Rhode Island won 3 games in a row capped off by surviving a late run and beating 2 seed VCU 70-63 in the championship game Sunday to guarantee a spot in the NCAA Tournament and finish its season 24-9. The game was a perfect way to end what was a great tournament from start to finish.
The A10 Tournament was an amazing event this year and Pittsburgh did a terrific job of hosting the event after it had been in Brooklyn, NY for prior years. The tournament featured several OT games, was very well attended, and was well organized and put together. I can see the league getting 3 teams into the NCAA Tournament this year with VCU, Dayton, and Rhode Island all earning bids. Several other teams should be considered for the NIT as well such as Richmond, George Mason, and St. Bonaventure, who were all 20 win teams. The A10 continued to show why they are the most underrated conference in the country by featuring pro prospects and well coached teams.
It was very hard to pick the All-Tournament team and even harder to scale down the honorable mention team as there were a lot of big time performances, players, and plays. The teams and selections below are based solely on tournament play and not regular season awards or statistics.
MVP- E.C. Matthews (Rhode Island)
G-Jack Gibbs, Davidson, SR
Did everything possible to keep his team in it this week in Pittsburgh including a 34 point incredible performance to knock off #1 seed Dayton in the 2nd game. Led the tournament in scoring with 23 ppg in Davidson 3 games. Tough and aggressive scoring guard who will light it up from behind the arc and attack the rim drawing fouls.
G-EC Matthews, Rhode Island, JR
Shifty scoring guard with good size who was the best player on the championship team which is why I chose him for MVP after scoring 19 points and grabbing 9 rebounds in the championship game. He shot the ball very well, helped on the glass, and got to the painted area and was able to finish. Matthews is a player that NBA will want to monitor.
G- JeQuan Lewis, VCU, SR
Was the most consistent player for his team all weekend. He made big plays, shot the the ball well, and was a ball hawk defensively. Lewis showed why he was a 1st team All-Conference selection all week with his play on both ends.
F- Hassan Martin, Rhode Island, SR
The A10 Defensive Player of the Year was dominant all week rebounding the ball, protecting the paint, and scoring efficiently around the rim. He got some big blocks and big scores in the championship game and was just a man amongst boys. The lefty does a nice job of banging on the block and getting to his left hook.
F- Peyton Aldridge, Davidson, JR
Peyton was a stat stuffer all week rebounding the ball on both ends and scoring it at an efficient clip. He averaged 20 ppg and 9.7 rpg in the 3 games Davidson played. He is one of the best inside/outside threats in the conference by being a reliable back to the basket scorer who can also hit the open 3. Plays hard and runs the floor.
Jared Terrell, G, Rhode Island, JR
Samir Doughty, G, VCU, FR
Tyler Cavanaugh, F, George Washington, SR
DeMonte Buckingham, G, Richmond, FR
Marquise Moore, G, George Mason, SR
Jaylen Adams, G, St. Bonnies, JR
ShawnDre’ Jones, G, Richmond, SR