Joseph’s senior Ahmad Nivins has scored in double figures in 31 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the Conference.
- The Atlantic 10 is the eighth-ranked conference in the RPI by collegerpi.com thru games of Jan. 31.
- Xavier is 7-0 in league play for the first time since 2001-02.
- Off to its best start since going 23-2 in 1957-58, Dayton is 32-4 with sophomore forward Chris Wright in the lineup.
- Duquesne is off to its best overall (14-6) and A-10 (5-2) start since 1980-81.
DAYTON BY THE NUMBERS
Dayton is 8-0 this season in games decided by five points or less and its 15-game home winning streak is the longest in the Conference and tied for the longest in program history.
FEELS LIKE HOME
Richmond junior guard David Gonzalvez scored a career-best 36 points on Jan. 31 in the Spiders’ 74-65 loss at Temple. It marked the most-ever points scored by an opposing player at Temple’s Liacouras Center, which opened on Dec. 9, 1997.
GIVE HIM HIS PROPS
Duquesne senior guard Aaron Jackson, who ranks fourth in the A-10 in scoring (17.1 ppg.) and third in assists (5.8 apg.), has been named to the SportsIllustrated.com All-Underrated Team. He is joined by John Bryant (Santa Clara), Lee Cummard (BYU), LaceDarius Dunn (Baylor) and Lester Hudson (Tennessee-Martin), Jerome Jordan (Tulsa), Patrick Patterson (Kentucky), Jerome Randle (Cal), Jermaine Taylor (Central Florida) and Marcus Thornton (LSU).
Tasheed Carr is averaging 15.7 points and five assists during Saint Joseph’s current seven-game winning streak. The senior guard averaged 10.8 points a year ago.
ENTER WITH CAUTION
Xavier’s Cintas Center has been chosen among the 15 finalists in an EA SPORTS online poll to determine the “Toughest Places to Play” in college basketball. Since the building opened in 2000-01, XU boasts a 116-17 home record with 79 sellouts.
FROM WALKING TO RUNNING
Duquesne walk-on junior guard Jason Duty, who joined the team on the day of the 2006-07 season opener only after a campus shooting left the roster decimated, may be the feel-good story in the Atlantic 10 this season. Duty, who gave up a gig as a singer and guitar player for a band called 'Mark this Day' to give Division I basketball a try, has made himself into one of the top three-point shooters in the league. He currently leads the Conference in three-point percentage at .429 (36-of-84), is shooting .871 (27-of-31) from the foul line, ranks second on the team in career games played (65) and third in career starts with 35.
CLIMBING THE CHARTS
Rhode Island senior Jimmy Baron ranks first in program history and third in A-10 annals with 314 career three-pointers. Baron boasts 16 career performances with at least five field goals from beyond the arc and nailed eight three’s at Duke on Nov. 16, the most by an opposing player in the history of Cameron Indoor Stadium. Below is a look at the Conference’s all-time leaders:
1. Darnell Harris, La Salle (2005-08) 342
2. Monty Mack, Massachusetts (1998-01) 331
3. Jimmy Baron, URI (2006-09) 314
Xavier enters the Feb. 5 contest versus Temple at the Cintas Center riding a 20-game home-winning streak in A-10 play. Temple holds the record with 34 consecutive home wins in Conference play (Dec. 10, 1987 - Feb. 19, 1991), while UMass won 24 straight home league contests from Jan. 15, 1992, to Feb. 14, 1995.
Saint Joseph’s senior forward Ahmad Nivins seeks to join former George Washington standout Alexander Koul (1995-97) as the only players in A-10 history to lead the league in field goal percentage three consecutive years. Nivins shot .647 (165-of-255) from the field a year ago. The Jersey City, N.J., native has made 134-of-197 shots through the Hawks’ first 19 contests and leads the league with 12 double-doubles. Nivins has scored in double figures in 76 of his 112 career games and has reached double figures in rebounds 25 times, including 12 times this season, which is tops in the A-10. He also boasts 22 career double-doubles.
Temple senior guard Dionte Christmas averaged a league-best 19.7 points last season to become just the third player in Conference history to lead the Atlantic 10 in scoring in successive years. The two other players to hold that distinction are John Battle of Rutgers (1984-85) and St. Bonaventure's Earl Belcher (1980-81). With 10 career A-10 Player of the Week honors, Christmas trails only Xavier’s David West (14) and Jameer Nelson of Saint Joseph’s (13) for the most honors in league history.
EXPLORING NEW HEIGHTS
Rodney Green scored 22 points in La Salle’s 98-88 (OT) loss at Rhode Island on Jan. 31. It marked the junior guard’s eighth 20-point performance of the season. By comparison, the Philadelphia, Pa., native scored 20 or more points just three times all of last season. Green is averaging 16.5 ppg., up from 13.4 ppg. a year ago.
MUST HAVE BEEN THE PILLOWS
Duquesne’s 89-68 win at Fordham on Jan. 25 marked its largest margin of victory in an A-10 road contest in program history.
St. Bonaventure freshman forward Andrew Nicholson leads all freshmen nationally in blocked shots (66) entering the Bonnies’ Feb. 7 contest versus La Salle. Named the A-10 Rookie of the Week five times, Nicholson’s nine blocks at Bucknell on Dec. 30 mark the highest single-game total in Division I this season. UMass forward Tony Gaffney also registered nine blocks on Dec. 6 versus Boston College.
According to RealTime RPI, the Atlantic 10 ranks fourth among Division I conferences in Strength of Schedule. In addition, A-10 teams faced 18 ranked opponents in non-conference action. Temple played five non-league teams who reached the NCAA Tournament a year ago, while Xavier boasts six wins over BCS-conference teams this season, which is tied with Gonzaga for tops nationally.
Saint Joseph’s senior forward Ahmad Nivins has registered 40 blocks and committed just 38 fouls thru the Hawks’ first 19 games this season. What makes his low foul total even more remarkable is that Nivins leads the A-10 in minutes (39.58 mpg.).
TWENTY IN THE OPENING TWENTY
La Salle’s Yves Mekongo Mbala scored 22 points in the opening half and finished with a career-best 26 points in the Explorers’ 76-66 win over George Washington on Jan. 28. The junior forward’s 22 first half points marked the most by an Explorer in the opening half since Steve Smith poured in 23 at Cincinnati on Dec. 22, 2004.
Dayton has amassed a program-record 74 dunks on the year, surpassing its previous record of 61 after just 21 games this season.
One of the more improved players in the A-10 thus far this season is Charlotte junior DiJuan Harris. The 5-9 guard is averaging 5.90 apg., up from 3.2 a year ago, and has already registered 31 steals. The last Charlotte player to average more than five assists in a season was Sean Colson (8.0 apg.) in 1997-98.
MODEL OF CONSISTENCY
Charlotte has made at least one three-pointer in 603 consecutive games – a streak that ranks in the top 10 nationally and dates back to 1989.
RED LIGHT, GREEN LIGHT
Duquesne has attempted at least 20 three-pointers in each of its 20 games this season. Meanwhile, Saint Louis ranks fourth in the nation in three-point defense at 26.6 percent (69-of-268).