College basketball season opened up across the country and, of course, across the Atlantic 10 this past weekend. These early games generally only mean that it’s early. No one is ever quite as good or quite as bad as they look. Even so, it’s never to soon to have some fun and start looking for some of the bright spots and some of the tarnish. We’re not breaking down every game, we’re just looking at some of the fun stuff from the weekend of Atlantic 10 basketball, be it the good or the bad – the buckets and the bricks.
Bucket: The conference went 12 – 1 during the opening weekend
Other than LaSalle stumbling and falling to the Manhattan Jaspers in double overtime, the Atlantic 10 had quite a nice opening weekend. You really can’t ask for much more than that.
Push, Probably Brick: Unexpected excitement in Dayton
The Flyers needed a late three pointer to overcome IPFW – which if you didn’t know, means “Indiania University – Purdue University Fort Wayne”. The Mastodons, a fairly mediocre team in recent years, fought hard and almost got away with one. A big part of the difference was fouls but not in the way you’d think – two of IPFW’s starters fouled out of the game. Could have been a different game without that.
Bucket: VCU looking dominant
The A10 needs flagship teams, and it has one in VCU. Illinois State was a streaky team last year, with a win over ranked Creighton and losses to Louisville by just three and Wichita State by just one. The Rams put a little bit of their patented havoc in the direciton of the Redbirds and dominated them, 96 – 58.
The new charge rules and the emphasis on the hand check are having an impact across college basketball. While it wasn’t a factor in every Atlantic 10 game, there were between 47 – 53 fouls in a majority of them. Duquesne fans noted the length of the first half due to some of the fouls as well. Just know that other conferences are feeling the pinch too. It is definitely impacting the flow of the game, but that will change as teams adapt.
Bucket: John Severe looked good for Fordham
Some were wondering how much he could help the Rams. Severe made a case for himself, leading all scorers with 28 points and adding a pair of assists and a pair of rebounds. The only bad spot was the four turnovers, but his scoring went a long way toward making up for it – especially going 7 – 10 from beyond the arc.
Brick: Lasalle’s loss
Not to take anything away from the Jaspers – and it is early – but LaSalle showed some flaws here. The first is depth. Bench points: Manhattan – 21, Lasalle – 9. The second is rebounding. Manhattan – 55, LaSalle, 33. Even with the center fouling out, that’s quite a margin. Dr. G will be giving them some things to work on, especially with increased expectations for LaSalle after last year’s success.
Bucket: Strong individual performances
- John Severe (FU 28 pts, 7-10 from 3).
- Grandy Glaze (SLU double-double and a perfect 7-7 from the floor).
- Ovie Soko (DU 17 pts, 13 boards, 3 ast).
- Charlon Kloof (SBU 16 points, 7 ast, 0 turnovers).
- Briante Weber (VCU 9 pts, 8 ast, 5 steals, 5 boards).
- Kethan Savage (GW 18 pts, 5 steals, 6 boards, 5 ast).
- Ifeanyi Onyekaba (URI 21 points, 10 boards, in just 20 minutes)
I really could go on. There were a lot of star performers this weekend, and this list isn’t even exhaustive. There’s a lot of talent in the A10, and a lot of teams with multiple contributors. It’s going to be a fun season!