March Madness is here! Today, a few of our writers will be giving their thoughts on the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament.
#12 George Mason vs. #13 Saint Joseph’s
#11 George Washington vs. #14 Fordham
#8 Massachusetts vs. #9 VCU
#5 St. Bonaventure vs. #12 George Mason/#13 Saint Joseph’s
#6 Duquesne vs. #11 George Washington/#14 Fordham
#7 Davidson vs. #10 La Salle
#1 Dayton vs. #8 Massachusetts/#9 VCU
#4 Saint Louis vs. #5 St. Bonaventure/#12 George Mason/#13 Saint Joseph’s
#3 Rhode Island vs. #6 Duquesne/#11 George Washington/#14 Fordham
#2 Richmond vs. #7 Davidson/#10 La Salle
Who will win with Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament?
Aram: #1 Dayton (29-2, 18-0 in the A-10)
There’s not much to say here. They haven’t lost a game all year and they have the best player in the nation, Obi Toppin.
Pat: #4 Saint Louis (23-8, 12-6 in the A-10)
Going with a bold choice here with the Billikens. This is obviously Dayton’s tournament to lose, but Saint Louis played them very tough twice this year and want nothing more than a third crack at them in the A-10 semis. The Billikens are playing great ball right now, are one of the most athletic and best defensive teams in the league, and might catch Dayton thinking ahead to the NCAA tournament.
TJ: #1 Dayton (29-2, 18-0 in the A-10)
Dayton is the favorite and they should be. Led by the likely top-10 NBA draft hopeful Obi Toppin the Flyers are on of the best teams in all of college basketball. Anthony Grant has done a tremendous job of developing the Flyers in his three seasons and has them poised for not only an A-10 run but also an NCAA tournament run. The Flyers also get significant production from guard Jalen Crutcher.
Which team will be a Dark Horse Candidate to take home the title?
Aram: #9 VCU (18-13, 8-10 in the A-10)
VCU is an extremely talented team, but Marcus Evans just hasn’t seemed like himself. Nah’Shon Hyland has been a fun freshman to watch and has been playing very well lately. If Marcus Santos-Silva can dominate in the paint and Evans can play up to his talent, there’s a solid chance that they can go on a little run.
Pat: #5 St. Bonaventure (19-12, 11-7 in the A-10)
Outside of Dayton, the rest of the league is pretty close together and several are capable of making a run. The fifth seeded Bonnies will have a tough road, having to go through Saint Louis and most likely Dayton to get to the final, but they’re a confident bunch who made a run to the A-10 title game last year as a 5 seed. Most of that team is back this year, including star center Osun Osunniyi, who was injured during most of the losses for the Bonnies. Fully healthy now, the Bonnies are a team to watch in Brooklyn.
TJ: #7 Davidson (16-14, 10-8 in the A-10)
Davidson is a sneaky team that could upend some teams. The Wildcats have had to bear an issue as shooter Luke Frampton took a personal leave from the program early in the year. However, the Wildcats still have their stars in Kellan Grady and Jon Axel Gudmundsson. The Wildcats are 16-14 on the year, but have the star talent to make a run.
Who is one player that NBA teams should keep an eye on?
Aram: Maceo Austin, Freshman G/F – Duquesne
I’m going with an under the radar freshman who will be a more notable name in a few years. Maceo Austin has all of the tools and the size to make the NBA one day, he just has to continue to improve and to continue to work on that jump shot.
Pat: Kellan Grady, Junior G – Davidson
Obi Toppin is a clear lottery pick who will get a lot of attention in this tournament, but there’s plenty of other talent in the league, including Grady. The junior point guard was a hot name in draft circles after a fantastic Freshman season, but saw his efficiency drop as a Sophomore and his status as a prospect significantly cool off. He’s been up and down this year, but has picked up his game down the stretch and has the size and shooting ability to be a pro. I also think this Davidson team is capable of making a run in Brooklyn, and a big March from Grady will put his name back on the map.
TJ: Obi Toppin, Sophomore F – Dayton
Pat took Kellan Grady so I’ll do Obi Toppin. Obi made waves coming out of nowhere as a Freshman last year shooting 66% from the field and 52% from deep (21 attempts). This year, Toppin has taken the jump into super-stardom. Toppin has one of the most polished offensive games and has really taken strides to become a shooter especially from beyond the arc even to the point where he can launch them off behind the back dribbles. He has a good array of post moves that he uses and is more than capable of throwing down some highlight level dunks. Toppin is a skilled power forward with nice vertical pop and has solid creation ability to provide some instant offense for any team he joins. This year he is averaging 20 PPG, 7.5 RPG, and 2.2 APG. He is knocking down 39% from deep and is clearly a top 10 prospect in the 2020 NBA Draft.