(Capsules in Stu Durando's predicted order of finish)
Rankings: No. 12 (NET), No. 9 (KenPom)
Best wins: St. Mary’s, Virginia Tech
Worst losses: None
The skinny: The Flyers flew into the national rankings on the strength of their showing at the Maui Classic, where they beat Georgia and Virginia Tech before losing to Kansas in overtime. … Sophomore Obi Toppin is the A-10 front-runner for player of the year, averaging 18.8 points and 7.9 rebounds and shooting 62 percent. … The Flyers have been ranked five consecutive weeks for the first time since the 1957-58 season. … All remaining Dayton home games are sellouts.
2. VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH
Rankings: No. 50 (NET), No. 44 (KenPom)
Best wins: Louisiana State, College of Charleston
Worst losses: None
The skinny: The Rams returned four starters and were picked to win the A-10 in a preseason poll. … VCU has recorded more conference wins than any A-10 team since joining for the 2012-13 season. … The Rams’ defense continues to be among the best as it ranks No. 2 nationally in defensive turnover percentage and allows a league-low 58.9 points per game. … VCU has won 19 consecutive home games. … Marcos Santos Silva leads the team in scoring and rebounding with averages of 12.5 and 8.5.
3. Rhode Island
Rankings: No. 70 (NET), No. 73 (KenPom)
Best win: Alabama
Worst losses: None
The skinny: Guard Fatts Russell has developed into the team’s top scorer at 19.8 ppg and combines with Jeff Dowtin to form one of the league’s better backcourts. … Both are among A-10 leaders in assist-to-turnover ratio. … The Rams’ three losses have come against NET top 50 teams West Virginia, Maryland and LSU. … Cyril Langevine is second in the A-10 and 10th nationally in rebounding. … Reserve Dana Tate decided to transfer this week.
Rankings: No. 79 (NET), No. 85 (KenPom)
Best win: Wisconsin
Worst loss: Radford
The skinny: Guard Blake Francis, who transferred from Wagner, leads the team in scoring and is fourth in the A-10 with a 17.8 average. … The Spiders do not have any seniors, … Coach Chris Mooney has switched to man-to-man after employing a matchup zone in recent seasons. .. Guard Jacob Gilyard, who is second in the league in assists, was a preseason first-team pick, and center Grand Golden was a second-team pick.
5. St. Louis U.
Rankings: No. 60 (NET), No. 92 (KenPom)
Best wins: Kansas State, Belmont
Worst losses: None
The skinny: The Billikens’ only losses are to Seton Hall and Auburn, which were both ranked No. 12 when the games were played. … Until this week, SLU was the only team in the country with two players — Jordan Goodwin and Hasahn French —averaging a double-double. … The Billikens lead the A-10 in offensive rebounding and rebounding margin at plus-6.4. … Fred Thatch Jr. (illness) said he hopes to return to action Thursday or soon after.
Rankings: No. 102 (NET), No. 77 (KenPom)
Best win: Nevada
Worst loss: Charlotte
The skinny: The Wildcats started the season poorly despite the return of defending A-10 player of the year Jon-Axel Gudmundsson and returning first-team all-conference player Kellan Grady. … Davidson’s streak of 809 games with at least one 3-pointer ended with a 0-for-15 performance against Marquette. … Davidson was picked to finish second in the conference. … Guard Luke Frampton has taken a personal leave and will not return this season.
7. George Mason
Rankings: No. 104 (NET), No. 132 (KenPom)
Best win: New Mexico State
Worst losses: None
The skinny: By reaching 11 non-conference wins, the Patriots set a school record for the Division I level. … Top player Justin Kier has missed a majority of the games with a stress fracture in his right foot and an ankle sprain. … George Mason is second in the league in rebound margin. … The Patriots have been a strong second-half team, outscoring opponents by 80 points while breaking even in the first halves of games.
Rankings: No. 96 (NET), No. 86 (KenPom)
Best win: Indiana State
Worst losses: Marshall, Alabama-Birmingham
The skinny: The Dukes were sitting at No. 20 in the first NET rankings but plummeted 85 spots with consecutive losses to UAB and Marshall. … Duquesne is tied for 10th in the country in blocked shots, averaging six per game. … The Dukes lead the A-10 in free-throw shooting at 79.2 percent. … Marcus Weathers, a 6-foot-5 forward, leads the team in scoring at 13.5 ppg and rebounding at 8.3. … The Dukes shoot 56 percent inside the 3-point arc.
9. St. Bonaventure
Rankings: No. 169 (NET), No. 123 (KenPom)
Best win: Rutgers
Worst losses: Canisius, Ohio
The skinny: Point guard Kyle Lofton leads the conference in assists per game, free-throw percentage and minutes played. … The Bonnies had a seven-game win streak ended this week with a loss at Buffalo. … Despite missing four games with an injury, Osun Osunniyi has 23 blocked shots to rank fourth in the A-10. … The team’s top seven scorers are freshmen and sophomores, and nearly 90 percent of its points have come from underclassmen.
Rankings: No. 131 (NET), No. 185 (KenPom)
Best win: Rider
Worst loss: Harvard
The skinny: Freshmen T.J. Weeks and Tre Mitchell rank 1-2 on the team in scoring, combining to average 28.9 points. … Mitchell recently became the third Minutemen player to be named conference rookie of the week, joining Sean East II and Weeks. … The Minutemen have allowed five of their last six opponents to top 80 points. … UMass is the worst rebounding team in the A-10 at negative-5.2 per game.
11. La Salle
Rankings: No. 114 (NET), No. 148 (KenPom)
Best win: Wright State
Worst loss: Pennsylvania
The skinny: The Explorers are first in the conference in field-goal defense, holding opponents to 38.9 percent. … La Salle has won eight of its last nine with the only loss during that span coming against nationally ranked Villanova by 11. … Ed Croswell led the national as a freshman last season in offensive rebounding rate. He is averaging 7.6 rebounds. ... La Salle won the Gulf Coast Showcase, beating three mid-major programs.
12. George Washington
Rankings: No. 230 (NET), No. 236 (KenPom)
Best win: Delaware
Worst losses: Missouri-Kansas City, Morgan State
The skinny: Jameer Nelson Jr. is the son of former St. Joseph’s All-American Jameer Nelson. The freshman is averaging 11.1 points. … The Colonials are first in the A-10 in 3-point defense, holding teams to 24.9 percent. They are last in turnover margin, averaging 12.5 and forcing 10.8. … Arnaldo Toro tied the A-10 single-game rebound mark early in the season with 24 and was later matched by SLU’s Hasahn French.
13. St. Joseph’s
Rankings: No. 213 (NET), No. 246 (KenPom)
Best win: Connecticut
Worst losses: Lafayette, Towson
The skinny: The Hawks have played the conference’s second-toughest schedule, having lost to Villanova, Temple and Florida. … St. Joe’s leads the A-10 in 3-pointers with 10.4 per game but is shooting only 31.6 percent beyond the arc. … Guard Ryan Daly, who transferred from Delaware, leads the conference in scoring at 20.8. … The Hawks are in their first season without coach Phil Martelli after he led the program for 24 seasons.
Rankings: No. 267 (NET), No. 253 (KenPom)
Best win: Grand Canyon
Worst losses: Manhattan, James Madison
The skinny: The Rams are last in the league in scoring by a wide margin, averaging 62 points, but they hold teams to 60 per game. … They were picked to finish last after doing so the previous two seasons. … Junior Chuba Ohams has recorded three double-doubles this season and averages 11.5 points and 8.4 rebounds. … Fordham’s Rose Hill Gym opened in 1925. The Rams have won 651 games in the facility.
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