I’ve noticed common theme among Duquesne fans and Atlantic 10 fans in general that they seem to fixate on the size of players on their team and describe them as “small for their position” or “more of an <insert position here> than a <their actual position>. Truth is the Atlantic 10 isn’t nearly as big as people think.
The largest lineups in the league last season belonged to George Washington and St Bonaventure whose average starters measured a little over 6’6.” Meanwhile, Fordham trotted out the smallest, but were only 2.5 inches shorter at 6’3.5” Of course, the fRams played a four guard set making such a size difference unsurprising. Bona are at the top by virtue of having the only legit seven foot center in the league.
Let me repeat. Yousou N’doye is the only seven footer.
When I break it down by position, the average point guard is 6’1,” the average shooting guard is 6’2.5,” the average small forward is 6’4.5,” the average power forward is a hair under 6’7” thanks to Fordham’s four guard set. The average center is only 6’9.”
The biggest ideal / real disparity seems to come on the wing and at center where fans seem to expect about two – three inches more than they’re actually getting. Seven foot and even 6’11” centers are a rare commodity in the A-10. Only three regulars 83 inches or taller started last season. Fans seem to want their small forwards to be what there power forwards actually are, around 6’7.” Truth is if you remove the outliers like 5’8” Kendall Anthony from the twos and 6’9” Raphael Putney from the threes as will happen anyway this season, the wing plays much closer to the guard position than it does the forward.
Everyone in the A-10 wants BCS or NBA size, but when you compare apples to apples, necessity and desire couldn’t be further apart. You simply don’t need a lineup that measures 6’3,” 6’5,” 6’7,” 6’9” and 7′ to compete as even your largest competitor is an inch shorter than that across the board from the ideal. Don’t get me wrong, it’d be nice to have that kind of size, but it’s a luxury not a single Atlantic 10 team can afford.