When I talk to people about Duquesne’s issues in the still relatively young season, I stress that outside of five halves, the offense isn’t the issue. It’s the defense that’s hurt them. I had plenty of evidence for my argument like KenPom ranking their offense 69th, total scoring in the top forty nationally and an elite assist to turnover ratio. Then, I ran the December update of my Atlantic 10 efficiency ratings and got another talking point. Four Dukes ranked fourth at their position and all starters have posted above average numbers.
As always, here is how the rating gets calculated.
For the second month in a row, Cedric Lindsay checks in as the best point guard in the league and really he’s running away with it. The next tier includes UMass’ star Chaz Williams and Fordham’s Brendon Frazier on the back of strong assist numbers. Sophomores Derrick Colter and Joe McDonald moved up the list thanks to Briante Weber’s scoring falling off.
Maurice Creek makes the first of two George Washington players to lay claim to the most efficient at their position through December. Langston Galloway has done exactly what you would expect for St Joe’s this year, score and take care of the basketball. Kendall Anthony takes Wayne Sparrows place in the ranking for the Spiders after the senior got off to a rough start. Tra’vaughn White drops from first to fourth as his all around shooting percentage fell off. The well rounded Jordair Jett holds down the fifth spot.
I’m sure I could interchange Kethan Savage and Creek as a two or three, but it wouldn’t matter. The results are the same and either player would top either list. Savage replaces Patricio Garino who has seen his minutes decreased while recovering from his injury. Of course the way he’s played, Savage might not let him have those minutes back until next year. Dwayne Evans comes in second for the second month in a row with a virtually unchanged rating. Jordan Seibert moves from the two to the three list as Dayton retooled their lineup. Raphiael Putney’s getting the job done for UMass as he holds down the only fourth spot not occupied by a Duquesne player. St Bonaventure swing man Andall Cumberbach’s name gets my top ratings among the threes but sadly, he only came in fifth on the December list. Jeremiah Jones sits sixth. November’s top forward Terry Allen fell out of the top half entirely to seventh.
Power forward remains the deepest and most exciting position in the league offensively. Ronald Roberts moves up two spots to the top position with a strong all around performance. Cady Lalanne still leads the conference in offensive rebounding while Treveon Graham overcame his early season shooting slump to move up the list. Ovie Soko did the same. Dyshawn Pierre has continued his outstanding sophomore season for Dayton and is looking like an easy all conference selection.
In case you were wondering, Devin Oliver’s game winning three pointer against Ole Miss didn’t count towards his December numbers, but he’s still riding a strong month of November for the time being. Ryan Rhoomes has quietly climbed the field goal shooting and offensive rebounding lists. Juvonte Reddic had a slightly better December than his excellent November and Dominique McKoy still leads the conference in shooting percentage. Halil Kanacevic and his point guard like assist to turnover ratio comes in fifth.
Offensively, the Dukes lineup really doesn’t have a weak link and they’re the only school in the top five at four positions. Defensively, that’s another story. They’re getting better but there still is a lot of work to be done.