Yes the Atlantic-10 is Over Rated


One area that I will agree with the media on is the over seeding of the Atlantic 10. Yes, I just did write an article on George Washington who I believe to be a sleeper but the conference as a whole should struggle.

VCU in non-conference games had issues galore with losses to Georgetown, Northern Iowa, and a blowout loss to Florida State. In conference their havoc press worked largely due to teams that do not have sound ball handlers. They trap guards and force them to pass the ball to a forward or center and that’s where the turnovers are created. In the tournament they’ll face guards that are capable of beating their press or can throw it to a capable forward with ball handling skills.

Everyone of the A-10 teams can be nitpicked harshly which is like most rants a matter of opinion. An inarguable area that each A-10 team struggles in is free throw shooting. With just about each team struggling from the free throw line in the A-10 the teams were able to get away with such a deficiency. Come tournament time it’ll likely cause separation quickly and lead to a poor showing from the conference as a whole.

The only representative in the tournament from the conference that shoots free throws above 70% is the Saint Louis Bellikins, and they rank 144th in the country in that department. That’s a respectable number from the Bellikins and they’ll need it to offset some of their half court offense issues they showed to end the season.

It gets far worse for the rest of the teams. Keep in mind there are only 345 division one college basketball teams and these free throw percentages come via Dayton sits at 233rd (68.1%), UMASS 230th (68.2%), VCU at 253rd (67.4%), George Washington at 311th (65.4%), and Saint Josephs at 329th (64.1%).

These teams are not the only ones that shoot the ball poorly from the free throw line. George Washington’s opponent in Memphis actually shoots free throws worse as well as North Carolina. The difference here is the A-10 shadowed themselves a bit because they all were poor at the free throw line. People don’t notice this glaring statistic unless it costs teams games in the regular season, which by in large did not happen for these six teams.

Look for free throws and poor half-court offense to be one of the main reasons you will see the A-10 not live up to the billing of six conference tournament teams.


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