Jan. 2, 2008
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Brian Roberts - Dayton
Senior, Guard, 6-2, 185 lbs.
Toledo, Ohio/St. John's HS
Roberts scored 31 points on 10-of-17 shooting and dished out five assists in Dayton's 80-55 home win over sixth-ranked Pittsburgh on Dec. 29...shot 5-of-8 from beyond the arc and 6-for-7 from the foul line...had just one turnover in 35 minutes of action...marked his second 30-point performance of the season.
ROOKIES OF THE WEEK
Damian Saunders - Duquesne
Freshman, Forward, 6-7, 205 lbs.
Waterbury, Conn./Crosby HS
Saunders earns his third A-10 Rookie of the Week award after scoring eight points and grabbing seven rebounds on Dec. 28 as Duquesne turned aside Robert Morris, 86-70...added four blocks and a pair of assists...made 4-of-7 shots from the field.
Jerrell Williams - La Salle
Freshman, Forward, 6-8, 210 lbs.
Patterson, N.J./Northfield Mount Herman (Mass.)
Williams scored 12 points and grabbed five rebounds in La Salle's 71-58 loss at #16/#18 Villanova on Dec. 29...marked his seventh double-figure scoring effort of the season.
WEEKLY HONOR ROLL: Duquesne senior guard Reggie Jackson scored 14 points and set career highs for rebounds (nine) and assists (seven) in the Dukes' 86-70 win over Robert Morris on Dec. 28...Fordham senior forward Bryant Dunston registered his 27th career double-double with 24 points and 14 boards on Dec. 28 as the Rams turned aside Binghamton, 72-60...junior forward Rob Diggs scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in George Washington's 93-57 loss at Alabama on Dec. 29...senior guard/forward Gary Forbes notched his third double-double of the year with 25 points and 13 rebounds on Dec. 29 as Massachusetts earned a 70-61 win over Boston University...Rhode Island senior forward Will Daniels earned MVP honors of the Islander Invitational after averaging 23 points and seven boards in a pair of victories...senior forward Pat Calathes scored 14 points and grabbed a career-best 16 rebounds in Saint Joseph's 74-68 victory at Siena on Dec. 28...Saint Louis senior guard Kevin Lisch scored a game-high 21 points on Dec. 29 as the Billikens downed I.U.P.U.I., 66-57...junior guard Dionte Christmas scored 32 points on 11-of-17 shooting in Temple's 86-69 setback versus Florida on Dec. 29.
OUT AND RUNNING:
Several A-10 teams enter the New Year boasting their best starts in decades. Below is a look at these fast starts:
Dayton (11-1) has notched its best start to a season since the Flyers won their first 14 games in 1955-56.
Duquesne (9-3) is off to its best start since 1979-80.
Massachusetts (10-2) has recorded its best start since the 1995-96 campaign when the Minutemen opened the year 26-0 en route to the Final Four.
At 13-1, Rhode Island has achieved its best start the 1946-47 season.
TWICE AS NICE: Rhode Island (#23/22) is ranked for the second consecutive week, while Dayton (#20/#23) cracked the national rankings for the first time this season it was announced on Monday. The last time two A-10 teams were ranked in the Associated Press top 25 was on Dec. 29, 2003, as Saint Joseph's came in at No. 10 and Dayton at No. 23, which also marked the Flyers' last appearance in the national polls. Two teams from the Atlantic 10 were ranked in the final ESPN/USA Today poll of the 2003-04 campaign as Saint Joseph's was fifth and Xavier came in at No. 14. The final AP poll is released after the conference tournaments and does not include NCAA Tournament results. The No. 20 ranking is also the highest the Flyers have been ranked in the month of January since the 1968-69 season.
PACKING THEIR SLINGSHOT: Dayton's 80-55 win versus sixth-ranked Pittsburgh on Dec. 29 marked the highest-ranked opponent the Flyers knocked off since a 72-71 win versus No. 3 DePaul on Feb. 18, 1984. It was also the Flyers' largest margin of victory over a ranked team since UD defeated No. 9 Duquesne, 71-48, on Feb. 17, 1962.
50'S STYLE: Saint Louis earned a 66-57 home victory over I.U.P.U.I on Dec. 29 to improve to 8-0 on the year when holding its opponents to under 60 points. The Billikens lead the A-10 in scoring defense (57.9 ppg.) and are yielding an average of just 27.7 points in the first half through 14 games.
RAM POWER: Rhode Island (13-1) is ranked 25th in the latest Associated Press top 25 poll for the first time since the 1998-99 campaign. The last time URI was nationally ranked by the Associated Press was Nov. 16, 1998 when it was also 25th.
QUITE THE D: Xavier turned aside Delaware State on Dec. 28, 65-33, the fewest points scored by an XU opponent since the introduction of the shot clock in the 1985-86 season. The last time a Xavier opponent scored less than 33 points was in a 30-28 loss to Oklahoma City in a Midwestern City Conference clash at XU's Schmidt Fieldhouse during the 1981-82 campaign.
RAISING ITS LEVEL: The Atlantic 10 boasts four teams ranked in the top 25 of the collegerpi.com rankings thru games of Jan. 1. Dayton comes in at No. 10, followed by Rhode Island (15th), Xavier (17th) Massachusetts (21st). In addition, the Atlantic 10 boasts a record of 108-62 (.635) in non-conference action this season which, if maintained for the remainder of the season, would be the fourth-highest winning percentage since the formation of the league in 1976-77 and highest since the 1993-94 campaign (69-35 - .663). A-10 teams were 104-85 (.550) in non-conference matchups a year ago. Below is a look at the league's top five non-conference records based on winning percentage since the formation of the Conference in 1976-77:
Year - Record - Win %
1992-93 - 79-32 (712)
1991-92 - 96-36 (679)
1993-94 - 69-35 (.663)
2007-08 - 108-62 (.635)
1997-98 - 90-58 (.608)
RETURN TO SENDER: Freshman forward Papa Lo registered six of Massachusetts' 18 blocked shots on Dec. 22 in the Minutemen's 79-55 win versus Central Connecticut State. The 18 blocks marked the second-highest single-game total in program and league history. UMass tallied an A-10 record 20 blocks versus West Virginia on Jan. 3, 1995. Lo added six rejections in just 11 minutes of action in the Minutemen's 70-61 victory over Boston University on Dec. 29. He has amassed 15 blocks in 45 minutes on the year.
WINNING WAYS: Duquesne downed South Carolina Upstate on Dec. 30, 84-66, to improve to 9-3 on the year. The Dukes tied their second-highest pre-January win total, with the 1968-69 squad posting a mark of 9-1 before Jan. 1. The program record for pre-January wins is 10, set by the 1953-54 team. In addition, Duquesne improved to 6-1 at home this season, eclipsing its total number of home victories (five) last season. The Dukes are one win shy of equaling its total (10) from all of last season.
HOME SWEET HOME: George Washington turned aside Longwood on Dec. 23, 63-54, to improve to 4-0 at home this season. GW boasts an impressive mark of 65-14 (.823) at home under Karl Hobbs, now in his seventh season as head coach of the Colonials.
IN STYLE: Kieron Achara of Duquesne, Rhode Island's Will Daniels and Brian Roberts of Dayton are among 30 seniors named as official candidates for the 2007-08 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. CLASS is an acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School and was launched during the 2001-02 season to honor the attributes of college basketball seniors. Previous award winners include David West of Xavier (2003) and Saint Joseph's Jameer Nelson (2004).
BLOCK PARTY: Duquesne junior Shawn James has blocked at least one shot in every college game he has played (67 total games), including seven rejections on Dec. 21 in the Dukes' 99-80 win over Saint Francis (Pa.).
ON THE CUSP: After scoring 21 points on Dec. 29 in his team's 66-57 win over I.U.P.U.I., Saint Louis junior guard Kevin Lisch is two points shy of becoming the 23rd player in program history to reach the 1,000-point milestone. The Billikens resume action on Jan. 10 when they visit George Washington.
NO NEED TO PACK: Richmond edged VMI on Dec. 29, 71-69, in just the Spiders' second game since Dec. 8. The Spiders have not played outside of the city of Richmond since Nov. 24 and will not play a game outside the city limits until Jan. 9 at La Salle, a span of 45 days.
BROTHERS IN ARMS: Saint Joseph's senior forward Pat Calathes and his younger brother Nick share the distinction of being the only brothers in basketball to be their teams' leading scorers. Pat is averaging a team-high 17.4 points for the Hawks while Nick, a freshman at Florida, is scoring 14.8 ppg.
A-10 Players of the Week
Nov. 5-10 - Kieron Achara, Duquesne
Nov. 11-17 - Will Daniels, Rhode Island / Gary Forbes, Massachusetts
Nov. 18-24 - Will Daniels, Rhode Island
Nov. 25 - Dec. 1 - Michael Lee, St. Bonaventure/Joe Mbang, Rhode Island
Dec. 2-8 - Leemire Goldwire, Charlotte / Drew Lavender, Xavier
Dec. 9-15 - Gary Forbes, Massachusetts
Dec. 16-22 - Dionte Christmas, Temple / Will Daniels, Rhode Island
Dec. 23-29 - Brian Roberts, Dayton
A-10 Rookies of the Week
Nov. 5-10 - Chris Wright, Dayton
Nov. 11-17 - Damian Saunders, Duquesne
Nov. 18-24 - Chris Wright, Dayton
Nov. 25 - Dec. 1 - An'Juan Wilderness, Charlotte
Dec. 2-8 - Chris Wright, Dayton
Dec. 9-15 - Chris Wright, Dayton
Dec. 16-22 - Damian Saunders, Duquesne
Dec. 23-29 - Damian Saunders, Duquesne / Jerrell Williams, La Salle