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Atlantic 10 Basketball News and Notes

Conference play is now in full swing for college basketball teams across the country. While the NFL Playoffs are still at the forefront of the sports headlines these days, there has been plenty of exhilarating action on the hardwood. Let’s get you caught up on the latest Atlantic 10 basketball storylines, standings, and upcoming marquee matchups.

Be sure to also check out the updated FlurrySports college basketball rankings!

Atlantic 10 Basketball Headlines

The season may be pushing ahead, but the China Virus is still leaving an impact. In addition to some on-court headlines, the Atlantic 10 Conference made a major announcement this past week.

Barclays Center will not host Atlantic 10 basketball tournament
Credit: REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine

2021 A10 Conference Tournament to be Relocated

Like all college basketball conferences, the Atlantic 10 basketball season culminates annually with a conference tournament. The league has primarily held its tourney at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, but that will not be the case this year. The conference announced last Thursday that the 2021 tournament would be relocated due to virus concerns. The A10 tourney will next return to Brooklyn in 2023, as the league already has a deal in place to play in Washington D.C. next season.

The exact site of this year’s tournament is still unknown. In the announcement, the conference stated that it would be held at a member institution’s campus. Based on the location of the 14 schools on a map, the Washington D.C. and New York City areas are probably the most centralized spots. This would suggest that any of George Washington, George Mason or Fordham might play host to the Atlantic 10 basketball conference tournament. The league could also opt to play on Duquesne’s campus in Pittsburgh, another fairly central locale. 

The fact that the conference is relocating from Brooklyn might be an indication that a centralized location is not the primary focus. If the A10’s goal is instead to have fan attendance at the tournament, this would likely make Dayton and Saint Louis the most likely schools to host. The states of Ohio and Missouri have been the most lenient in terms of attendance restrictions at sporting events.

Ronnie DeGray III Atlantic 10 basketball
Credit: Thom Kendall

UMass Takes Down URI in OT Thriller

Like all great rivalries in sports, it’s always a good time when UMass and Rhode Island tangle on the hardwood. Last Wednesday’s Atlantic 10 basketball duel in Amherst delivered in a big way. Freshman forward Ronnie DeGray III scored a career-high 21 points to lead the Minutemen to an 80-78 home overtime win over the Rams. 

DeGray played all but three minutes in the extended game, the most of any player on either team. He added six rebounds, three assists, and two steals to his stat line. Tre Mitchell (16), Carl Pierre (15), and Noah Fernandes (10) were the three other UMass players to reach double figures scoring in the win. In close games, it is oftentimes the fine details that can be the difference between winning and losing. Free throw shooting was huge for the Minutemen in this two-point victory. UMass shot 83.3% (20-24) from the line as a team compared to just 52.4% (11-21) for Rhode Island. 

Makhel Mitchell led the Rams in this one with 23 points. He added six rebounds and a block. It was an off night for star guard Fatts Russell in the scoring department as he only notched 12 points. This game marked the third Atlantic 10 basketball loss for Rhode Island on the season.

Kyle Lofton Atlantic 10 basketball
Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Bonnies Keep Rolling

Despite their long-shot preseason betting odds to win the A10, St. Bonaventure is off to a strong start in league play. The Bonnies kept it rolling this past week with a pair of double-digit wins to run their Atlantic 10 basketball conference record to 4-1.  

SBU first dispatched Fordham 68-54 on the road last Wednesday. Jaren Holmes led the way with 26 points, continuing his strong recent form. The Bonnies then took it to Duquesne at home just 48 hours later. Kyle Lofton poured in 28 points as the Bonnies turned a four-point halftime advantage into a 62-48 win. 

Defense has been critical to St. Bonaventure’s success thus far in the Atlantic 10 basketball season. Mark Schmidt’s team is giving up an average of just 61.6 points per game. While that ranks them as the top scoring defense in the A10 and No. 16 overall in the country, the number is actually slightly inflated from their early-season nonconference games. If we take the average from just their five A10 games thus far, the Bonnies PPG against average drops to 58.2. 

Updated Atlantic 10 Basketball Standings | College Basketball Rankings

TeamConference RecordOverall Record
St. Bonaventure10-312-3
George Mason7-611-8
Saint Louis4-411-5
George Washington3-44-10
Rhode Island7-910-13
La Salle6-109-14
Saint Joseph's2-93-14

Upcoming Atlantic 10 Basketball Games to Note

Atlantic 10 basketball fans have five Wednesday games to look forward to this week. The Hump Day slate serves as a mid-week appetizer to a loaded weekend menu. This includes 24th-ranked Saint Louis finally (hopefully) playing their conference opener.

Rhode Island at Duquesne

Date: Wednesday, Jan. 20
Time: 6 pm EST
TV Coverage: ESPN+

St. Joseph’s at George Mason

Date: Wednesday, Jan. 20
Time: 7 pm EST
TV Coverage: ESPN+

La Salle at Richmond

Date: Saturday, Jan. 23
Time: 2:30 pm EST
TV Coverage: NBCSN

Dayton at VCU

Date: Saturday, Jan. 23
Time: 4:30 pm EST
TV Coverage: CBSSN

Davidson at UMass

Date: Sunday, Jan. 24
Time: 12 pm EST
TV Coverage: CBSSN

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