St. Joe’s guard Garrett Williamson was named to the Atlantic 10 All-Defensive team today, the only Hawk to garner any postseason recognition.
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Richmond’s Kevin Anderson was named Player of the Year, while Fordham’s Chris Gaston was honored as the Rookie of the Year. Damian Saunders earned recognition as the Defensive Player of the Year, and Temple’s Ramone Moore was named the Sixth Man of the Year.
Temple’s Fran Dunphy took home Coach of the Year honors, while Dayton’s Chris Johnson earned the Chris Daniels Most Improved Player award. Yves Mekongo of La Salle was named the Student-Athlete of the Year.
Anderson leads a first team comprised of all underclassmen, including A-10 co-scoring champ Jordan Crawford. Ricky Harris of UMass, who finished tied with Crawford at 19.7 points per game, landed on the third team.
Williamson struggled early on, but has turned in some tremendous performances down the stretch, solidifying his reputation as one of the best on-ball defenders in the conference. The season highlight for him and the Hawks was his emphatic block in the waning seconds against Dayton to seal the upset over the Flyers. Continue reading
It’s no secret that St. Joe’s is floundering heading into the start of Atlantic 10 play tonight, losers of eight of their last nine. They are one of only three teams in the conference that enter the conference slate with a losing record. Here’s what the rest of the A-10 looks like with conference play starting tonight:
Charlotte (10-3): The 49ers have an ugly loss to Old Dominion on the resumé, but balance that with a quality win, and a blowout at that, at then No. 18 ranked Louisville, 87-65. Two of their three losses have been to ranked teams (at Duke and against Georgia Tech their last time out), but they have another chance for a big win against a distracted Tennessee team today to bolster their postseason hopes with a strength of schedule that ranks 277th in the nation. Boston College transfer Shamari Spears has been just as big as his 245-pound frame indicates, averaging 17.0 points per game, while guard Derrio Green has the hot hand after 31 points, including seven three-pointers, against Georgia Tech.
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Dayton (11-3): A tough early season schedule has Dayton in a strong position to start conference play. They started the season in the top 25, but consecutive losses to Villanova (then ranked sixth in the nation) and Kansas State (now ranked 10th in the nation) knocked them from the polls. They stuck close in both games, as well as a two-point loss at New Mexico, but do have a victory over Georgia Tech to their credit. The two Chris’s, Wright and Johnson, have been pacing the Flyers as their only two double-figures scorers. They’ll be tested early in the conference season, as they’ll travel to Xavier on Jan. 16 on national television (ESPN2, 11 a.m.) in the first of two battles for Ohio. Continue reading