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Atlantic 10 Basketball News and Notes

College basketball always seems to have a way of creeping up on you. Running simultaneously with the peak of football season for the first couple of months, many fans pay marginal attention to the early portion of the season. Add in the later starts of the NBA and NHL this year and it might come as a surprise that we are already three weeks into the Atlantic 10 basketball season. For those looking to get caught up on the action as the Atlantic 10 conference season begins, you’ve come to the right place.

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Jordan Goodwin, Saint Louis Billikens, Atlantic 10 basketball, Atlantic 10 Conference
Credit: Laurie Skrivan-St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Atlantic 10 Basketball Headlines

From the league’s top teams making noise on the national rankings scene to young teams holding their own in early season nonconference action, there are plenty of Atlantic 10 basketball storylines to note. Here are a few that stand out from the past week or so.

Richmond, Saint Louis Knocking on the Doorstep of the AP Top 25

Atlantic 10 basketball fans have every right to be excited about the recognition that the conference is getting on the national level. While no A10 team was officially ranked in the Week 4 AP Top 25, Richmond and Saint Louis were 1-2 in terms of votes among teams outside the rankings.

In actuality, Richmond was one of three teams to drop out of the rankings after being included each of the last two weeks. The Spiders are 5-1 on the season with the only loss coming on the road to No. 11 West Virginia. One could argue that the rankings were a bit harsh in knocking Richmond out completely all because of a 16-point loss to a Mountaineers squad that many believe is a contender to win it all. Nonetheless, Richmond has done their part to get back Atlantic 10 basketball back into next week’s rankings (see the next headline!).

Saint Louis is yet to crack the Top 25 this season but continues to build a case for a ranking with every passing game. The Billikens are now 5-0 on the season after dismantling Indiana State this past Tuesday. The 19-point victory was only the second smallest of the young season for SLU (the Billikens edged SEC foe LSU by four points in the Billiken Classic during tip-off week). Upcoming games against NC State and Minnesota will give Travis Ford’s squad and Atlantic 10 basketball more opportunities at Power 5 wins.

Dayton beats Mississippi State Atlantic 10 basketball
Credit: Dayton Athletics

Dayton, Richmond the Latest to Earn Wins Over SEC Opponents

Richmond shocked the country and put Atlantic 10 basketball with their early-season triumph at Rupp Arena over Kentucky. The Spiders were back to being SEC-beaters this week after dropping from the AP Top 25, going on the road and earning an impressive 11-point win over Vanderbilt. The Spiders dominated the first half and led by 24 at the break, coasting to the finish line from there. Senior guard Blake Francis led the four Spiders who reached double figures scoring with 21 points.

Dayton also earned a big win over SEC competition in the past week. The Flyers’ season got off to a rocky start thanks to virus-related delays and a two-point loss at SMU. Anthony Grant’s team turned their fortunes around with an 85-82 double-overtime victory over Mississippi State this past Saturday. Jalen Crutcher was phenomenal as per usual, scoring 23 points and dishing 4 assists while playing a whopping 50 minutes. Dayton will give Atlantic 10 basketball another shot against SEC competition this weekend when they host Ole Miss.

Tre Mitchell UMass Minutemen Atlantic 10 basketball
Credit: UMass Athletics

UMass Takes Down La Salle in A10’s First Conference Game

Given the whacky nature of scheduling this year, Atlantic 10 basketball conference play is beginning much earlier for some teams than is typically the norm. Wednesday night saw the first game played between A10 teams when UMass traveled to Philadelphia to take on La Salle. UMass ultimately emerged with the first league win of the year, taking down the Explorers 85-66.

The Minutemen were able to turn a slim one-point halftime lead into a 19-point victory thanks to a 49-31 second half advantage. Sophomore center Tre Mitchell continued his incredible start to the year with a stat line that included 37 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 blocks. With averages of 26.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and a 64.4% field goal percentage, Mitchell is making an early statement that he is not to be slept on when it comes to the A10 Player of the Year award.

Updated Atlantic 10 Basketball Standings

TeamConference RecordOverall Record
St. Bonaventure10-312-3
VCU10-317-5
Richmond6-313-5
UMass6-37-5
Davidson6-411-7
George Mason7-611-8
Dayton8-712-8
Saint Louis4-411-5
Duquesne6-77-8
George Washington3-44-10
Rhode Island7-910-13
La Salle6-109-14
Saint Joseph's2-93-14
Fordham2-112-11

Upcoming Atlantic 10 Basketball Games to Note

There’s a good mix of both conference play and quality nonconference games involving A10 teams over the next few days. Here are some must-see games from around the Atlantic 10 basketball landscape.

NC State at Saint Louis

Date: Thursday, Dec. 17
Time: 8 pm EST
TV Coverage: ESPN+

Richmond at Loyola (Chicago)

Date: Friday, Dec. 18
Time: 6 pm EST
TV Coverage: ESPN+

Davidson at Rhode Island

Date: Friday, Dec. 18
Time: 7 pm EST
TV Coverage: ESPNU

Ole Miss at Dayton

Date: Saturday, Dec. 19
Time: 2:30 pm EST
TV Coverage: NBCSN

Saint Louis at Minnesota

Date: Sunday, Dec. 20
Time: 8:30 pm EST
TV Coverage: FS1

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