A-10

Report: A-10 presidents meet to discuss implications of new Catholic 7 league

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School presidents of the Atlantic 10’s member programs will meet next Thursday to discuss the plan of action, considering reports that the seven Catholic schools of the Big East will split and create their own league, the New York Post is reporting.

With news of the Big East shift, the Atlantic 10 has come into the spotlight as a conference that could either absorb the Catholic Seven or lose some of its strongest programs to the new league. With the possibility of absorption looking less likely, news of the meeting isn’t unexpected.

Of the A-10’s member schools, Xavier, Saint Louis, Virginia Commonwealth, Butler, and Dayton have all been mentioned as schools that could join the Catholic Seven. A report from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel suggested that the Butler and Xavier move could already be all but formally announced.

The report from the Post quotes a source, saying that Saint Louis, Xavier, and Dayton already have “one foot out the door.”

That same report also mentions Creighton as a school that could join the Catholic Seven, becoming a midwest anchor for a possible “western division” of the as-of-yet unnamed conference.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

 

Complete with Butler and VCU, A-10 releases 2012-13 conference schedules

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With scheduled departures and the fast-tracked entrance of Butler and Virginia Commonwealth for the 2012-13 season, the Atlantic 10 has had some shake-ups in recent months.

On Tuesday, the league released its list of conference matchups for the 2012-13 season.

It is a 16-game slate, with each team playing every other team once, and one team twice. Dates and times are to be released at a later date.

Newcomer Butler will play St. Louis twice, while VCU will double up on Richmond.

Below is the complete list, via an A-10 press release:

BUTLER

Home – CHA, DUQ, URI, UR, SBU, SLU, TU, XU

Away – UD, FOR, GW, LAS, UM, SJU, SLU, VCU

CHARLOTTE

Home – UD, FOR, LAS, UM, SJU, TU, XU, VCU

Away – BU, DUQ, GW, URI, UR, SBU, SLU, TU

DAYTON

Home – BU, DUQ, FOR, UR, SBU, SJU, TU, XU

Away – CHA, GW, LAS, UM, URI, SLU, VCU, XU

DUQUESNE

Home – CHA, GW, URI, SBU, SJU, SLU, VCU, XU

Away – BU, UD, FOR, LAS, UM, UR, SBU, TU

FORDHAM

Home – BU, DUQ, UM, URI, UR, SJU, SLU, TU

Away – CHA, UD, GW, LAS, SBU, SJU, VCU, XU

GEORGE WASHINGTON

Home – BU, CHA, UD, FOR, LAS, SBU, SLU, TU

Away – DUQ, LAS, UM, URI, UR, SJU, VCU, XU

LA SALLE

Home – BU, UD, DUQ, FOR, GW, UM, UR, SJU

Away – CHA, GW, URI, SBU, SLU, TU, VCU, XU

MASSACHUSETTS

Home – BU, UD, DUQ, GW, URI, UR, SJU, TU

Away – CHA, FOR, LAS, URI, SBU, SLU, VCU, XU

RHODE ISLAND

Home – CHA, UD, GW, LAS, UM, SBU, VCU, XU

Away – BU, DUQ, FOR, UM, UR, SJU, SLU, TU

RICHMOND

Home – CHA, DUQ, GW, URI, SBU, SLU, VCU, XU

Away – BU, UD, FOR, LAS, UM, SJU, TU, VCU

ST. BONAVENTURE

Home – CHA, DUQ, FOR, LAS, UM, SLU, VCU, XU

Away – BU, UD, DUQ, GW, URI, UR, SJU, TU

SAINT JOSEPH’S

Home – BU, FOR, GW, URI, UR, SBU, TU, XU

Away – CHA, UD, DUQ, FOR, LAS, UM, SLU, VCU

SAINT LOUIS

Home – BU, CHA, UD, LAS, UM, URI, SJU, VCU

Away – BU, DUQ, FOR, GW, UR, SBU, TU, XU

TEMPLE

Home – CHA, DUQ, LAS, URI, UR, SBU, SLU, VCU

Away – BU, CHA, UD, FOR, GW, UM, SJU, XU

VCU

Home – BU, UD, FOR, GW, LAS, UM, UR, SJU

Away – CHA, DUQ, URI, UR, SBU, SLU, TU, XU

XAVIER

Home – UD, FOR, GW, LAS, UM, SLU, TU, VCU

Away – BU, CHA, UD, DUQ, URI, UR, SBU, SJU

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Virginia Commonwealth reportedly moving to the A-10 in 2013

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Days after intra-conference foe George Mason affirmed that it would remain in the Colonial Athletic Association, Virginia Commonwealth is headed to the Atlantic 10, Brett McMurphy of CBSSports.com is reporting.

According to McMurphy, an official announcement will come from the school this week.

Virginia Commonwealth joins Butler as the two newest members of the conference.

With these two additions, the A-10 has added teams that have combined for three Final Four appearances in the past three seasons.

The move is an attempt to fill in for the losses of Temple, which has moved to the Big East, and Charlotte, which has departed for Conference-USA.

VCU reportedly favored the move because the CAA is more prone to being a “one-bid” conference, whereas the Atlantic 10 has sent multiple teams to the NCAA tournament for each of the past five seasons.

As McMurphy points out, the CAA has had just four at-large bids into the tournament since 2000, while the Atlantic 10 had three just this past year.

Head coach Shaka Smart has led the Rams to success over the past three seasons and has increased VCU’s national brand in the process.

After winning the CBI championship in 2009-10, the Rams enjoyed a run to the Final Four in 2010-11, and came back this past season, making it to the Round of 32 of the NCAA tournament.

The Atlantic 10 was reportedly in talks with George Mason as well, but was only looking to add one more team, which ended with this news of VCU’s move.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Four college hoops programs on the rise

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Some friendly advice for team schedule makers: Avoid Georgia, Missouri, St. John’s and Richmond in the near future. Unless you don’t mind losing.

Those schools represent four college hoops programs on the rise. Missouri and Richmond are already enjoying resurgences, while Georgia and St. John’s – thanks to new coaches brining in better recruits – are on their way.

Craig Ruttle/AP

Looking back, we might be calling this the summer of St. John’s. When Steve Lavin was hired in May, some wondered if the former UCLA coach would still have his recruiting touch. Um, check. Lavin’s snagged commitments from four 4-star recruits this summer, including local product Maurice Harkless. That’s crucial for the Red Storm, who are usually ignored by NYC talent.

Big deal, right? Lavin hasn’t been on the sidelines since 2003, and coaching Xs and Os were never his strong suit. (Ask any UCLA fan.) That’s why Lavin hired veteran Mike Dunlap, a premier tactician, and ex-Purdue coach Gene Keady as an advisor. Lavin, 46, is older, wiser and destined to avoid the same mistakes he made as a young coach in Westwood.

There’s no such coaching doubt regarding Georgia‘s Mark Fox. He took Nevada to three NCAA tournament in his five-year stint, averaging almost 25 wins a season. Pundits wondered if he could do the same in the SEC. A 14-17 debut season surpassed all expectations. Wins against Tennessee, Illinois and Florida proved that.

Switching coasts didn’t hurt Fox’s recruiting, either. He secured a commitment from in-state star Kentavious Caldwell, a five-star shooting guard, who’ll be flanked by capable role players. Georgia’s biggest issue is their SEC division. Playing against Kentucky, Tennessee, Florida and Vandy doesn’t allow for any missteps. (Improving the defense would be a big help.)

That’s called a quick turnaround. Chris Mooney did the slow build at Richmond.

After plodding along in the A-10, the Spiders progressed from 8 wins in 2006-07 to 26 last season, mostly because a series of solid recruiting classes jelled into a solid defense. (Having guard Kevin Anderson morph into one of the A-10’s finest players doesn’t hurt either.)

This season, Anderson’s a senior and Richmond’s expected to be an A-10 contender because of the pressing, frenetic defense. But more importantly are the additions of freshmen Cedrick Lindsay and Derrick Williams. They’re like the current Richmond players – solid players who can help the Spiders stay among the A-10’s best.

But perhaps the best rebuilding job goes to Mike Anderson at Missouri. The Tigers plummeted at the end of the Quin Snyder era, leaving Anderson to clean house and re-fashion the team in his preferred image – one that features a full-court defense and frustrated opponents.

The payoff? A trip to the Elite Eight in 2009 and a return trip to the Big Dance last season. That hadn’t happened in Columbia since 2003. (Another sign your program’s on the rise? Your coach is in demand.)

And, like any program seeking to maintain its momentum, Anderson’s done well with recruits. He stocked the roster with loads of three-star recruits, then scored big with his 2010 haul that featured speedy point guard Paul Pressey, rugged forward Ricardo Ratliffe (both four-star players) and five-star power forward Tony Mitchell.

Mitchell may not play because of eligibility issues, but his commitment marks an important step for Anderson’s program. He’s the first five-star guy in nearly a decade. Winning games and recruiting hauls? That’s a promising program.

Mike Miller’s also on Twitter @BeyndArcMMiller, usually talkin’ hoops. Click here for more.

Let's be realistic about Duquesne

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Who knew Duquesne fans could be so demanding?

The Dukes followed up their feel-good 21-13 season that included a trip to the A-10 tournament title game with an uneven 16-16 mark. That wasn’t good enough.

“Sometimes everyone, our fans included, look at all the negatives and not the positives,” Duquesne coach Ron Everhart told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “We can be disappointed with what happened last season, but take away knowing some of the good things that we did. Now is a time that we have a group of guys I feel really good about, a great mix of older guys and younger guys.”

Must’ve missed the part where big things were predicted for Duquesne. Sure, four starters returned from that surprisingly good 2008-09 team, but the Dukes did lose leading scorer Aaron Jackson. The rest of the roster was mostly filled with sophomores and freshmen. Considering how Everhart’s turned around that program, I wouldn’t call a .500 season a failure.

Still, let’s talk big picture.

Not being satisfied with 16 wins is a sign of a program on the rise. Expectations are a good thing. But realistic expectations are even better.

Mike Miller’s also on Twitter @BeyndArcMMiller, usually talkin’ hoops. Click here for more.

No. 19: Temple Owls

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2009-10 record: 29-6 (14-2), tied for first in Atlantic 10
Lost to Cornell in NCAA tournament opener
Coach: Fran Dunphy, 84-49, 4 years (394-212 overall)
Last NCAA miss: 2007
2010-11 roster [click here]
2010-11 schedule [click here

The good: Lavoy Allen is an A-10 player of the year candidate. Juan Fernandez is deadly beyond the arc. Ramone Moore should have a breakout sophomore season. Those three form perhaps the nation’s most underrated trio. Power, finesse and scoring? It’s all there.

They’re also why Temple has a chance for its fourth straight A-10 title and could snag its first NCAA tournament win since 2001. If this isn’t Dunphy’s best team, it’ll be close.

The bad: After the talented trio, it’s mostly role players. Allen needs help up front. Junior center Michael Eric has the size (6-11, 240), but isn’t going to attract any defensive attention. Sophomore Rahlir Jefferson is a hustle player, nothing more. Anthony Lee could work his way into the starting lineup, but that’s asking a lot for the freshman.

The unknown: That lingering NCAA tourney loss to Cornell. The Owls’ particularly stingy defense was torched by the Big Red’s shooters for one of the tournament’s most memorable upsets. It’s a story Temple will be reminded of throughout the season.

Also, according to kenpom.com, the Owls were among the nation’s luckiest teams in 2009-10. Good coaching, or just good luck?

Mike Miller’s also on Twitter @BeyndArcMMiller, usually talkin’ hoops. Click here for more.