Home » Columns »Conference Notes » Currently Reading:

2013-14 Atlantic 10 Post-Mortem

May 22, 2014 Columns, Conference Notes No Comments

Admit it: you thought the Atlantic 10 was never going to match the success it had in 2012-13, especially with one of its signature programs (Xavier) and a newcomer that gave it a big boost in that historic year (Butler), plus another one on the rise (Charlotte), off to another conference.

Don’t worry. You were hardly alone. And now that the Atlantic 10 has outdone itself, you can give the conference credit and now look at it in a different light going forward.

The Atlantic 10 had a banner year in 2013-14, sending a record six teams to the NCAA Tournament. That’s one more than last year’s five, which tied a conference record. Perhaps most ironic of all is that the team most on the bubble out of those six, Dayton, is the one that made the deepest run, reaching the Elite Eight before Florida eliminated them.

But for much of the season, the Flyers were hardly the story of the conference. UMass carried the conversation in the non-conference, as the Minutemen had a great run and for a time were atop the RPI. As conference play went on, Saint Louis was the talk of the conference as the Billikens quietly put together win after win in a 19-game winning streak. Six of those wins were by four points or less. After losing three straight, they pulled out another close one at UMass.

Strangely, VCU fell out of the conversation early, but Shaka Smart’s team still won 26 teams and was right behind Saint Louis when it was all said and done. That VCU fell out of the conversation says less about the Rams than it does about the conference, as there was much to talk about all along.

At the end of the day, it’s also worth noting that an Atlantic 10 team is but a mere footnote with one other part of the NCAA Tournament. In the second round, Saint Joseph’s – the unexpected conference tournament champion – had Connecticut on the ropes and let the game get away. We all know what the Huskies went on to do.

Final Standings

A-10 Overall
Saint Louis 13-3 27-7
VCU 12-4 26-9
George Washington 11-5 24-9
Saint Joseph’s 11-5 24-10
Massachusetts 10-6 24-9
Dayton 10-6 26-10
Richmond 8-8 19-14
La Salle 7-9 15-16
St. Bonaventure 6-10 18-15
Rhode Island 5-11 14-18
Duquesne 5-11 13-17
George Mason 4-12 11-20
Fordham 2-14 10-21

Conference Tournament

Fordham opened the conference tournament by edging George Mason 70-67, a fitting ending for the Patriots as they lost a number of close games in their first year in the conference. St. Bonaventure began the next round by beating La Salle 82-72 before Dayton ended any hopes Fordham had of a magical run by an 87-74 count. Richmond then beat Duquesne 76-64 and UMass ended the day by edging Rhode Island 65-61.

The quarterfinals began with a stunner, as St. Bonaventure beat Saint Louis 71-68. Saint Joseph’s then beat Dayton 70-67. VCU took out cross-town rival Richmond 71-53, then George Mason beat UMass 85-77.

Saint Joseph’s made short work of St. Bonaventure 67-48 in the first semifinal, then VCU had too much for George Washington in a 74-55 win to set up the championship game. There, Saint Joseph’s shot 48 percent from the field and held VCU below 37 percent, then had enough late to hold off the Rams by a 65-61 margin.

Postseason Awards
Player of the Year: Jordair Jett, Saint Louis
Co-Rookies of the Year: DeAndre’ Bembry, Saint Joseph’s, and E.C. Matthews, Rhode Island
Coach of the Year: Jim Crews, Saint Louis
Defensive Player of the Year: Briante Weber, VCU

All-Conference Team
Dwayne Evans, Sr. F, Saint Louis
Langston Galloway, Sr. G, Saint Joseph’s
Treveon Graham, Jr. G, VCU
Jordair Jett, Sr. G, Saint Louis
Chaz Williams, Sr. G, UMass

Season Highlights

  • A record six teams made the NCAA Tournament
  • Dayton made a run to the Elite Eight
  • UMass scored several significant non-conference wins and led the way in boosting the conference’s profile
  • Along the way, UMass won the Charleston Classic, beating Nebraska, New Mexico and Clemson
  • Saint Joseph’s, expected to win last year, instead won the conference tournament this season with a decidedly different cast.

What we expected, and it happened: Rhode Island had growing pains in Dan Hurley’s second season. The Rams had a lot of newcomers to integrate, including several transfers. Besides the obvious chemistry implications, the transfers had not played for a year, and this team was still young. The departure of Jordan Hare certainly didn’t help, but getting him back next season will.

What we expected, and it didn’t happen: La Salle had good personnel returning and was thought to have the potential to be back in the NCAA Tournament. Instead, the Explorers never really got going, finishing 7-9 in Atlantic 10 play.

What we didn’t expect, and it happened: Saint Joseph’s won the conference championship. Last year was supposed to be “the year,” and when it didn’t happen expectations were not high for this season’s team. The Hawks had a quietly good season before their great run in Brooklyn.

Team(s) on the rise: George Washington. If you had any remaining doubts that Mike Lonergan can recruit and coach, feel free to cast them aside now. The Colonials are back to being an NCAA Tournament team again and the recruiting wins keep coming.

Team(s) on the decline: George Mason. Okay, it’s early yet, and the Patriots weren’t that far away from having a very different record this season. And no team is really on much of a decline. But the Patriots had a veteran team this season, so it might be another year before they’re a contender in the conference.

Next Season Conference Outlook

With the results of 2013-14 in the rearview mirror and the addition of Davidson next season, there aren’t likely to be doubts about the conference now. The Atlantic 10 is in a very good place right now and on the rise as such.

Looking ahead to next season, early favorites have to start with VCU. The Rams lose stalwarts in Juvonte Reddic and Rob Brandenburg, but Treveon Graham and Briante Weber lead a solid cast of returnees that will be boosted by an excellent recruiting class. George Washington should be right there, as should Dayton. Teams like Saint Louis, UMass, Richmond and La Salle all have potential, but must replace at least one very significant contributor and/or leader. Rhode Island is a team to keep an eye on after going through growing pains this past season, and St. Bonaventure has proven that they at least will not be an easy out. Saint Joseph’s loses a lot of production and leadership.

Fordham will probably continue to have an uphill battle to move up from the bottom, and that may be true for the likes of George Mason and Duquesne. In the latter case, Jim Ferry has the Dukes looking better, but moving up in the standings here is easier said than done.

One thing is for sure: the conference should be at least as competitive as this season. There should also be fewer doubts about how good it will be as a whole.

Comment on this Article:

Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville


Hoopville Archives

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 27, 2017

April 27, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, the business of college sports, as well as that of sports media, takes center stage. We talk about the layoffs at ESPN, college basketball’s opening night, and Wichita State’s departure from the Missouri Valley Conference. We close with thoughts on a departed friend of the media business as well.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 11, 2017

April 11, 2017 by

In our first off-season edition, we look back on the season that just ended, including redemption for one team and a big development for a conference that has had more questions than success on the hardwood. We also look at players coming and going, as well as big coaching news on a day where there was a lot of it.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 3, 2017

April 4, 2017 by

We look back at Monday’s national championship game, which was not a thing of beauty but had plenty of drama. Along the way we share some post-game quotes from both coaches.

College Basketball Tonight – April 2, 2017

April 3, 2017 by

In our Final Four special edition, three head coaches join us to offer their insights on the Final Four, as well as their own programs.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 2, 2017

April 2, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about the national semifinal contests and then look ahead to an intriguing matchup for the national championship that is ahead of us on Monday night.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Notes from a day at the 2017 Northeast Hoops Festival

April 11, 2017 by

The Northeast Hoops Festival helped bring in the new spring travel season in New England, and we have notes from some of Saturday’s action.

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale preview

June 24, 2016 by

We look ahead to the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, held at a familiar location in Boston.

At the 2016 Boston Shootout, host BABC has a big day

June 8, 2016 by

Sunday was a big day for the host program at the 44th Boston Shootout