This Week in the Atlantic 10 (June 18-24)

It’s already been a big week in the A-10, so no need to wait until Friday to post. (Also, you’re not going to read about some of this stuff in the Charlotte Observer since we’re talking Atlantic 10, not ACC!)

The big winners – George Washington and LaSalle with the announcements that Pops Mensah-Bonsu (GW) and 2005 A-10 POY Steven Smith (LaSalle) are returning for their senior years.

The big losers – Dayton and Saint Joseph’s with the announcements that Trent Meachem (Dayton) is transferring to Illinois and Dwayne Jones (SJU) is staying in the NBA Draft. Probably can put Richmond in this group as well as they have lost yet another guard.


Charlotte’s Curtis Withers Invited to USA Basketball’s U21 National Team Trials

Lutz Names Bobby Kummer Assistant Basketball Coach


Lookin’ out for No. 1 isn’t Dayton coach’s top priority

Illinois gets G Meacham from Dayton

Gregory announces Meacham transfer


2005 Men’s Paradise Jam Field

George Washington

GW’s Mensah-Bonsu Will Not Enter NBA Draft

Mensah-Bonsu to stay in school

It’s a Slam Dunk: Pops Mensah-Bonsu Withdraws From NBA Draft, Will Return to GW for His Senior Year


[b][b]Steven Smith, SF, La Salle —[/b] Rugged and athletic, Smith showed he can stand out when surrounded by talent.[/b]
Link: [url=]Good or great? It's the player's choice[/url]

The Voice. John McAdams, 1941-2005

Steve Stays


Freeman’s Butler signs with Spiders

Mooney Inks First Recruit Of Richmond Tenure

Hoops drain at UR

Saint Joseph’s

[b][b]Dwayne Jones, C, Saint Joseph's —[/b] Showed he's a future pro. Could become a solid first-rounder by developing his offense as a senior.[/b]
Link: [url=]Good or great? It's the player's choice[/url]

Inside Dish: Scouts evaluate Jones’ pro potential

SJU Basketball Mourns Loss of Legendary Announcer John McAdams

Non-Conference Dates Announced for Men’s and Women’s Basketball in 2005-06

Dwayne Jones to Remain In NBA Draft

Saint Louis

Lauries to sell Blues, Savvis lease

Was just checking to see if you posted this. I think Jones is making a mistake, but so be it. UofR also looks to be on a collision course with the A10 basement. They will play Princeton ball too. Ugh.

There is a lot of frontcourt talent in the A10 next season, and Niner fans should be aware of it. We aren’t gonna dominate like some may think. We’d love to have a guy like LaSalle’s Smith, and there are some other hidden gem players in this league that will give us fits.

Can’t wait!

NA, I too am wondering what Jones is thinking, but thought the same thing last year when Delonte West stayed in the draft. Not saying that Jones is going to get picked in the first round, but someone has assured him of something.

I agree that the A-10 will have quite a bit of frontcourt talent in 05-06. Just off the top of my head, the following are all potential all-conference:

Charlotte - Curtis Withers, E. J. Drayton
Dayton - Monty Scott
Fordham - Bryant Dunston
GW - Pops Mensah-Bonsu, Mike Hall
LaSalle - Steven Smith
UMass - Rashaun Freeman
Richmond - Kevin Steenberge
Xavier - Justin Doellman, Brian Thornton

SLU is building an on-campus arena, so while the Savvis Center being sold affects them possibly in the short term, long-term it won’t have any effect. I don’t know wha the status of the on-campus arena is right now.

SLU hasn’t broken ground for their on-campus facility as they are still in the fund-raising mode. Best guess is they will still be playing at Savvis for another 2-3 seasons, if not longer.

More news…

There seems to quite a soap opera at Richmond with the Spiders having sued ex-coach Jerry Wainwright and all the fall-out with academic casualties, etc. What looked to be a promising year for UR has really turned sour with the loss of three returnees and the star of the recruiting class that ended up at VPI after failing to meet UR’s entrance criteria.

On a more positive note, UMass is really high on one of their incoming players, JUCO All-American James Life. The shooting guard could be the missing piece to complement the inside presence of Rashaun Freeman.


Promising UD freshman Meachem transfers to Illinois [NOTE: site registration required]

Meacham goes me-me-me, all the way home


Smith staying course with Explorers [NOTE: site registration required – same e-mail/password as]

Explorers’ Smith to stay in school [NOTE: site registration required – same e-mail/password as]


Is Life next UMass shooting star?


Wainwright rebuts Miller

Saint Joseph’s

St. Joe’s Jones finally opts for the draft [NOTE: site registration required – same e-mail/password as]


Deveroes back on track


[b][b]George Washington[/b]: Jim Calhoun protégé Karl Hobbs may be the country's hottest rising star. His reputation, however, would have taken a hit had either forward Pops Mensah-Bonsu (12.6 points and 6.6 rebounds per game) or Mike Hall (10.6 points and 8.0 rebounds per game) remained in the NBA draft. Mensah-Bonsu, athletic and quick, and Hall, sturdy and sound, give the Colonials the premier frontcourt in the Atlantic-10. Together, an improved Mensah-Bonsu and Hall should more than make up for senior point guard T.J. Thompson's departure. Importantly, their return provides Hobbs the continuity necessary to direct to a second consecutive NCAA tournament — and perhaps Sweet Sixteen — participant.[/b]
Link: [url=]Early draft exit winners and losers[/url]

Bona gets ink today…

Maybe Zwierlein was right about Bonnies being back

PG Courtney Nelson’s transfer from Richmond to Rutgers is now official:

RU offering a valid point

Nice story on UMass and Coach Ford in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

[b][b]UMass rides with Ford[/b]

By Bud Barth
Worcester Telegram & Gazette
June 24, 2005

WORCESTER— For nearly a decade now, UMass basketball has been stranded in a graveyard of its past greatness, carefully tiptoeing among the headstones of Julius Erving, Jack Leaman, Marcus Camby and John Calipari while waiting for someone to resurrect that spirit.

That someone, many believe, is new head coach Travis Ford, the former University of Kentucky star who last night schmoozed with about 20 alumni from Central Massachusetts at a meet-and-greet session sponsored by the UMass Alumni Association at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

Ford, whose last appearance in Worcester was in 1992 as a 5-foot-9 sophomore point guard with Kentucky when the Wildcats won two NCAA Tournament games at the Centrum, has been trying to light a fire under alumni at similar sessions in Boston and Amherst, with another one scheduled for Aug. 2 in New York.

Despite being asked to do so by one questioner at last night’s two-hour session, Ford refused to set any goals for the upcoming season, saying he never set targets for wins as a player or as a coach. But he did promise to kick-start a Minutemen team that finished 16-12 last season and has suffered through nine years of mediocrity (136-137) under Bruiser Flint and Steve Lappas since the departure of Calipari and Camby.

Ford vowed to produce a team “that you’re going to love watching, that’s going to play a style of basketball that’s going to be up-tempo; it’s going to be exciting, it’s going to be aggressive.”

The Minutemen will have only one senior this coming season, eight returning lettermen, and three Ford recruits. A fourth, 7-foot-1 West Virginia transfer Luke Bonner, will have to sit out this year after leaving the Mountaineers, but Ford said Bonner moves like he’s 6-6 or 6-7 and could be the Minutemen’s next Camby.

Ford’s other recruits, all of whom he said would have an immediate impact, are 6-foot-6 Brandon Thomas, 6-foot point guard Chris Lowe and hot-shooting junior college All-American James Life.

The coach unabashedly called Lowe “one of the best point guards in the country;” said Thomas “can do everything” and could conceivably play four positions from point guard to small forward, and noted that Light once scored 55 points and hit 10 3-pointers in a game.

“I’m back to get everyone excited about UMass basketball again,” said Ford, who guided Eastern Kentucky to its first NCAA appearance in 25 years and its first winning season in 11 years (22-9) last season. “We want to get it back to where it was in the Jack Leaman years, the John Calipari years, the Final Four years.

“We need you to come to the Mullins Center and get it to be the electrifying building that it can be and we’ve all seen it be in the mid-’90s. Don’t wait till we’re winning a year from now. We need you now to help us win.

“We need you to jump on board. We need your support, we need you to spread the word that great things are about to happen.”

Ford was noncommittal about future games in Worcester, where UMass tangled with the likes of Maryland and DePaul before huge crowds at the Centrum in the ’90s, and he also wouldn’t go out on a limb about possibly scheduling Holy Cross in the future.

“We need to get back to the point where we’re competing nationally and we can draw the interest back here to Worcester and get a game back here (at the DCU Center), whether it’s two years down the road, a year down the road, whatever it is,” Ford said. “If it was successful in the past, I don’t know why it couldn’t be successful in the future.

“But I think we’ve got to take our steps, get the Mullins Center packed, and then we can start moving out throughout the state, to Worcester, Boston, and Springfield.”[/b]

Link: [NOTE: this is a pay subscription site; story courtesy of a poster on]