For weeks now I have been waiting on things to sort themselves out in the Atlantic 10. Unfortunately, that hasn’t exactly happened, as eight teams have between three and five losses in the league. Throw in the fact that nine teams are in the RPI Top 100, and you have a deep league with almost no separation.
Here’s a brief look at those nine teams and their remaining schedules.
The Owls are the only team even close to being comfortably in the field of 68, and they currently have a one-game lead in the loss column. They rank first in offensive efficiency at 1.13 ppp in league games, thanks in large part to their shooting ability.
Rick Majerus’ club is just behind
The Hawks rank 11th in offensive efficiency and sixth on defense, and it’s somewhat surprising to see them at .500 in the league given their -0.02 efficiency margin in league games. On offense, they rank ninth or worse in eFG%, FTR, and TO% and are dead last in three-point shooting at 28.6%. They have been held to 1.00 ppp or less in six of their 10 conference games, but they also went for at least 1.14 ppp in three others. Defensively, the Hawks rank first in FTR as well as two-point defense, but they allow opponents to hit 38.9% from beyond the arc and are dead last in TO%. In the end, it’s been feast or famine for Saint Joe’s on the defensive end with five foes scoring 0.98 ppp or less and all of the others scoring 1.06 ppp or more. Their two toughest games (
Xavier (16-8, 7-3 A-10, RPI: 61)
X’s fall from grace has been well-publicized, so I’ll spare you a recap. The Musketeers are fifth in offensive efficiency with 1.06 ppp during A-10 play. They are in the top half of the league in eFG%, TO%, and FTR, but they are just 11th in OReb%. Xavier has scored at least 1.05 ppp in seven of their 10 conference games, and even when they were winning earlier in the season, they rarely surpassed that mark. The Musketeers rank third defensively with 0.98 ppp, due in large part to the fact they held four of their first five A-10 opponents to 0.93 ppp or less. They have done the same in their last two contests, but in most cases, their best defensive performances have come against the more offensively challenged teams in the league. Statistically they are all over the map. They rank second in eFG% and DReb%, but they are eighth in FTR and 11th in TO%. The pre-brawl Musketeers held all eight of their opponents to 0.98 ppp or few, but 10 of the last 16 foes have eclipsed that mark. The schedule doesn’t do them many favors with road trips to
The Minutemen have been one of the more surprising teams in the league, thanks in part to their second-ranked defensive efficiency in conference play. They are first in eFG% and three-point defense, third in FTR, and fourth in TO%. UMass has been incredibly consistent on that end of the floor, with seven of their 10 opponents scoring 0.99 ppp or less and no one scoring over 1.03 ppp. The offensive has been mediocre though and ranks eighth in league play. They are second in FTR and shoot 52.2% on their twos, but they are just ninth in OReb% and are next to last in TO%. Those woes have led to some uneven offensive performances with four games of 0.99 ppp or less and four others with at least 1.09 ppp. They have four Top 100 wins already, and the upcoming schedule provides a number of chances for more with road games against Saint Joe’s,
After dropping four straight, the Flyers are fading fast, but they do have seven Top 100 wins to their credit. However, a -0.01 efficiency margin in A-10 play doesn’t bode well for their long-term prospects. Offense isn’t the issue, as
The Explorers are similar to
Duquesne (14-9, 5-4 A-10, RPI: 80)
Since the Dukes are ninth in both offensive and defensive efficiency, there doesn’t seem to be much staying power here. But the fact remains Duquesne is 5-4 in the league with a decent RPI. They are fourth in FTR but have the worst FT% in the league, and offense has definitely been an all or nothing proposition. They have scored 1.00 ppp or less in five games but scored at least 1.11 ppp in the others, which came primarily against the league’s worst defenses. Defensively, Duquesne has allowed opponents to shoot 52.5% on two-pointers and are 12th in DReb%. They do a nice job of forcing turnovers, but all but two conference opponents have scored at least 1.01 ppp with four tallying 1.09 ppp or more. The Dukes play four of their last six on the road, including trips to Saint Bonaventure and
Saint Bonaventure (12-9, 5-4 A-10, RPI: 93)
The Bonnies are the ninth and final A-10 squad in the RPI Top 100. They rank seventh in offensive efficiency with 1.03 ppp. They are first in FTR at 43.9 and are third in OReb%. However, they rank dead last in TO% and are making less than 30% of their three-pointers. They have scored 1.00 ppp or less in five of nine contests, and a couple outliers against poor defensive teams have inflated their overall numbers. Defensively, they are allowing 0.99 ppp in league play and have decent numbers in DReb%, eFG%, and TO%. The Bonnies have quite a bit of variance from game to game, having allowed 0.92 ppp or less in four games but surrendering 1.12 ppp or more in three others, including a ridiculous 1.39 ppp against Saint Louis. Three of their final seven games come against the worst teams in the league, and they have home dates with Duquesne,
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