Thursday, January 18, 2018

Atlantic 10 Tempo Thursday: January 18, 2018

By Ray Floriani (@rfloriani)

Separation. One quarter of the way into the conference season, Rhode Island appears to have achieved it. Mathematically, the Rams are only a game ahead of Davidson and Duquesne, but Rhode Island is running on all cylinders and will be tough to reel in.  There is time. If the competition cannot catch Rhode Island, there is always the chase for one of the coveted top four spots allowing for a bye in the postseason tournament.

Records and Efficiency Margins (courtesy of KenPom)
1) Davidson (4-1, +25)
2) Rhode Island (5-0, +21)
3) Duquesne (4-1, +12)
4) Dayton (3-2, +10)
5) St. Bonaventure (2-3, +1)
6) Richmond (2-3, +1)
7) Saint Joseph's (2-3, +1)
8) VCU (3-2, -1)
9) La Salle (1-4, -2)
10) UMass (3-2, -5)
11) Saint Louis (1-4, -9)
12) George Mason (3-2, -9)
13) George Washington (1-4, -22)
14) Fordham (1-4, -25)

Tempo Leaders
1) Saint Joseph’s (73 possessions per game)
2) VCU (73)
3) St. Bonaventure (72)
4) Rhode Island (72)
5) La Salle (71)

A noticeable difference is Duquesne, mentioned in past reviews, and UMass; two teams near the top in this area, now going at a more deliberate pace with favorable results. 

Slowest Tempo
1) Davidson (60 possessions per game)
2) Fordham (61)
3) Duquesne (64)
4) George Washington (65)
5) Richmond (65)

Offensive Efficiency Leaders
1) Dayton (117)
2) Davidson (115)
3) Rhode Island (111)
4) St. Bonaventure (110)
5) Duquesne (107)

A Closer Look At St. Bonaventure
The main reason behind their struggles is defense. The defensive efficiency is 109, tenth in the conference. While the Bonnies are not doing a bad job of pressuring with a defensive turnover rate of 18 percent. The areas of concern are opposition shooting from the floor. St. Bonaventure's defensive two-point field goal percentage is 57, while teams are hitting at 32 percent from long distance. It all adds up to a 53 percent defensive effective field goal percentage, ninth-best in the A-10.

Defensive Efficiency Leaders
1) Davidson (90)
2) Rhode Island (90)
3) Duquesne (95)
4) Saint Joseph’s (102)
5) La Salle (103)

Defensive Turnover Rate Leaders
1) Rhode Island (20 percent)
2) Fordham (20)
3) Davidson (19)
4) Dayton (19)
5) Saint Louis (18)

Two sets of Rams take the two top spots going into the week, but the list shows the conference; at this point at least, is not as much as pressuring and forcing teams into turnovers. Defensively, your pressure would like to induce a 20 percent or higher rate, and only two teams are doing that. While Fordham is among the leaders in turnover rate, their defensive efficiency of 114 is compounded by allowing teams to shoot 53 percent inside the arc while opposing offenses are burying three-pointers at a 41 percent rate.

Individual Turnover Rate Leaders
1) Kellan Grady, Davidson (5.6 percent)
2) Malik Crowfield, VCU (7.0)
3) James Demery, Saint Joseph’s (8.9)
4) Jordan Davis, Dayton (9.2)
5) Shavar Newkirk, Saint Joseph’s (9.6)
6) Peyton Aldridge, Davidson (9.7)
7) Jordan Robinson, Duquesne (9.7)
8) Daron Russell, URI (9.8)
9) Izaiah Brockington, St. Bonaventure (10.1)
10) Mike Lewis II, Duquesne (10.8)

KenPom's All-A-10 Team
Peyton Aldridge, Davidson
Jared Terrell, Rhode Island
Luwane Pipkins, UMass
Jon Axel Gudmundsson, Davidson
Justin Tillman, VCU

Conference Trends
Efficiency: 105
Tempo: 68 possessions
Home wins: 74 percent
Close games: 26 percent
Blowouts: 23 percent

Upcoming Games of Note
January 19
St. Bonaventure at Davidson - A tall order for Mark Schmidt’s Bonnies as they hit the road. Plain and simple, St. Bonaventure needs this one to get back on track.
January 20 
Rhode Island at Dayton - On paper, you must go with the Rams, but it could be interesting after Dayton dismantled VCU on their home floor.
La Salle at Richmond - The Spiders are better than their record suggests, especially after Wednesday's 15-point win at VCU. The Explorers are also another team in dire need of a win at this juncture.
George Mason at Duquesne - Duquesne may be a clear-cut choice, but George Mason can’t be overlooked, and the feeling is they won’t be.
January 23
Davidson at Dayton - Another challenge for the Flyers, again in the comforts of home as the two leaders in conference efficiency square off.

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