Thursday, May 31, 2012
3-point shot: A-10 settles on 16 games
By Andy Katz
1. The Atlantic 10 will go with 16 games, not 18, in a 16-team conference next season with the addition of Virginia Commonwealth and Butler. The league will go to 14 teams in 2013-14 when Charlotte and Temple leave for Conference USA and the Big East, respectively. Each A-10 team will play the other once with the exception of one rival, which it will play twice. The league has yet to decide the pairings but some are likely set with Xavier-Dayton, Rhode Island-UMass, Richmond-VCU, St. Bonaventure-Duquesne and Saint Louis-Butler, leaving the others to come from some combination of Temple-Saint Joe’s-La Salle-Fordham-Charlotte-George Washington. The A-10 will stick with only 12 teams in the conference tournament.
2. Gonzaga hosted Providence transfer Gerard Coleman on Wednesday. The 6-foot-4 guard/forward is leaving the Friars after averaging 13.2 points and 5.0 rebounds during his sophomore season in 2011-12. The Zags have had no issue going both national and global of late. The addition of 7-1 Polish big man Przemek Karnowski didn’t get lot of national attention but it makes the Zags more of a force out West. Gonzaga brings back an experienced crew with Elias Harris and Sam Dower up front to tutor Karnowski and a backcourt as solid as any in the West with Kevin Pangos, Gary Bell Jr., and David Stockton. Coleman would be a huge get, adding more experience in practice to push this crew.
3. SEC athletic directors still have to finalize set rivalry pairings, but if they go with the consensus from the coaches, it will be hard to dispute. The obvious ones were Alabama-Auburn, Ole Miss-Mississippi State, LSU-Texas A&M and Missouri-Arkansas. Putting Georgia and South Carolina together makes sense both geographically and on where the programs are presently situated in the conference. That leaves natural rivals Vanderbilt and Tennessee and the league's two top programs, Kentucky and Florida, facing off against each other twice a season. The league will benefit with these pairings if they become official because they will boost the overall power ratings of the top teams, which in turn helps the bottom teams when they play them.