A-10 Men's Basketball Notebook, Feb. 8, 2009

A-10 Men's Basketball Notebook, Feb. 8, 2009

This is the Atlantic 10 Conference's men's basketball notebook for the week ending February 7, 2009. Duquesne's Aaron Jackson is the Player of the Week and St. Bonaventure's Andrew Nicholson is the Rookie of the Week.


PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Aaron Jackson - Duquesne
Senior, Guard, 6-4, 185 lbs.
Hartford, Conn./Worcester (Mass.) Academy

Jackson averaged 25 points, 5.5 rebounds and three assists over a pair of contests on the week...shot 17-of-33 from the field and 15-for-18 from the line...scored a game-high 29 points and grabbed six boards on Feb. 4 in Duquesne's 78-74 (OT) loss at Saint Louis...scored a game-high 21 points, including five free throws in the final 31 seconds, as the Dukes edged ninth-ranked Xavier on Feb. 7, 72-68...added four steals...named the A-10 Player of the Week for the third time this season and fifth time in his career.

ROOKIE OF THE WEEK

Andrew Nicholson - St. Bonaventure
Freshman, Forward, 6-9, 230 lbs.
Mississauga, Ontario/Father Michael Goetz Secondary HS

Nicholson scored 12 points, grabbed eight rebounds and blocked six shots in just 22 minutes of action on Feb. 7 as St. Bonaventure earned a 72-67 win over La Salle in its lone contest of the week...shot 6-of-8 from the field...earns his league-leading and program-best sixth A-10 Rookie of the Week honor...ranks second in the Conference in blocks with 72.


SHOT CLOCK SNIPPETS...

  • The Atlantic 10 is the eighth-ranked conference in the RPI by collegerpi.com thru games of Feb. 7.
  • Duquesne's 72-68 win over #9/#9 Xavier on Feb. 7 marked its first victory over a top 10 team since a 91-84 win over No. 10 (AP) Florida State on Dec. 15, 1992, and ended the Dukes' 24-game losing streak against ranked teams since an 88-72 victory over then-No. 16 (AP) Xavier on Jan. 25, 1997.
  • Jimmy Baron (URI), Jason Duty (DUQ), Yves Mekongo Mbala (LAS) and Kevin Lisch (SLU) have earned ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District first-team distinction and will have their names placed on the national ballot for the 2008-09 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Team.
  • Xavier has amassed 20 wins for the fourth consecutive year and 12th time in the past 13 seasons.

HONOR ROLL

  • Charlotte junior guard DiJuan Harris scored 10 points and dished out 10 assists on Feb. 5 in the 49ers' 71-64 loss to Rhode Island.
  • Junior guard Marcus Johnson averaged 14 points and four rebounds in leading Dayton to a pair of wins.
  • Fordham freshman guard Jio Fontan scored a game-high 22 points in the Rams' 87-62 loss at George Washington on Feb. 7.
  • Junior forward Damian Hollis averaged 16.5 points on 13-of-20 shooting over two games, while freshman forward Aaron Ware averaged 7.5 points.
  • Massachusetts senior guard Chris Lowe scored 13 points, dished out 10 assists and added seven boards in the Minutemen's 80-71 win over Richmond on Feb. 4.
  • Senior guard Jimmy Baron scored all 19 of his points in the second half as Rhode Island earned a 71-64 win at Charlotte on Feb. 5.
  • Saint Joseph's senior forward Ahmad Nivins scored 16 points and pulled down 11 boards on Feb. 4 in the Hawks' 66-58 victory over George Washington.
  • Senior guard Kevin Lisch scored 21 points as Saint Louis edged Duquesne in overtime on Feb. 4, 78-74.

DAYTON BY NUMBERS

Dayton is 9-0 this season in games decided by five points or less. By comparison, VMI ranks second nationally in games decided by five points or less at 6-0. UD is 35-4 with sophomore forward Chris Wright in the lineup and has equaled its best start (21-2) after 23 contests since 1955-56 and 1957-58. The Flyers are also 4-1 this season versus teams in the top 75 of the RPI thru games of Feb. 6.

BACK IN TIME

Duquesne's 6-3 record in A-10 action is its best since the 1980-81 Eastern 8 regular season co-champion Dukes finished 10-3 in conference play.

HOME SUPREMACY

Xavier will enter its Feb. 14 contest versus Fordham at Cintas Center riding a 21-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. Meanwhile, Dayton is undefeated (14-0) at home this season and boasts a 16-game home winning streak, the longest active streak in the Conference and tops in program history.

GIVE HIM HIS PROPS

Duquesne senior guard Aaron Jackson, who ranks fourth in the A-10 in scoring (17.8 ppg.) and third in assists (5.5 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).

A SELECT FEW

Massachusetts senior guard Chris Lowe scored his 1,000th career point on Feb. 4 in the Minutemen's 71-64 win over Richmond. He is just seventh player in league history and first at UMass with 1,000 career points and 600 career assists.

SHINING BRIGHT

Former A-10 standouts and Associated Press National Players of the Year Jameer Nelson of Saint Joseph's and Xavier's David West have been named to the NBA All-Star team. The contest will be held Feb. 15 in Phoenix. It marks Nelson's first All-Star selection, while West earns his second straight honor. West earned A-10 and AP Player of the honors in 2003 and is league's all-time leading rebounder (1,309). Nelson was tabbed the 2004 A-10 and AP Player of the Year and led SJU to the Elite Eight.

    Note: Nelson will miss this year's game as a result of a shoulder injury suffered on Feb. 2nd.

CLIMBING THE CHARTS

Rhode Island senior Jimmy Baron ranks first in program history and third in A-10 annals with 316 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)           316
 

STRAIGHT SHOOTER

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 141-of-213 shots through the Hawks' first 21 contests and leads the league with 14 double-doubles. Nivins has scored in double figures in 78 of his 114 career games and has reached double figures in rebounds 27 times, including 14 times this season, which is tops in the league. He also boasts 24 career double-doubles, while his five A-10 Player of the Week honors this season are tied with former TU standout Mardy Collins for the fourth-highest single-season total in league annals.

SELECT COMPANY

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.

RARE AIR

Senior forward Kahiem Seawright recorded his 100th career block on Jan. 31 in Rhode Island's 98-88 (OT) win over La Salle. Seawright joins former Xavier standout - and two-time All-Star - David West as the only A-10 players since 1996-97 to register at least 1,000 points, 750 rebounds, 200 assists and 100 career blocks.

EXPLORING NEW HEIGHTS

Rodney Green scored 25 points in La Salle's 63-61 loss to Dayton on Feb. 4. It marked the junior guard's ninth 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 17.0 ppg., up from 13.4 ppg. a year ago.

DANDY ANDY

St. Bonaventure freshman forward Andrew Nicholson leads all freshmen nationally in blocked shots (72) and field goal percentage (.620) entering the Bonnies' Feb. 11 contest at Rhode Island. Named the A-10 Rookie of the Week a program-record six 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.

SPECIAL SATURDAY

GW senior Rob Diggs moved into fourth place in program annals with 129 career blocks while becoming the 41st player in GW history to reach the 1,000-point milestone in the Colonials' 87-62 win over Fordham on Feb. 7.

INSTANT OFFENSE

With an average of 10.5 ppg., junior forward Delroy James of Rhode Island leads all A-10 players who have started 50% or less of his team's games.

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