With the calendar year ending, we welcome the conference season beginning. Conference play requires precision and execution since the foes are familiar. With the Atlantic 10 looking as strong as ever with 12 of the 14 teams having a .500 or better record.
George Mason Patriots (10-3)
The Patriots got off to a slow start but have picked it up and remains one of the hottest teams in the conference. Senior Marquis Moore has asserted himself during their 9-game winning streak and his increased his average from 11.4 to 18.1
Leading Scorer: Marquise Moore – 18.1
Leading Rebounder: Marquise Moore – 11.2
Best Win: 85-66 at Penn State
Dayton Flyers (9-3)
Dayton has been every good as George Mason of late. The Flyers have won 7 of the last 8 games. Their only loss came to Northwestern.
Leading Scorer: Charles Cooke – 19.2
Leading Rebounder: Charles Cooke – 5.5
Best Win: 77-72 at Alabama
Massachusetts Minutemen (9-3)
Junior Donte Clark has led the Minutemen with his scoring and leadership but they’ve also gotten contributing from a couple of younger players. Freshman Luwane Pipkins and sophomore Rashaan Holloway. Pipkins and Holloway have played a key role in UMass’ early season success.
Leading Scorer: Donte Clark – 15.6
Leading Rebounder: Rashaan Holloway – 4.9
Best Win: 70-66 vs Harvard
VCU Rams (9-3)
VCU has resembled more of its HAVOC reputation of late. Since the overtime to Georgia Tech, the Rams have run off 3 straight wins. The Rams came back on the road to beat ODU and got an impressive home win against Middle Tennessee State.
Leading Scorer: JeQuan Lewis – 15.3
Leading Rebounder: Justin Tillman – 6.3
Best Win: 80-77 vs Middle Tennessee State
Rhode Island Rams (8-4)
After a very fast start, Rhode Island has come back down to Earth. The Rams came into the Duke game undefeated and has just been 4-4 including the loss to the Blue Devils.
Leading Scorer: Hassan Martin – 16.1
Leading Rebounder: Hassan Martin – 8.1
Best Win: 76-71 vs Cincinnati
St. Bonaventure Bonnies (8-4)
On the surface, the Bonnies seem to be off to a good start but they lack a signature win. Florida (14) and UNC-Wilmington (51) are the only two teams they’ve played who doesn’t have a KenPom rating in triple digits. St. Bonaventure will be coming into the conference season fresh off a tough overtime loss to Canisius.
Leading Scorer: Jaylen Adams – 23.0
Leading Rebounder: Denzel Gregg – 7.4
Best Win: 90-84 vs Buffalo
George Washington Colonials (8-5)
The Colonials just had a three-game winning streak snapped by Miami (FL). Prior the loss, wins over Temple, Howard and UCF had gotten GW in a good place.
Leading Scorer: Tyler Cavanaugh – 16.8
Leading Rebounder: Tyler Cavanaugh – 7.4
Best Win: 66-63 vs Temple
Davidson Wildcats (6-4)
All 6-4 records aren’t made the same. The Wildcats fall into that category. Three of their four losses have come to teams that have a KenPom rating of 22 or better including back to back losses to North Carolina and Kansas. Jack Gibbs and Peyton Aldridge gives the Wildcats a chance to win every night.
Leading Scorer: Jack Gibbs – 22.7
Leading Rebounder: Peyton Aldridge – 7.0
Best Win: 68-60 vs Arizona State
LaSalle Explorers (6-4)
The Explorers are coming off an exciting 98-96 win over Mercer in triple overtime. LaSalle has had a solid season with two of their four losses coming to Big East teams (Villanova and Georgetown). They’ve responded to those two losses with two straight wins heading into the conference season.
Leading Scorer: BJ Johnson – 20.2
Leading Rebounder: BJ Johnson – 6.2
Best Win: 84-80 vs Florida Gulf Coast
St. Joseph’s Hawks (6-5)
After losing 4 straight, the Hawks have won 3 out of 4. Two of the three wins came on the road. St Joe’s will have to keep being road warriors as two of their first three conference game are on the road.
Leading Scorer: Shavar Newkirk – 21.2
Leading Rebounder: James Devery – 8.0
Best Win: 76-68 at Princeton
Duquesne Dukes (7-6)
The Dukes have won 3 straight and 4 out of 5. Freshman Isiaha Mike is starting to heat up. During the three game winning streak, Mike has averaged 16 points a game.
Leading Scorer: Mike Lewis II – 11.8
Leading Rebounder: Nakye Sanders – 6.0
Best Win: 64-55 vs Pitt
Richmond Spiders (6-6)
The Spiders’ record has been more indicative of their schedule than their talent. Richmond has competitive losses to Maryland and Wake Forest. They don’t have a signature win yet but having talent like TJ Cline and ShawnDre’ Jones means it’s only a matter of time.
Leading Scorer: TJ Cline – 18.6
Leading Rebounder: TJ Cline – 7.8
Best Win: 67-54 vs Boston College
Fordham Rams (6-7)
Fordham started out the season 5-1 before the hit a rough patch. The Rams broke their losing streak with a 83-60 win over Central Connecticut.
Leading Scorer: Javontae Hawkins – 13.5
Leading Rebounder: Javontae Hawkins – 5.0
Best Win: 63-41 vs Saint Peter’s
Saint Louis Billikens (4-8)
The Billikens have won two of their last four after going through a 5-game losing streak. They lost to BYU, Alabama, Samford, Kansas State, and Wichita State. Not exactly an easy road especially early in the season.
Leading Scorer: Jermaine Bishop – 11.6
Leading Rebounder: Reggie Agbeko – 8.8
Best Win: 74-69 vs Eastern Illinois
Marcus “Mook” Washington is the host of Making The Cut. Follow Mook on Twitter: @mtcwithmook and IG: MTCWithMook