A-10 Men's Basketball Notebook, Nov. 15, 2009

This is the initial Atlantic 10 Conference's men's basketball notebook for the 2009-10 season. Awards this week go to Duquesne's Damian Saunders, Dayton's Chris Wright, Charlotte's Shamarr Bowden and La Salle's Aaric Murray.


Damian Saunders - Duquesne
Junior, Forward, 6-7, 210 lbs.
Waterbury, Conn./Notre Dame (Mass.) Prep

Saunders scored 17 points on 7-of-13 shooting and grabbed a career-high 19 rebounds on Nov. 13 as Duquesne turned aside visiting Nicholls State, 85-62...added five assists, four steals and a block...12 of his rebounds came in the second half as the Dukes erased a five-point deficit...named the A-10 Player of the Week for the second time in his career.

Chris Wright - Dayton
Junior, Forward, 6-8, 226 lbs.
Trotwood, Ohio/Trotwood-Madison HS

Wright scored 18 of his game-high 25 points in the second half and added eight rebounds as Dayton earned a 90-80 win over visiting Creighton on Nov. 14...shot 9-for-12 from the field...made both of his three-point attempts...added two blocks...tabbed the A-10 Player of the Week for the second time.


Shamarr Bowden -Charlotte
Freshman, Guard, 6-3, 185 lbs.
Greensboro, N.C./Miller School

Bowden came off the bench to score a team-high 21 points in just 11 minutes of action on Nov. 13 as Charlotte earned an 86-70 home victory over UNC Asheville...shot 6-of-11 from beyond the arc...scored 12 points in a span of 67 seconds.

Aaric Murray - La Salle
Freshman, Center, 6-10, 245 lbs.
Philadelphia, Pa./Glen Mills HS

Murray scored 16 points and pulled down 11 rebounds as La Salle edged Hampton on Nov. 14, 83-80...connected on 7-of-14 shots...had seven offensive rebounds...became the first La Salle freshman to record a double-double in his collegiate debut since Michael Brooks on Nov. 29, 1976 versus Widener.


  • Charlotte senior center Phil Jones established career highs in points (16)?and rebounds (12) in the 49ers' 86-70 victory over UNC Asheville
  • Sophomore forward Chris Johnson scored 18 points and pulled down 15 rebounds as Dayton earned a 90-80 win versus Creighton on Nov. 14
  • Duquesne sophomore guard Melquan Bolding poured in 25 points on Nov. 13 as the Dukes turned aside Nicholls State, 85-62
  • Sophomore guard Jio Fontan scored a game-high 25 points in Fordham's 76-73 loss to Maine on Nov. 13
  • La Salle senior guard Rodney Green scored 23 points on 8-of-16 shooting and added seven boards in the Explorers' 83-80 home win over Hampton on Nov. 14
  • Senior guard Ricky Harris scored 15 points on Nov. 13 in Massachusetts' 84-67 road loss to Central Florida
  • Richmond junior guard Kevin Anderson scored 16 points in the Spiders' 65-53 home win over Lehigh on Nov. 13
  • Senior guard Jonathan Hall scored a team-high 20 points on 10-of-14 shooting on Nov. 13 as St. Bonaventure downed Cleveland State, 72-62
  • Saint Joseph's senior guard Darrin Govens scored seven of his 22 points in overtime as the Hawks edged Drexel on Nov. 13, 77-67 (OT)
  • Sophomore forward Willie Reed scored 15 points and grabbed 12 rebounds on Nov. 14 as Saint Louis turned aside Southeast Missouri State, 59-41
  • Temple senior guard Ryan Brooks scored a career-best 23 points on 8-of-14 shooting and added nine rebounds as the Owls earned a 76-56 road win at Delaware on Nov. 14
  • Freshman guard Mark Lyons scored 12 points and dished out three assists on Nov. 13 in Xavier's 83-57 victory over Youngstown State.


1 - Chris Mack recorded his first win as a head coach on Nov. 13 as Xavier downed Youngstown State, 83-57. The former XU captain served as an assistant coach for the Musketeers for the past five seasons.

8 - Points needed by UMass senior guard Ricky Harris to tie Julius Erving (1,370) for 13th place on the school's all-time scoring list.

19 - Rebounds grabbed by Duquesne's Damian Saunders in its 85-62 win over Nicholls State on Nov. 13, the most by a Duquesne player since Simon Ogunlesi pulled down 20 boards versus Hampton on Feb. 10, 2000.

21 - Dayton tied a program record with its 21st consecutive home victory on Nov. 14 in its 90-80 victory over Creighton.

77 - First half shooting percentage by St. Bonaventure (17-for-22) in its 72-62 win over Cleveland State on Nov. 13.

90 - Points scored by UD in its win over Creighton on Nov. 14. The Flyers did not reach the 90-point mark in regulation all of last season.

200 - Bobby Lutz earned his program-high 200th victory as head coach of the 49ers on Nov. 13 as Charlotte turned aside UNC Asheville, 86-70.

956 - Winning percentage of Saint Louis head coach Rick Majerus in season-opening contests (22-1) after the Billikens downed Southeast Missouri State, 59-41, on Nov. 14.

1976 - Aaric Murray scored 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in La Salle's 83-80 win over Hampton on Nov. 14 to become the program's first freshman to record a double-double in his collegiate debut since Michael Brooks on Nov. 29, 1976.


Saint Joseph's edged Drexel in overtime on Nov. 13, 77-67, in the inaugural game in the Michael J. Hagan '85 Arena. The Arena is the result of a 16-month expansion and renovation of the previous on-campus home, Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse, which served as the Hawks' homecourt for 59 years. Hagan Arena provides a number of fan-friendly renovations as well as an increase of 1,000 seats, bringing the capacity to 4,200. Among the renovations are: new upper level concourse with concession stands and restrooms; premium seating courtside and behind press row; air conditioning; new scoreboard and corner graphics boards; and a new sound system. A new fan entrance was also added on 54th Street. The opening of Hagan Arena completes a comprehensive expansion and renovation project that included the building of the 20,000-square foot Ramsay Basketball Center, named for Hall of Fame coach Dr. Jack Ramsay.


No. 21/22 Dayton enters the 2009-10 campaign ranked in the preseason poll for the first time since 1967. UD opened its season with a 90-80 win over Creighton to improve to 42-10 with junior Chris Wright in the lineup, including an unblemished 29-0 mark at UD Arena. The 6-8 forward led UD in both scoring (13.3 ppg.) and rebounding (6.6 rpg.) last season and has been tabbed a candidate for both the John R. Wooden and Naismith awards. Wright scored 25 points on 9-of-12 shooting in his season debut.


Duquesne has compiled an impressive 79-15 record in season-opening games, including a 75-4 mark when opening the season at home after registering an 85-62 home win over Nicholls State on Nov. 13.


After joining Ahmad Smith (2004-05) as the lone players in program history to lead St. Bonaventure in scoring, rebounding and assists in the same season, guard Jonathan Hall scored 20 points - his third career 20-point outing - in the Bonnies' 72-62 win over Cleveland State on Nov. 13.


Rodney Green of La Salle registered 14 performances of 20 or more points last season, which placed him in a tie for third in the Conference. Green notched his 18th career 20-point outing on Nov. 14 with 23 points in the Explorers 83-80 win over Hampton. The senior guard also knocked down a career-best four three-pointers.


The league's television schedule for the upcoming season consists of 133 televised contests representing 206 appearances, including the title game of the 2010 Men's Basketball Championship on Mar. 14 at 1:00pm on CBS Sports for the first time in league history. Among the highlights for this season's television schedule: 73 A-10 matchups will air on television this season, an increase of 25 percent from a year ago; an 18 percent increase in the total number of television appearances from last season; greater distribution in A-10 media markets; ESPN will televise 32 men's games on its three networks as part of its college basketball package representing 41 appearances; 10 games will be carried nationally on CBS College Sports Network, including the semifinals of the 2010 A-10 Championship; and 32 league contests will be part of CBS College Sports Network's syndication package, including the quarterfinals of the A-10 Championship.


The 2009-10 season could be a coming out party of sorts for several sophomores in the league who made significant contributions as freshmen. Reigning A-10 Rookie of the Year Andrew Nicholson (12.5 ppg.) of St. Bonaventure led all freshmen nationally in both blocked shots (81) and field goal percentage (.602); Dayton's Chris Johnson (6.3 ppg.) finished second on the team in rebounding (5.2 rpg.); Duquesne's Melquan Bolding (9.9 ppg.) recorded a pair of 20-point games in the A-10 Championship to become the first freshman since 2005 to be named to the All-Championship team, while teammate Eric Evans (9.8 ppg.) sank 39 field goals from beyond the arc; Jio Fontan (15.3 ppg.) of Fordham ranked fourth in the Conference in assists (4.71 apg.); George Washington's Tony Taylor (6.6 ppg.) dished out a team-leading 79 assists; Kwamain Mitchell (11.0 ppg.) led Saint Louis with 113 assists; Temple's Juan Fernandez (5.5 ppg.) finished fourth on the team in assists (63) despite missing the Owls' first 11 games; and Xavier received key contributions from Kenny Frease (5.4 ppg., team-high 43 blocks), Terrell Holloway (5.5 ppg.) and Brad Redford (5.1 ppg.), who led the A-10 in three-point field goal percentage (.465).

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