2009-10 Conference Primers: #9 – Atlantic 10

Posted by nvr1983 on October 29th, 2009

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Joseph Dzuback of Villanova by the Numbers is the RTC correspondent for the Atlantic 10.

Predicted Order of Finish:

  1. Dayton (14-2)
  2. Richmond (12-4)
  3. Xavier (11-5)
  4. La Salle (11-5)
  5. Duquesne (10-6)
  6. Charlotte (9-7)
  7. Temple (9-7)
  8. Massachusetts (8-8)
  9. Rhode Island (7-9)
  10. George Washington (6-10)
  11. St. Bonaventure (5-11)
  12. St. Louis (4-12)
  13. St. Joseph’s (4-12)
  14. Fordham (2-14)

All-Conference Team:

  • Kevin Anderson (G), Richmond (36.8 MPG, 16.6 PPG, 2.8 APG)
  • Rodney Green (G), La Salle (35.3 MPG, 17.8 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 3.4 APG)
  • Levoy Allen (F), Temple (31.3 MPG, 10.9 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 1.5 BPG)
  • Chris Wright (F), Dayton (26.1 MPG, 13.3 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 1.3 BPG)
  • Damian Saunders (F), Duquesne (34.6 MPG, 13.1 PPG, 7.6 rpg, 2.4 BPG)
  • 6th Man: Kenny Frease, Xavier (14.6 MPG, 5.4 PPG, 3.7 RPG)

Impact Newcomer/All-Conference Rookie Team:

  • Carl Jones (G), St. Joseph’s
  • Christian Salecich (G), St. Louis
  • Terrell Vinson (F), Massachusetts
  • Chris Braswell (F), Charlotte
  • Aaric Murray (C), La Salle – Rookie of the Year

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What You Need to Know. Over the past two seasons the A10 has earned 6 NCAA bids, sending four different teams to the D1 post-season party of 64 65. That is more teams over the same period than any other non-BCS conference. Those teams garnered a higher winning percentage (6-6 or 50%) than the SEC (5-9 or 35.7%). This season should track with previous seasons as the A10 will look for 2-3 teams with enough talent and success to earn 1-2 at-large bids in addition to the conference’s automatic bid. The A10 has become a showcase for ‘tweeners and front-court players lately. The A10’s last two POYs were a pair of  undersized (for the positions they played) frontcourt players. Gary Forbes, a 6-7 PF out of Massachusetts won in 2008, and Ahmad Nivins a 6-10 235 pound C out of St. Joseph’s, won last spring. This season is no different as fans will see Dayton’s Chris Wright (a preseason Wooden nominee), Xavier’s Jason Love, Rhode Island’s Delroy James, Duquesne’s Melquan Bolding and Richmond’s Kevin Smith play a position or two “up” from their size and weight. The conference will showcase a number of very well-regarded incoming freshmen as Charlotte’s Chris Braswell, Massachusetts’ Terrell Vinson and La Salle’s Aaric Murray held offers from high-major programs, but chose A10 schools.

Predicted Champion. Dayton (NCAA Seed:  #4) Returning 84.5% of the minutes and 85.6% of the points from a team that finished 2nd in the conference and sent the Big East’s West Virginia home in the 1st round of the NCAAs before bowing out to Kansas, it is no wonder that the Flyers are the strong favorite to take the conference title and return to the NCAAs again in 2010. Dayton took the top spot in the A10 Coaches preseason poll, announced on Media Day (10/22). The squad is deep and experienced as Coach Brian Gregory brings back seven seniors and four juniors including four starters and nine of the top eleven scorers from last year’s team. Led by 6-8, 225 pound forward Chris Wright, a 2009-10 preseason Wooden Award nominee, the Flyers will try to pick up where they left off in March of 2009. Wright led the team in points per game (13.3) and rebounds per game (6.6). Dayton, however, is not a one man show. The Flyers return senior London Warren (the “Jacksonville Jet”), a 6-0 point guard  who led the team in assists (154) last season while averaging 21.5 minutes and 4.1 points per game. Gregory can play 3 guards by bringing in two 6-3 senior guards, Marcus Johnson and Rob Lowry. Johnson was the second-leading scorer (behind Wright), averaging 11.8 points per game while playing an average of 28.3 minutes. Rob Lowry, who came to Dayton via Cecil Community College (and Chesapeake Community College), watched the team’s last ten games from the bench, as he tore a tendon in his right knee on February 12th. Lowry was the team’s leading scorer 5 times in 2009 and was second to Warren in assists. If the Flyers play like they did at the end of the 2009 season they should separate themselves from the A10 pack early and pick up a #3 or #4 seed in the NCAAs. Look for their performance in the Puerto Rican Tip-Off, where they will face up to 3 high-major teams, as a gauge for where they stand in the Top 25.

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Checking in on the… Atlantic 10

Posted by nvr1983 on March 4th, 2009

College Chalktalk is the RTC correspondent for the Atlantic 10 Conference.

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By CCT Staff | March 2, 2009

PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Damian Hollis (Jr.), George Washington

Hollis had a memorable week in what has been a rather forgettable season for the Colonials, averaging 20 points and 14.5 rebounds over two contests.  The junior led GW to two wins, as he scored 25 points and pulled down 13 rebounds against Charlotte and then tallied 15 points and hauled in 16 boards against Richmond.  The junior showed off his hot hand by shooting 57% over the two games, connecting on 12-for-21 from the floor.  Hollis also was efficient from deep, hitting three of his five attempts from behind the arc.

HONORABLE MENTION:   Ahmad Nivins (Sr.), Saint Joseph’s; Kahiem Seawright (Sr.), Rhode Island

(Note: College Chalktalk’s week runs from the previous Monday through Sunday, given the release of ‘This Week in the A-10′ each Monday morning.)

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Checking in on the… Atlantic 10

Posted by nvr1983 on February 25th, 2009

College Chalktalk is the RTC correspondent for the Atlantic 10 Conference.

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By CCT Staff | February 4, 2009

PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Lavoy Allen (So.), Temple

Allen had perhaps his best week as a collegiate player, averaging 19.5 points and 14.5 rebounds over a two game span. The 6-foot-9 sophomore was sensational from the floor, shooting a sparkling 74% (14-of-19) during the stretch. In his most impressive game of the season, Allen shot 8-of-8 from the floor, scoring 20 points and grabbing 18 rebounds in a win over St. Bonaventure yesterday. The two double-doubles this week were the ninth and tenth of the season for Allen, as he helped lead the Owls to two victories.

HONORABLE MENTION: Kevin Anderson, (So.) Richmond; Ahmad Nivins (Sr.) Saint Joseph’s; Damian Saunders (So.), Duquesne

(Note: College Chalktalk’s week runs from the previous Monday through Sunday, given the release of ‘This Week in the A-10″ each Monday morning.)

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Checking in on the… Atlantic 10

Posted by nvr1983 on February 18th, 2009

College Chalktalk is the RTC correspondent for the Atlantic 10 Conference.

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By CCT Staff | February 16, 2009

PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Chris Wright (So.), Dayton
For Wright, winning the Player of the Week is about more than just numbers. In Dayton’s resume-building victory against nationally-ranked rival Xavier, Wright powered the Flyers with a 19 point, six rebound effort. In the process, Wright shouldered – as a star must – the additional burden for a Dayton squad without the services of valuable contributor Rob Lowery. Wright wouldn’t let his Flyers suffer a letdown after that rivalry win either, following up the Xavier effort with a double-double (17 points, 10 rebounds) in Dayton’s triumph over Richmond. Wright averaged 18 points, eight rebounds and an impressive three blocks per contest for the week.

HONORABLE MENTION: Tony Gaffney (Sr.), Massachusetts; Mike Moore (So.), Fordham; Lamont Mack (Sr.), Charlotte

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Checking in on the… Atlantic 10

Posted by nvr1983 on February 11th, 2009

College Chalktalk is the RTC correspondent for the Atlantic 10 Conference.

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This Week in the A-10
By CCT Staff | February 9, 2009

PLAYER OF THE WEEK:  Aaron Jackson (Sr.), Duquesne.

The leader of the Dukes had another huge week, averaging 25 points, 5.5 rebounds, and three assists in two games.  In Duquesne’s upset of No. 9 Xavier, Jackson scored a game-high 21 points, including five clutch free throws in the final 31 seconds of the game.  Jackson netted 29 points and grabbed six rebounds earlier in the week in a loss at Saint Louis.  In the seven day span, Jackson shot 52% (17-of-33) from the field and connected on 15-of-18 from the foul line.

HONORABLE MENTION:  Lavoy Allen (So.), Temple; Kevin Lisch (Sr.), Saint Louis;  Ahmad Nivins (Sr.), Saint Joseph’s

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Checking in on the… Atlantic 10

Posted by rtmsf on January 28th, 2009

College Chalktalk is the RTC correspondent for the Atlantic 10 Conference. 

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This Week in the A-10
By CCT Staff | January 26, 2009

PLAYER OF THE WEEK:  Ahmad Nivins (Sr.), Saint Joseph’s

Nivins once again put the Hawks on his back and carried them to two victories on the week.  In the two contests, Nivins averaged a spectacular 27 points and 16.5 rebounds per outing.  Against Duquesne, he set a career-high scoring mark, netting 34 points and pulling down 16 rebounds.  The senior forward also had a standout performance against Big 5 rival Penn, scoring 20 points and snagging 17 rebounds.  The two strong efforts by Nivins were his tenth and eleventh double-doubles on the season.

HONORABLE MENTION:  Rodney Green (Sr.), La Salle; Justin Harper (So.), Richmond

(Note: College Chalktalk’s week runs from the previous Monday through Sunday, given the release of ‘This Week in the A-10′ each Monday morning.)

GAME OF THE WEEK:  Jan. 21, 2009.  Saint Joseph’s 99, Duquesne 98 (OT)

In a game that featured double-digit leads for both teams, the outcome was decided by just one point and on the final play of the game.   By the way, that final play occurred in overtime.

Duquesne broke out of the gates early and opened up a 16-5 lead.  The Hawks came roaring back and built a 53-37 margin going into the half.  The Dukes rallied once again with a 24-4 run to retake the lead, before Ahmad Nivins scored six straight points in the final 45 seconds to tie the game and send it into an extra frame.

In the overtime,  Jason Duty hit a three-pointer with eight seconds to play to give the Dukes a one-point lead.  The Hawks had one last chance. Tasheed Carr, playing well of late, had his shot blocked and it fell into teammate Garrett Williamson’s hands.  Williamson’s game winning attempt misfired, but Idris Hilliard tipped in the rebound as time expired giving the Hawks a huge early conference win.

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Checking in on the… Atlantic 10

Posted by rtmsf on January 21st, 2009

College Chalktalk is the RTC correspondent for the Atlantic 10 Conference.

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By CCT Staff | January 19, 2009

PLAYER OF THE WEEK:

Dionte Christmas (Sr.), Temple

Christmas led the Owls in scoring both games last week, averaging 25.5 points and nine rebounds per contest.  In the seven day span, Christmas shot 9-of-17 (53%) from behind the arc, including a 5-for-5 night from deep in a Big 5 battle versus Penn.  Against UMass, Christmas had a near double-double as he tallied 26 points and nine rebounds.  Overall, Dionte shot a sparkling 58% from the field on 19-of-33 shooting.   

HONORABLE MENTION:  Ahmad Nivins (Sr.), Saint Joseph’s; Rob Lowery (Jr.), Dayton; Maurice Thomas (Jr.) St. Bonaventure

(Note: College Chalktalk’s week runs from the previous Monday through Sunday, given the release of ‘This Week in the A-10′ each Monday morning.)

GAME OF THE WEEK: January 17, 2009.  St. Bonaventure 71, Richmond 67.  With 2:55 to play, the Bonnies trailed the Spiders by seven and it looked as though SBU would suffer their first road loss of the season.  Last season, this surely would have been the case.  Not so fast in 2009.  The Bonnies rattled off the final 11 points over that span and made big defensive stops on the way to record their seventh road win of the year.  To put this in perspective, St. Bonaventure won eight games all of last season, let alone road games.  The star of the night for the Bonnies was Maurice Thomas, who recorded his fourth double-double of the season by netting a career-high 25 points and pulling down a game-high 11 boards.      

GAME OF THE UPCOMING WEEK:  Xavier @ LSU.  In Xavier’s last non-conference game of the season, the Musketeers head south to the Bayou to take on the Tigers of LSU in what should be a very entertaining match-up.  Xavier will not be welcomed guests when they arrive in Baton Rouge, as LSU is 13-0 at home on the season.  Xavier is 4-0 in true road contests, however, so something will have to give.   The Tigers (14-3) are led by guard Marcus Thornton (17.6 ppg) and forward Tasmin Mitchell (15.2 ppg).  Derrick Brown, B.J. Raymond & Co. should have their hands full with these two.     

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Checking in on the… Atlantic 10

Posted by rtmsf on January 14th, 2009

College Chalktalkcct_logois the RTC correspondent for the Atlantic 10 Conference.

By CCT Staff | January 11, 2009

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:

Ahmad Nivins (Sr.), Saint Joseph’s

While Saint Joseph’s only played one game this week, Nivins stood out by recording one of the best single-game efforts of the season by an A-10 player.  In the triple overtime win over Rhode Island, Nivins scored 28 points and grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds.  The senior forward shot 9-of-15 from the field in the contest and added three blocked shots to his gaudy stat line.  The double-double marked the seventh of the season for Nivins; tops in the conference.

Aaron Jackson (Sr.), Duquesne

Jackson has been the leader of the upstart Dukes, guiding the team to a 2-0 record in its first week of conference play.  In the two games, Jackson averaged a lofty 25 points, seven assists, and 3.5 rebounds per contest.  Jackson shot an impressive 66% (19-29) from the floor over the two game span, including 5-of-9 from behind the three-point arc.  In the win over Charlotte, he became just the 32nd player in Duquesne history to reach the 1,000 point plateau in his career.

HONORABLE MENTION:  Dionte Christmas (Sr.), Temple; Kahiem Seawright (Sr.), Rhode Island; Derrick Brown (Jr.), Xavier

(Note: College Chalktalk’s week runs from the previous Monday through Sunday, given the release of ‘This Week in the A-10′ each Monday morning.)

GAME OF THE WEEK:  January 10, 2009.  Saint Joseph’s 92, Rhode Island 86 (3 OT)

Ahmad Nivins did enough in just the one game this week to secure his place as Co-Player of the Week, posting 28 points and 20 rebounds on his way to leading the Hawks to a memorable triple overtime win against Rhode Island.  The game initially looked like it would be a laugher, as the Hawks built a 17 point lead going into halftime.  The Rams fought back, however, dominating the second half before sending the game into the extra periods, despite a last second tip-in effort by Nivins that was waved off.  The Hawks appeared to have won the game in the second overtime, when Darrin Govens hit a three to break a tie with just 4.5 seconds left, but Rhody’s Keith Cothran matched Govens trey as time expired, with an off-balance three of his own, to send it to a third overtime period.  The Hawks took control in the third overtime, thanks in large part to Nivins, and dismissed URI with a six point win.

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Checking in on the… Atlantic 10

Posted by rtmsf on December 31st, 2008

College Chalktalk is the RTC correspondent for the Atlantic 10 Conference.

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This Week in the A-10

By CCT Staff | December 29, 2008

PLAYER OF THE WEEK:  Ahmad Nivins (Sr.), Saint Joseph’s.
Nivins was a monster this past week, averaging 20.5 points and nine rebounds per game in a 1-1 effort for the Hawks.  Against Cornell, Nivins turned in the best performance of any A-10 player during the seven-day frame, scoring 26 and grabbing 16 rebounds.  He added another 15 points in the Hawks close loss to Siena.  The senior from Hawk Hill shot a remarkable 16-of-20 over the two games, an 80% clip.  Nivins now has six double-doubles on the season.

HONORABLE MENTION:  Andrew Nicholson (Fr.) St. Bonaventure; Aaron Jackson (Sr.) Duquesne

(Note: College Chalktalk’s week runs from the previous Monday through Sunday, given the release of ‘This Week in the A-10′ each Monday morning.)

GAME OF THE WEEK:  December 23, 2008.  Fordham 60, New Hampshire 56

No, it wasn’t a battle of two traditional powers, but Fordham and New Hampshire gave the fans at Rose Hill Gym a very entertaining contest… and one in which the home fans saw many positives.  Fordham was able to record their second win of the season, and did so by making key plays down the stretch.  Both Chris Bethel and Jio Fontan converted clutch baskets and free throws in the final minute, flipping a one point deficit into a Rams win.  “That was a gutsy win tonight,” said Fordham head coach Dereck Whittenburg. “It took us a while to get going after coming back from a 12-day layoff but I think we showed signs of what we’re capable of doing tonight.”

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Stat Nerds of the World, Unite.

Posted by rtmsf on December 29th, 2008

If you know anything about us here at RTC, you know that we love numbers.  We love breaking down game stats and looking for secrets in the offensive and defensive efficiency ratings that will help us better understand why Team X is playing so poorly or why Team Y is much better than their ranking.  We also love statistical oddities – little factoids of generally meaningless but still interesting data that we can bring up at RTC office parties and cocktail functions so that we’ll seem edumacated and wicked smart about the ins and outs of college basketball.  Or at least so that we can impress Dickie V when we next run into him at a spring training Rays game.  Yeah, that.

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So here are a few of the statistical items that we find interesting as we approach conference season – perhaps you will also.  (all stats furnished by basketballstate.com)

  • These guys had better avoid foul trouble. UAB’s Robert Vaden, Texas’ AJ Abrams and Virginia Tech’s AD Vassallo each average over 36 minutes per game for their teams.
  • Get these men the ball! Among players scoring 15+ ppg, St. Joseph’s Ahmad Nivins (74.2%), Kentucky’s Patrick Patterson (71.5%), Oklahoma’s Blake Griffin (67.9%) and Michigan St.’s Raymar Morgan (65.3%) are burning up the nets.
  • Double-Double Trouble. Of the 19 players averaging double-figure rebounds, all of them also average double-figure points.  But only two of them are 20/10 guys – Blake Griffin (23/14) and Notre Dame’s Luke Harongody (23/12).  Patrick Patterson is just a whisker shy of 20/10 (19.6/9.5).
  • Betcha Didn’t Know That…
    • Stephen Curry leads the nation in scoring (30.0), but Tyler Hansbrough puts up the most points per 40 minutes (34.4)
    • North Dakota State’s Ben Woodside, he of the 60-pt explosion two weeks ago, is #2 in the nation in assists (7.6 per game).  Or that Davidson’s Mr. Curry is 12th nationally in dime-dropping.
    • Kentucky guard Jodie Meeks is averaging 24.2 ppg so far this season.  The last Wildcat to average that many points per game was Dan Issel in 1969-70 (33.9).
    • VMI’s brother tandem Travis and Chavis Holmes are 1-2 nationally in pilfering the ball (4.0 and 3.7 spg).
  • Tempo Free Stats.
    • UNC is the most efficient offensive team in the nation (1.19 points per possession), but did you know that Purdue is the most efficient defensive team around (0.79 ppp)?
    • The tops of the ACC and Big East have extremely efficient teams on both ends of the court – UNC, Wake Forest, Duke, UConn, Pittsburgh and Georgetown all have large differentials (approaching or above 0.3 ppp) resulting in an extra point every three or four possessions down the court.
    • The slowest paced “good” team is Wisconsin, with 61.4 possessions per game.  UNC, unsurprisingly, is averaging 79.3 possessions per contest.
    • Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and West Virginia own the boards, each team getting at or nearly 60% of the available caroms.  It’s difficult to find a “good” team that can’t rebound the ball, but Creighton is the best candidate for this award, only getting its Blue Jay hands on 48.2% of rebounds.
    • Notre Dame only turns the ball over one of every eight possessions (13%), but Kentucky gives it away nearly a quarter of the time (24%) and has still managed to go 10-3 thus far.  Incidentally, the Irish also rarely foul opponents (#1 in the nation with only 11.8 per game).  Tennessee, with all of its reaching and grabbing pressure defense, garners 21.3 fouls per game.
    • Georgetown, Connecticut, Xavier and Oklahoma live at the foul line, each getting a quarter or more of its points from the charity stripe.  Illinois, on the other hand, only gets about 14% of its points from the line.
    • The best offensively efficient performance by one team in a legit game this season so far was UNC  vs. Notre Dame, where the Heels averaged an astonishing 1.53 ppp in that demolition.

Got any others?  Feel free to pass them along in the comments!

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Checking in on the… Atlantic 10

Posted by rtmsf on November 25th, 2008

College Chalktalk is the RTC correspondent for the Atlantic 10 Conference.

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This Week in the A-10
By Christian Marge | November 24, 2008

PLAYER OF THE WEEKKeith Cothran, Junior, URI.  Quite simply, Keith Cothran had his best week as a collegiate player, leading URI to a 2-0 week with wins over Monmouth and Virginia Commonwealth.  In back to back games, Cothran set new career highs in points, as he poured in 18 against Monmouth, and 23 against the CAA favorites, VCU.  Cothran shot a blistering 17-26 (65%) from the field during the two-game stretch.  On the year, the junior is averaging 14.7 points and 1.7 steals per game, while also shooting 42.9% from three point range; up 19% on the young season, from his figure last season.

HONORABLE MENTION: Aaron Jackson, (Sr.) Duquesne; Dionte Christmas, (Sr.) Temple; Rodney Green, (Jr.) La Salle.

(Note: College Chalktalk’s week runs from the previous Monday through Sunday, given the release of ‘This Week in the A-10′ each Monday morning.)

GAME OF THE WEEK:  November 21st, 2008.  Xavier 63, Virginia Tech 62.

In a week full of close games, this one took the cake as Xavier’s Dante Jackson nailed a half-court buzzer beater to lead the Musketeers to a one-point win in the semifinal of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.  Jackson had been 0-8 from the field before he let his miraculous shot fly.  The win for Xavier marked the first blemish for Virginia Tech.  In fact, it marked the first game any ACC team had lost this season, as the conference had gone 29-0 til Jackson’s shot banked off the glass and dropped through the net.

HONORABLE MENTION: St. Bonaventure 64, Rutgers 63 (OT).

GAME OF THE UPCOMING WEEK: Ahmad Nivins (21.0 ppg., 12.5 rpg) leads Saint Joseph’s out to Maui to face a Texas Longhorns squad in the Maui Invitational.  Texas has excellent balance, led by A.J. Abrams and Damion James.  The Hawks’ Tasheed Carr, formerly of the Big 12 (Iowa State) will try to contain Abrams and frustrate the Longhorn attack, as SJU would prefer to keep this contest in the sixties.

RPI BOOST OF THE WEEK: Xavier (Current RPI: No. 13)

A perfect 4-0 on the week with your lowest ranked opponent at RPI#119 (Missouri) will certainly boost team standing.  The Musketeers made a final jump, leaping fifteen spots by knocking off Memphis to claim the Puerto Rico Tip-Off Championship.

RPI FALL OF THE WEEK: Charlotte (Current RPI: No. 319)

It’s difficult to fall harder than the 49ers have to start the season.  Their lone win on the season came against RPI #337 UNC-Greensboro.  A strength of schedule at 299 and a 1-3 record hurts the ‘Niner cause.  RPI help is on the way if Charlotte can seize the opportunity in a loaded Anaheim Classic field this coming weekend.

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