Thursday, March 1, 2018

Atlantic 10 Tempo Thursday: March 1, 2018

By Ray Floriani (@rfloriani)

If one had to make a call, Rhode Island, given their strengths and season long excellent body of work, is the favorite entering Capital One Arena. They are susceptible to a challenge and will be challenged during the week in Washington, making for an interesting conference tournament.

Records and Efficiency Margins (courtesy of KenPom)
1) Rhode Island (15-2, +14)
2) St. Bonaventure (13-4, +8)
3) Davidson (12-5, +18)
4) Saint Joseph’s (9-8, +6)
5) Saint Louis (9-7, +3)
6) Duquesne (6-10, -2)
7) LaSalle (6-10, -2)
8) VCU (8-8, -3)
9) Richmond (7-9, -3)
10) Dayton (7-9, -3)
11) George Mason (8-8, -4)
12) George Washington (6-10, -7)
13) UMass (4-12, -11)

14) Fordham (4-12, -17)

Offensive Efficiency Leaders
1) Davidson (118)
2) St. Bonaventure (112)
3) Rhode Island (111)
4) Dayton (109)

5) Richmond (105)

Defensive Efficiency Leaders
1) Rhode Island (97)
2) Saint Joseph’s (98)
3) Davidson (100)
4) Saint Louis (100)

5) St. Bonaventure (104)

Tempo Leaders
1) Saint Joseph’s (71 possessions per game)
2) VCU (71)
3) La Salle (71)
4) St. Bonaventure (70)

5) George Mason (70)

Slowest Tempo
1) Davidson (63 possessions per game)
2) Saint Louis (64)
3) Fordham (65)
4) Dayton (66)

5) Duquesne (66)

Games of Note
Rhode Island 81, Dayton 56 
This was the one that put the regular season title in the books. Chalk it up to a great defensive effort. The Rams held Dayton to an 88 efficiency, largely due to forcing them into a 34 percent turnover rate. Offensively, Rhode Island was nearly lights out en route to an outstanding 127 efficiency. 

Saint Joseph’s 78, Rhode Island 48
The Hawks, winners of five of their last six, stunned the Rams at the Ryan Center, limiting the Rams to a 68 efficiency and 3-of-29 shooting from beyond the arc. While St. Joe's was forced into an above-average 23 percent turnover rate, shooting cured many sins. Saint Joseph’s went 8-of-13 from downtown on the way to an excellent 110 efficiency.

St. Bonaventure 117, Davidson 113
The Bonnies withstood a 118 efficiency onslaught by the visiting Wildcats. Davidson was 16-of-40 from long range, but Mark Schmidt’s group was just as dangerous beyond the arc, going 14-of-35. St. Bonaventure posted a 122 efficiency in what finished as a 96-possession contest. Peyton Aldridge of Davidson led all scorers with 45 points, going 8-of-11 from three. Kellan Grady, an impressive freshman talent, added 39. St. Bonaventure had three break to 30 mark in this wild affair: Jaylen Adams (34), Matt Mobley (33) and Courtney Stockard (31).

Team Breakdowns
A different look, examining each team to determine what category or categories where they lead the conference. Those not leading in any area will have their dominant group noted. Outside of game pace or tempo, each of the KenPom classifications are noted. Not an in-depth look, this breakdown gives a quick capsule look in the area(s) which a team may be proficient. For instance, Rhode Island excels in three defensive categories, and Saint Louis sets the pace in two places, emphasizing strong inside play. Teams are listed in conference standing order:

Rhode Island: Defensive efficiency (97), defensive turnover percentage (23), three-point field goal defense (32 percent)
St. Bonaventure: Three-point field goal percentage (40)
Davidson: Offensive efficiency (118), effective field goal percentage (59), free throw percentage (82), defensive offensive rebound rate (20 percent)
Saint Louis: Offensive rebound percentage (36), effective field goal defense (48 percent), two-point field goal defense (48 percent)
Saint Joseph’s: Turnover rate (15 percent), defensive free throw rate (21 percent)
VCU: Third in two-point field goal defense (54 percent).
George Mason: Fourth in both three-point field goal percentage (36) and three-point field goal defense (32 percent)
Dayton: Two-point field goal percentage leaders (62 percent)
Richmond: Second in defensive free throw rate, at 26 percent
La Salle: Third in free throw percentage (78), defensive offensive rebound rate (24 percent) and defensive two-point field goal defense (49)
George Washington: Leader in blocked shot percentage (13)
Duquesne: Third in offensive rebound rate (31 percent) and blocked shot percentage (12)
UMass: Third in three-point field goal percentage (39)

Fordham: First in steal percentage (12)

Upcoming Games of Note
Friday, March 2: Rhode Island at Davidson
Coming off a big home loss, the Rams would like to finish the regular season on a positive note heading into the A-10 Tournament. Davidson would like to do the same, and has the opportunity in the friendly confines of Belk Arena. The one establishing their tempo will have a significant say in this outcome.

Saturday, March 3: La Salle at Saint Joseph’s
The Hawks are flying high of late. This is a dangerous, almost overlooked, team poised to do damage in the conference tournament. Beyond the conference, there is the Big Five rivalry to factor in.

A-10 Trends
Efficiency: 105
Tempo: 68 possessions per game

Home winning percentage: 66 percent

KenPom's All-A-10 Team
Peyton Aldridge, Davidson
Jared Terrell, Rhode Island
Jaylen Adams, St. Bonaventure
Jon Axel Gudmundsson, Davidson 

Justin Tillman, VCU

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