Here’s a look at the best and worst of the A-10 in non-conference play:
MVP: Davidson forward Peyton Aldridge leads the conference in scoring (22.4 points per game), though his shooting percentages have declined from last season (54.3 to 52.7 from 2-point range and 40.9 to 32.0 from 3-point range). He also ranks 11th in rebounding (6.7) and tied for ninth in assists (3.5).
Top freshman: Duquesne forward Eric Williams Jr. ranks 18th in the conference in scoring (14.2) and first in rebounding (9.9). The Dukes are 9-4, but rank 350th out of 351 teams in strength of schedule, according to KenPom.com.
Best team: The preseason favorite, Rhode Island (7-3), has two strong victories against Seton Hall (No. 21 in the Pomeroy ratings) and in-state rival Providence (No. 64). The Rams rank 51st. They're the highest-ranked A-10 team, ahead of No. 57 St. Bonaventure.
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Hottest team: The Bonnies (10-2) take a seven-game winning streak into their A-10 opener at home against Massachusetts on Saturday. They have victories over three teams ranked in the top 80: No. 34 Maryland; No. 53 Syracuse; and No. 75 Vermont.
Best injury news: St. Bonaventure senior guard Jaylen Adams missed the first six games of the season with an ankle injury. He returned to action Dec. 2 and has averaged 20.7 points in six games.
Dayton will see him in its second A-10 game Jan. 3 at UD Arena. He has scored 31 and 35 points in his last two games at Dayton.
"I do like playing in that arena," Adams said at A-10 Media Day in Washington, D.C., in October. "I think they probably have the best crowd outside of us at home. I just like playing in front of big crowds."
Best job by a new coach: Virginia Commonwealth's Mike Rhoades, who was hired when Will Wade left for LSU, is 8-5. VCU has lost only to teams ranked in the top 50.
Rhoades is one of four new coaches. Massachusetts’ Matt McCall is 7-6. Dayton’s Anthony Grant is 6-6. Duquesne’s Keith Dambrot is 9-4.
Most disappointing team: Richmond was picked to finish eighth in the conference in the preseason poll. It finished non-conference with the worst record in the league (2-10). It has lost to seven teams ranked in the top 100. Its victories are against No. 119 Alabama-Birmingham and No. 241 James Madison.
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At No. 232, Richmond is one of four A-10 teams below 200, trailing No. 209 Duquesne, No. 227 George Mason and No. 229 Fordham. Youth helps explain Richmond’s struggles. It’s the 11th-youngest team in the country.
Worst loss: Saint Louis lost 72-70 at home to No. 306 Detroit (4-9). The Billikens (7-6) have won four of their last six games. They have played short-handed all season. Three players (guards Adonys Henriquez, Jermaine Bishop and Ty Graves) have not played after being accused of sexual assault in September.
Dayton at Duquesne, 4 p.m., Fox Sports Ohio, FM 95.7, AM 1290 WHIO