SIZING UP VCU’S POTENTIAL A-10 QUARTERFINAL OPPONENTS

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Travis Taylor averages 11.8 points and 9.0 rebounds per game for Xavier.

Travis Taylor averages 11.8 points and 9.0 rebounds per game for Xavier.

No. 7 Xavier Musketeers (17-13, 9-7)
Coach:
Chris Mack (fourth season)
RPI/KenPom: 78/80
A-10 Tournament Championships: 4 (1998, 2002, 2004, 2006)
All time vs. VCU: series tied 2-2
This season: VCU 75, Xavier 71 (Feb. 23 – Cincinnati, Ohio)
Player to watch: Semaj Christon, Fr., Guard (15.4 ppg, 4.7 apg)
The rundown: Should the Rams draw the Musketeers in Friday’s quarterfinals, Christon would likely play a critical role in the outcome of the game. The last time these two teams met, the A-10 Rookie of the Year committed 10 turnovers against VCU’s Havoc full-court press. Yes, 10.

The first meeting between these two was a tale of two halves. Xavier shot an incredible 74 percent (14-of-19) in the first half and took a 39-26 lead into the lockerroom. The Musketeers extended their margin to as much as 17 points with 18:57 left before the Rams started knocking down shots and the press began wearing Xavier down. In all, VCU turned Xavier over 22 times in the game, which the Rams converted into 23 points.

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MY ALL ATLANTIC 10 CONFERENCE AWARDS

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A10PrimaryThe Atlantic 10 Conference is procedurally different from the CAA in a number of areas, including voting for All-Conference awards. Whereas the CAA used a pool of 48 media members, SIDs and coaches, the A-10 is a strictly coaches voting pool. That doesn’t mean we have to sit this one out, however. We have a blog, you know.

Also, these picks were a part of the Duquesne Sports Blog’s voting pool for their All A-10 awards, so feel free to check out how the collective A-10 blogosphere feels.

Below are what would be my All Atlantic 10 Conference picks. Feel free to discuss, but take it easy on me. I’m sensitive.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Khalif Wyatt, Temple
Why:
I didn’t really need further confirmation, but after Sunday’s performance against VCU, it took me all of about four seconds to write in Wyatt’s name here. The 6-foot-4 senior guard, who has five 30-point performances this season, leads the league in scoring (19.9 ppg) is seventh in assists (4.1 apg) and ninth in steals (1.6 spg). Easy pick.|
Also considered: I’m checking to see if Jameer Nelson is eligible.

First Team
Khalif Wyatt, Temple
Rotnei Clarke, Butler
Ramon Galloway, La Salle
Juvonte Reddic, VCU
Treveon Graham, VCU

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