Photo: flickr Writer: Eric Daniel
Saint Joe’s did a good job of testing themselves during the nonconference and the Hawks should be a factor in the mid tier of the A-10 this season. The Hawks are a little better than their 7-5 overall record might suggest and Saint Joe’s looked strong in their conference opener getting past George Washington at home by a final of 68-63. Saint Joe’s has been gaining momentum winning 4 of their last 5 games and this battle tested group will be a tough out in the A-10 this year. The Hawks have some strong scoring options with Shavar Newkirk leading the way averaging 20.3 points per game, but he’s out for this contest and will miss the rest of the season.
Rhode Island hasn’t been living up to their preseason top 25 ranking and the Rams might even have a tough time pushing for an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament unless they really put together a strong showing in A-10 play. Rhode Island also did a great job of testing themselves during the nonconference, but their only standout win came on a neutral site against Cincinnati. The Rams opened conference play looked dominant taking down Saint Louis on the road by a final of 90-56. Rhode Island leans on their defense which ranks 42nd in the nation in points allowed and veteran Hassan Martin leads the team in scoring, but he’s also out for today’s matchup.
It’s a shame that both of these groups will be without their leading scorers today, but at least Rhode Island has had some more time to adapt. It’s going to be interesting to see how the Hawks look going forward without their 20 point scorer. We like Rhode Island to come through and get the win, but we still like the Hawks getting the points as the best bet.
St Joseph's +12 -110