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Atlantic 10 Postseason Preview and Awards

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The Atlantic 10 has been down this season as the league tries to sneak two (or possibly three) members into the Field of 68. It feels like a decade ago when the Atlantic 10 got six members in the NCAA tournament in 2014.

Since the league suffered its worst collective non-conference record in over a decade, the Atlantic 10 struggled with computer numbers and quality teams this season. Rhode Island and St. Bonaventure were clearly the only two dominant teams in the league.

While the Atlantic 10 isn’t nearly as deep top-to-bottom as it has been, there are still some dangerous teams to keep tabs on this week in Washington D.C.

Here’s a look at the 2018 Atlantic 10 Tournament.


St. Bonaventure enters the week as the No. 2 seed in the tournament but they’re arguably the hottest team in the country right now. The Bonnies have won 12 straight games as they haven’t lost since Jan. 19. Armed with one of the best backcourts in the country in Jaylen Adams and Matt Mobley, St. Bonaventure is playing its best basketball heading into the postseason.


Rhode Island has been the dominant team in the Atlantic 10 for much of this season. The Rams won 16 straight games during the middle of the regular season as it looked like they might run away with an unbeaten conference regular season. But Rhode Island has recently seen some struggles as the Rams have dropped three of their last five games. Plus, No. 1 seeds have a bizarre lack of success in this tournament. Since 2006, the No. 1 seed has more first-game exits (five) than titles (two).

Davidson has become an intriguing team to watch as they enter the tournament winners of five of their last six games. The Wildcats just knocked off Rhode Island for a huge road win to end the regular season and senior Peyton Aldridge is one of the league’s best players.


Since Rhode Island has lost two consecutive games, and three of its last five, then they can badly us a couple of wins this week heading into the NCAA tournament. While the Rams were once considered to be a threat to earn a really good seed, another bad loss could put them in jeopardy of being a double-digit seed with a tough first-round opponent.


Both Rhode Island and St. Bonaventure look like they should be comfortably in the field heading into this week. The next closest team to making the NCAA tournament in the Atlantic 10 would be Davidson, but they would need to win the tournament and earn the autobid to get a spot.


Saint Joseph’s finished fourth in the standings after a strong end to the season. Winners of six of their last seven games, the Hawks have been dangerous as they won at Rhode Island in a shocking 30-point drubbing a few weeks ago. Shavar Newkirk and James Demery are one of the best one-two punches in the league as they could carry this team to plenty of more wins in Washington D.C.


Jaylen Adams, St. Bonaventure. One of the most potent offensive players in the country, Adams is going to have to help carry the Bonnies if they want to win this tournament. Shooting 47 percent from three-point range on the season, Adams is capable of going for monster outings — as evidenced by his back-to-back 40-point games during conference play. If Adams and fellow senior Matt Mobley are both going then St. Bonaventure is tough to stop.


St. Bonaventure’s rotationOver the last eight games, Mobley and Adams are averaging over 40 minutes per game.  They almost never get subbed out. If the Bonnies are going to win three games in less than 48 hours, they’ll need more from their bench.
Rhode Island’s perimeter shooting: Sitting at 33 percent from three-point range on the season, the Rams have been a streaky team from the perimeter. Leading scorer Jared Terrell sits at a healthy 41 percent on the season but the rest of the roster will need to knock down some shots during the week.  
George Mason’s late-game heroics: The Patriots are a tough No. 5 seed — especially if the game is tight down the stretch. George Mason earned four A-10 wins on game-winning shots in the final seconds this season. They also won in the second round of the A-10 tournament on a buzzer-beater last year.  


PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Jaylen Adams, St. Bonaventure

COACH OF THE YEAR: Dan Hurley, Rhode Island


  • Jaylen Adams, St. Bonaventure
  • Matt Mobley, St. Bonaventure
  • Jared Terrell, Rhode Island
  • Justin Tillman, VCU
  • Peyton Aldridge, Davidson


  • Luwane Pipkins, UMass
  • Kellan Grady, Davidson
  • B.J. Johnson, La Salle
  • Shavar Newkirk, Saint Joseph’s
  • Josh Cunningham, Dayton

Wake Forest guard Keyshawn Woods to transfer or go pro after graduation

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Wake Forest will be down a key player next season as the school announced that guard Keyshawn Woods will either transfer or go pro after graduation.

The 6-foot-3 Woods was the team’s second-leading scorer this season as he put up 11.9 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game. Woods shot 43 percent from the floor and 37 percent from three-point range for the 2017-18 campaign.

Also a key member of last season’s NCAA tournament team for the Demon Deacons, Woods transferred to Wake Forest after spending his first season at Charlotte.

“I appreciate the opportunity that Coach Manning gave me to be a part of this program and to graduate from this great university,” said Woods in the release. “I am proud that I was able to help the coaches change the culture of the program and build a foundation for the future.”

The loss of Woods won’t be easy for Wake Forest, but the team is scheduled to return some talented guards like Bryant Crawford and Brandon Childress next season. Incoming freshmen like Jaime Lewis and Sharone Wright Jr. are also signed to add to the perimeter depth.

David Padgett not retained as Louisville coach

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Louisville announced on Wednesday afternoon that interim head coach David Padgett would not be retained.

Padgett, who is 32 years old, stepped in and took the program over in the wake of a scandal that cost Hall of Fame head coach Rick Pitino his job.

“We all owe a great debt of gratitude to David for his leadership and poise this season,” said U of L Interim Director of Athletics Vince Tyra. “He took over during incredible circumstances, has handled himself respectfully throughout the season and I believe he has a bright future in coaching. We expect to determine a new head coach in a short period to build upon the great basketball tradition of this university.”

Pitino was fired because an FBI complaint contained an allegation that he and his staff had arranged for a $100,000 payment to be funneled to Brian Bowen from Adidas.

In his one season with the Cardinals, Padgett went 22-14 and reached the quarterfinals of the NIT.

Louisville will now conduct a search for their next head coach, and current Xavier coach Chris Mack has long been considered the favorite to take that job.

Kansas State’s injured star hoping to play Thursday

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One of the most surprising parts about Kansas State’s run to the Sweet 16 is that they have done it without the services of their leading scorer, Dean Wade.

Wade injured his foot prior to the Big 12 tournament loss to Kansas. He did not play in that game or in either of Kansas State’s first two tournament games, but it is looking more and more like he’ll be on the floor on Thursday night when they play Kentucky.

“I don’t play percentages very well, but I’m feeling good,” Wade said, via SEC Country. “I’m very positive about it. It’s getting better every day and today I felt great out there, doing a little more than usual. It felt good.”

Wade averaged 16.5 points per game, but the big question is going to be whether or not he is actually healthy when he takes the court. Just because he’s on the floor doesn’t mean he’s at 100 percent.

“Really just trying to get it out of my mind that it’s not hurt,” Wade said. “Just more of a mental thing, just getting out there and running around. I think I got moved past that and it’s feeling better.”

Arizona’s Sean Miller: ‘I am not a candidate’ at Pitt

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With speculation mounting about who Pitt will hire to replace Kevin Stallings as their new head coach, current Arizona head coach Sean Miller released a statement saying that he is not in the running to fill the opening.

“I am not a candidate for the University of Pittsburgh men’s basketball head coaching vacancy. I wish them well in their search for a new coach,” the statement read.

Miller is a native of Pittsburgh and an alumni of the school — he’s the guy that had the assist on Jerome Lane’s famous dunk — and with the issues that are currently swirling around him and the Arizona program, there was speculation that he was looking for an escape plan.

Maybe he wasn’t.

Maybe he was and the Pitt administration decided they couldn’t risk hiring someone who had an assistant coach arrested in the FBI’s sweep of college basketball and who himself may be on wiretaps talking about who knows what. Releasing this statement would then be a way for him to save face and say he was never interested.

And then maybe there’s option No. 3: Pitt has won the Dan Hurley sweepstakes.

As it stands, both the Panthers and UConn are in the process of chasing after the Rhode Island head coach, and it’s not uncommon in coaching searches for a coach to announce that he is not a candidate for the job after the job decides they want someone else. Call it a professional courtesy.

But that’s neither here nor there.

What we do know now is that Sean Miller will not be the next head coach at Pitt.

Report: Notre Dame’s Bonzie Colson suffers another fracture in foot

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Bonzie Colson rushed back from a broken foot to try and help his Notre Dame team get into the NCAA tournament this season.

They were bumped out of the field when Davidson upset Rhode Island and earned the Atlantic 10’s third bid to the league tournament. The Fighting Irish were NIT bound, and in their second round loss to Penn State late last week, Colson reinjured the left foot that held him out of action for eight weeks.

On Wednesday, Yahoo reported that Colson suffered another fracture in the foot.

“I’m sitting there and he’s limping off and I’m going, ‘You gotta be kidding me,’” coach Mike Brey said after the game. “Everything we’ve been through? I thought we were out of the woods with him.”

There was a poignant moment at the end of the game.

Colson’s injury came during the third quarter. He returned to the bench at Purcell Pavilion with ice on his foot after going into the locker room. With 30 seconds left and a loss imminent, Colson walked right past Mike Brey, said “I’m going in”, and finished his college career on the court.

Colson is a potential second round pick. He was an all-american last year and a preseason selection this year. He was averaging 19.7 points, 10.2 boards and 2.2 blocks when he was injured.