Sunday, March 1, 2015

Two-team race for Atlantic Ten title

ATLANTIC TEN POWER RANKINGS

Two-team race for Atlantic Ten title

Temple guard Ramone Moore is an A-10 Player of the Year candidate. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)
Temple guard Ramone Moore is an A-10 Player of the Year candidate. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)


ATLANTIC TEN POWER RANKINGS

Here are my Atlantic Ten power rankings for the week of Feb. 13

1. Temple (19-5, 8-2). The Owls have won eight straight games and are a win away from their fifth straight 20-win season. Temple boasts an A10 player-of-the-year favorite in Ramone Moore.

2. St. Louis (20-5, 8-3).  Like Temple, the Billikens are separating from the A-10 pack. However, they must win out and need help to nab the conference title.

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 3. Xavier (16-9, 7-4).  The Musketeers are coming off a humbling setback to Temple. Luckily, they have seven days between games to get over it.

4. St. Joseph’s (16-10, 6-5). Some could argue that this ranking is too high. But the Hawks have won three of their last four conference games. And Saturday’s 11-point victory over Massachusetts was a statement.

5. Massachusetts (18-7, 7-4). The Minutemen must do a better job on the road if they expect to get a first-round bye in the A-10 tourney. UMass is 2-4 in conference road games.

6. St. Bonaventure (13-9, 6-4).  The Bonnies will look to snap their 14-game losing streak to Temple on Wednesday. It won’t happen. But St. Bonaventure will have a beast on the boards in senior forward Andrew Nicholson if he stays out of foul trouble.

7. Duquesne (14-10, 5-5).  The Dukes were limited to 19 points in the second half of Saturday’s 69-48 setback to the Bonnies.  Duquesne had scored 81 and 83, respectively, in their previous two games, both victories.

8. La Salle (17-8, 6-5).  Yeah, Yeah, I’m aware that La Salle has a better conference record than Duquesne and won the head-to-head matchup. But I’m also aware that the Explorers lost three straight.

9. Dayton (15-9, 5-5).  I’m giving the Flyers the benefit of the doubt here. I was tempted to drop them behind Charlotte, George Washington and Richmond.

10. George Washington (9-16, 4-7). The Colonials are perhaps the best of the conference’s worst teams. Their four wins came against Charlotte, Rhode Island and Richmond twice.

11. Richmond (13-13, 4-7). The Spiders have lost six of their last eight games. But teams better take advantage of Richmond’s youth this season. It will be tough to beat next year.

12. Charlotte (12-11, 4-6).  The 49ers’ two-game winning streak is misleading, because it came against Rhode Island and Fordha.

13. Rhode Island (5-21, 2-9).  Something tells me the Rams can’t wait to end this season. Yes, things are that bad.

14. Fordham (9-14, 2-8). I doubt if the Rams will win another game this season.

About this blog
Keith Pompey has been an Inquirer reporter since September 2004. He took over the Sixers beat in the summer of 2013 after covering the Temple basketball and football for the previous three years. Pompey also previously covered the Penn and Drexel men’s basketball team and Villanova football team after initially focusing on high school sports.

Pompey is a native Philadelphian and a University of Pittsburgh graduate. Follow him on Twitter @PompeyOnSixers or reach Keith at kpompey@phillynews.com.

Keith Pompey Inquirer Staff Writer
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