Washington D.C. – The A-10 has shown what March is all about. Smooth flow on offense with a mix of ferocious defense. I believe that’s basketball at its finest form. We enter Saturday with the A-10 semifinals matchups set in the nation’s capital. Capital One Arena is the place to be this weekend. Who will punch their ticket into the NCAA March Madness Tournament?
SATURDAY MARCH 12th
1 Davidson vs. 5 Saint Louis @ 1:00
6 Richmond vs. 2 Dayton @ 3:30
Both games will be aired on CBS Sports Network.
Several players across the teams who remain alive are the top of the crop throughout the conference. Davidsons, Luka Brajkovic was recently named the 2022 A-10 player of the year. Brajkovic averaged 14.6 points per game on 42% shooting from three. Yuri Collins (Saint Louis) was awarded All Conference First Team and All Defensive First Team. In 33 games played, Collins totaled 65 steals along with 7.8 assists per game on the year.
Richmonds, Tyler Burton earned himself All Conference Second Team. He finished the season with 16.5 ppg and 7.4 boards. In Friday’s upset win against Virginia Commonwealth, Jacob Gilyard scored 32 points and 4 steals for Richmond.
Dayton has one of the top defenses in the A-10 in various statistics. A-10 Rookie of the Year, Daron Holmes continues to shine in the biggest moments for his squad. Holmes hit the game-winner on Friday night to advance Dayton to the semifinals. He shot 12-15 from the field and had 3 blocks.
FORDHAM PROVES THEIR NOT THE SAME OLD RAMS
In a 74-56 loss to Davidson on Friday afternoon, the Rams seemed to be clustered in finding their offensive rhythm. They finished the day on just 14.3% (4-28) from three. Overall, Fordham played every game this season as if it was their “Super Bowl”, previously stated by head coach Kyle Neptune.
In Friday’s contest, Rostyslav Novitskyi (Kyiv, Ukraine) scored a career high 18 points. His journey and struggle off the court is much more important than basketball. In the recent devastating attacks from Russia, he recently stated: “It’s painful. It’s very hard. I’m stressed. It’s really hard to see what’s going on with my country.”
Novitskyi added with “I’m very glad my team and my school supports me. I feel their support and I’m very appreciative of that… It really feels like they love me and they are trying to help me and make me feel better. It feels like we’re a family.”
Recently named A-10 Most Improved Player of the Year, Chuba Ohams totaled 14 points and 9 rebounds in the tough loss to Davidson. When he checked out for the final time, Ohams received a loud ovation from the Rams crowd. As his career comes to an end at Fordham, he “wants to be remembered as a great person.” Ohams spoke after the conclusion of the game.
In his first year as head coach, Neptune had his players locked in from the preseason to prove they’re not a team to sleep on. Players such as Josh Colon-Navarro (Carolina, Puerto Rico) and Chuba Ohams (Bronx, New York) developed their games to an extraordinary level and trusted Neptune in his coaching mindset.
Neptune stated postgame: “We faced a lot of adversity. Never sensed anyone quitting. Just kept coming all year. To start off, we had so many new guys, new staff, new coaches, new AD (Athletic Director), new everything. And for us to come together and continue to win big, I’m really proud of our bunch.”
The Rams were projected to finish in last place (14th) in the A-10 in the preseason polls. However, that wasn’t the case this season. Fordham finished 16-16 and advanced to the tournament quarterfinals for the first time since 2007.
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