State of the A-10 (2-9-11)

W L Win% W L Win% PPP PPPA Marg
Duquesne 16 6 .727 8 1 .889 1.097 0.909 0.188
Xavier 17 6 .739 8 1 .889 1.128 0.973 0.155
Temple 17 5 .773 7 2 .778 1.083 0.908 0.175
Richmond 18 6 .750 7 2 .778 1.099 0.955 0.144
Dayton 17 7 .708 5 4 .556 1.045 0.969 0.076
Rhode Island 14 9 .609 5 4 .556 1.020 0.982 0.038
Massachusetts 13 9 .591 5 4 .556 0.998 0.990 0.008
George Washington 12 11 .522 5 4 .556 0.993 1.009 -0.016
St. Bonaventure 12 10 .545 4 5 .444 1.029 1.014 0.015
St. Louis 8 14 .364 3 6 .333 0.970 0.948 0.022
La Salle 11 13 .458 3 6 .333 1.038 1.045 -0.007
Charlotte 10 13 .435 2 7 .222 1.005 1.022 -0.017
St. Joseph’s 6 15 .286 1 8 .111 1.012 1.048 -0.036
Fordham 6 15 .286 0 9 .000 0.929 1.069 -0.140

It seems relatively clear that the four best teams in the conference are the head and shoulders above everybody else. It would be surprising to see another team manage to get a first round bye in the Atlantic 10 tournament. Barring some drastic changes in events it id fair to consider that these teams should have their tickets punched for Atlantic City.

It is also clear that Duquesne has as of yet been the best team in the conference performance wise. More recently the Dukes have improved their offense from where it was a few weeks ago. With the exception of free throw shooting the Dukes offense is in the top 100 nationally in all phases of the offensive game. This efficient offense combined with stout turnover inducing defense place Duquesne at the top of the conference.

As for the other teams at the top of the league, Xavier possesses the best offense in the Atlantic 10 and conversely Temple is the best defensive club bettering Duquesne by 1 thousandth of a point per possession.

Xavier’s minor flaw is a risk averse defense which fails to force turnovers allowing opponents to get plenty of shots off. This deficiency makes the Musketeers good but not great at stopping the opposing team from scoring.

While Temple is solid on both ends it is marginally worse on offense where it lacks both a consistent outside shooting touch and poor free throw shooting. The Owls also struggle at corralling misses on that end.

Richmond is solid on both ends of the floor also but they have one glaring flaw, rebounding. The Spiders rank 311th in offensive rebounding percentage and 219th in defensive rebounding. This makes Richmond vulnerable despite being one of the finest shooting team in the nation. If the shots do not fall on a particular night the Spiders will not get many second chances.

These four clubs have separated themselves from the pack and serve as the league’s only NCAA Tournament contenders. It seems that at the very least they all will at least play in the NIT. Temple and Xavier seem to be solidly in the tournament at the moment with several quality non-conference wins. Richmond seems to be in a better position than Duquesne because a win against a top ten Purdue team but will likely need another quality conference win against Temple or Duquesne to put itself back in the mix. Duquesne lost several close games to quality non-conference competition (WVU, Penn State & George Mason). A win against one of those teams would greatly aided the Dukes chances. Currently, the Dukes only have one top 50 RPI win, so sweeping the rest of the schedule might be necessary including contests against Xavier and Richmond. Otherwise Duquesne will most likely have to take the title in Atlantic City to get into the dance.


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