Starting five... Around the A10

A curation of recent Atlantic 10 stories

Diehards know July is a time where mining for information about your college programs and leagues is akin to hunting treasure on Oak Island. I don’t claim to have the map, but as a former point guard (who has shown over the years to know the game much better than he could or can play it), here’s a journalistic assist.

This Starting Five is a smattering of what’s going on around the Atlantic 10 universe these days:

  • Jon Rothstein dropped an early Atlantic 10 Conference prediction table. Truth is, in this player migration era, more than ever it’s all a crapshoot. Last year, I expected Rhode Island to outpace their lowly preseason 14th prediction and finish around 9th. They barely slipped out of 14th, finishing 11th in a war of attrition with other bottom tier teams, eventually losing to the 14th finisher Saint Louis at the A10 Tournament in Brooklyn. In summer workouts, you can’t see character under pressure, defensive cohesion, and other elements. Last year, I accepted defensive cohesion, in particular, would arrive as a coachable “given” by January. It wasn’t and didn’t. Archie Miller was transparent in our early summer sitdown a few weeks back that the staff over-calibrated on securing offensive firepower at, ultimately, the expense of the defensive end shortcomings they couldn’t help overcome. For what' it’s worth, Rothstein has Rhody at 8th in his early look. And while it is more a crapshoot than ever, it remains great conversational fodder especially at this time of year.

  • Here’s another one from him - a chat with new Saint Louis head coach Josh Schertz.

  • GW announced it will play in the Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Here’s the bracket. There are a few certainties in life, one being Kansas State playing somewhere in the Caribbean in November.

  • Our own Chalktalk Conversation with Rhode Island’s 7-foot, 260 pound incoming center Javonte Brown. For premium subscribers — We encourage you to become one and Hoop with Us for just $1.50/month. That’s $6 less than you’ll spend for deodorant, $11 less than a Caribbean fish sandwich at Monahan’s, and about $15 less than a four-pack of your favorite craft beer. Not surprisingly, I’m a poor businessman as Monahan’s is paying me nothing for this plug.

  • And this one from VCU News is a few weeks old, yet truly worthy of our attention. VCU’s Joe Bamisile is a certified bucket-getter first and foremost. But this assist is one of the very best he’ll record on or off the court. Bamisile has created an app called Maunda to promote mental health. It’s seeing solid engagement and helping people take a restorative pause. Check it out.

Until next time…