Saturday, August 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Big East, Atlantic 10 Week

ATLANTIC 10 THIS WEEK by Bob Cooney

Big East, Atlantic 10 Week

ATLANTIC 10 THIS WEEK by Bob Cooney

SCHEDULE
LA SALLE

Wednesday: vs. Dayton, 7
Saturday: at St. Bonaventure, 7
SAINT JOSEPH’S
Wednesday: vs. George Washington (Palestra), 7
Sunday: at Massachusetts, 3 
TEMPLE
Thursday: at Xavier, 7 (ESPN2)
Sunday: vs. Rhode Island, 2

GAME OF THE WEEK
Xavier at Duquesne, Saturday, 7. Xavier escaped with a close home win over Massachusetts on Saturday. Could that be the scare that wakes up the Musketeers and helps them roll through the conference? Or is it a sign that they are ready to be had? Ron Everhart’s Dukes are still the feel-good story of the conference at 14-6, their best start since the 1980-81 season. Should be interesting.

PLAYER TO WATCH
La Salle’s Rodney Green has become one of the most complete players in the league. He has scored 20 or more points eight times this season, while averaging a team-best 16.7. The 6-5 guard from Prep Charter is also grabbing 4.7 rebounds and dishing a team-high 3.6 assists. He has been playing the point for the Explorers, but also has been moving out to the wing with the insertion of Ruben Guillandeaux into the starting lineup. Wherever he is, Green is a threat.

BY THE NUMBERS
Totaling the past four seasons, St. Joe’s has entered January with a 22-19 record, for a 53.6 winning percentage. But once the Hawks enter the conference regular season, it is a different story; including this season, they have accumulated a 47-23 record (67.1 percentage). Phil Martelli’s club started this season 5-7 before going on its current 7-1 run, which includes 5-1 in the conference.

SOMETHING YOU SHOULD KNOW

The Atlantic 10, according to RealTime RPI, ranks fourth in the country among Division I conferences in strength of schedule. Teams in the conference have faced 18 ranked opponents in nonconference games so far this year. Temple has played five out-of-conference teams that reached the NCAA Tournament last year, and Xavier has beaten six BCS-conference teams this season, tied with Gonzaga for most in the country.

ETC.
Good week for the conference as former stars Jameer Nelson (St. Joe’s) and David West (Xavier) were named to the NBA’s East All-Star team ... Ahmad Nivins, of St. Joe’s, has scored in double figures in 31 consecutive games, which is the longest in the conference ... Nivins (20.2 points, 11.7 rebounds) and Massachusetts’ Tony Gaffney (11.4, 10.9) are the only players in the conference averaging a double-double.Gaffney also leads the league in steals (2.2) and blocks (4.47).

BIG EAST THIS WEEK by MIKE KERN

VILLANOVA SCHEDULE 
Wednesday: at Providence, 8 (WPHL)
Saturday: vs. Syracuse, Wachovia Center, noon (ESPN)

GAME OF THE WEEK
For a change, only one. And it’s not even close. Tonight, Connecticut is at Louisville. It doesn’t get much more heavyweight. At least not before March. Both teams have obvious Final Four aspirations. A year ago, the Cards lost by two at UConn. It should be slightly nuts in Freedom Hall for what may be game of the year (so far).

PLAYER TO WATCH
Speaking of the Huskies, 7-3 junior Hasheem Thabeet, who could be a high lottery pick in another few months, had his first career triple-double in Saturday’s 94-61 win over Providence. He finished with 15 points, 11 rebounds and tied his school record with 10 blocked shots. It was UConn’s first home win over the Friars since 2002, breaking its longest such streak against a conference opponent since 1988, when it snapped an eight-gamer against St. John’s.

BY THE NUMBERS
Hard to believe, Harry, but Georgetown and Notre Dame have each dropped five in a row. The Hoyas host Rutgers tomorrow, while the Irish are at Cincinnati on Wednesday.

SOMETHING YOU SHOULD KNOW
UConn should be No. 1 in both the men’s and women’s polls, which last happened when both teams won their respective national titles in 2004.

ETC.
Louisville’s Will Scott has been accepted to study at Oxford University in England, where he’ll be pursuing a master’s degree in Modern Chinese Studies, a program that will prepare him for a career in diplomacy or business relations with that country. Only 15 people are accepted into the program each year. He’s appeared in 13 games, and is shooting 39 percent from the arc ... On Saturday against Notre Dame, DeJuan Blair had the eighth 20-20 in Pitt history, and first since 1992.

 

About this blog

Philly is a hoops town and Phillyhoopsinsider.com provides complete coverage of the Big 5 and Drexel with news and commentary from the people inside the game and those who cover it. Look for regular contributions from the Daily News team of college hoops reporters and from many of Philly’s coaches.

Written by the Big Five coaches
Latest Videos:
Also on Philly.com:
Stay Connected