The A10 Pooh-Bahs have released each team's pairings for next season, home and away games. Specific dates and times will be announced later. I think I can speak for everyone when I say hallelujah. This gives us something to overanalyze for a few days. Beats the NFL Draft and whatever NBA playoffs faux drama that's being crammed down our throats, no?
Last year, VCU hit the road for a gauntlet of games. The Rams played each of the top seven finishing teams in the A10 (not named VCU) in their barn. VCU went 4-4 after checking out of hotels. (Okay, 3-4 plus a win over Richmond. See how I slipped that in there?)
Enough foolishness. Here's what we drew with a quick comment:
Both home and road: Davidson, Mason, GW, Richmond, SLU.
Home only: Dayton, LaSalle, UMass, St. Joe's.
Road only: Duquesne, Fordham, Rhody, Bonnies.
Dayton: Flyers return a stockpile from its Elite 8 team and will be predicted at or near the top of the conference. VCU began its A10 life with a win over Dayton.
LaSalle: Explorers were a disappointment last season after a Sweet 16 run. Rams won in Philly last year in double OT, and LaSalle is the last visitor to win in That Animal.
UMass: Chaz and the Preying Mantis are gone, but Derek Kellogg also boasts a talented roster. Minutemen will also be a top four team.
St. Joseph's: Last time Martelli brought the Hawks to town, VCU played 14 Perfect Seconds to win in overtime. Hawks won in Philly (lousy charging call on Graham) and in Brooklyn last year. We owe them a little something, no?
Davidson: Need to study up on the newcomers. Lefty Driesell and Terry Holland coached there a long time ago.
Mason: This bunch needs no introduction.
GW: Mike Lonergan will again have a top team. Friggin' Garino is back.
Richmond: See "Mason."
St. Louis: Billikens are replacing five senior starters. Box of chocolates.
Duquesne: Played very well at the end of last year.
Fordham: Pecora landed another top recruit. VCU had sluggish half up there.
Rhode Island: This could be that year for Hurley, the one some folks said would occur last year. Plenty of talent.
Bonnies: They say the trip to Olean is awful. I didn't think it was bad. Schmidt replacing a bunch.
Davidson: See above.
Mason: See above.
GW: See above. And we owe them, too.
Richmond: See above.
St. Louis: See above. Funny fans dressed up.
We could not have landed a better home slate. There will be plenty of opportunities to give yourself a headache cheering loudly in a hotly-contested, fun game being played at a high level. And the road is a great balance of styles and tests. There are unknowns and some travel challenges that will help focus the team.
This, combined with the whack-a-mole nonconference slate, is setting up to be a (warning: Shaka word coming) phenomenal schedule and season.
HERE IS EVERYONE ELSE
(HOME/HOME PARTNERS IN BOLD)
Home- DAY, FOR, SBU, SLU, DUQ, MASON, GW, RICH, VCU
Away- LAS, UMASS, URI, SJU, DUQ, MASON, GW, RICH, VCU
Home – MASON, URI, RICH, SJU, DUQ, FOR, LAS, SBU, SLU
Away – DAV, GW, UMASS, VCU, DUQ, FOR, LAS, SBU, SLU
Home – MASON, URI, SJU, VCU, DAV, DAY, GW, SBU, SLU
Away – FOR, LAS, UMASS, RICH, DAV, DAY, GW, SBU, SLU
Home – DUQ, GW, SLU, VCU, DAY, LAS, UMASS, URI, SJU
Away – DAV, MASON, RICH, SBU, DAY, LAS, UMASS, URI, SJU
Home- FOR, LAS, UMASS, URI, DAV, GW, RICH, SLU, VCU
Away- DAY, DUQ, SBU, SJU, DAV, GW, RICH, SLU, VCU
Home – DAY, UMASS, SBU, SLU, DAV, DUQ, MASON, RICH, VCU
Away –FOR, LAS, URI, SJU, DAV, DUQ, MASON, RICH, VCU
Home – DAV, DUQ, GW, RICH, DAY, FOR, UMASS, URI, SJU
Away – MASON, SBU, SLU, VCU, DAY, FOR, UMASS, URI, SJU
Home – DAV, DAY, DUQ, RICH, FOR, LAS, URI, SJU, SBU
Away –MASON, GW, SLU, VCU, FOR, LAS, URI, SJU, SBU
Home – DAV, GW, SBU, VCU, FOR, LAS, UMASS, SJU, SLU
Away – DAY, DUQ, MASON, RICH, FOR, LAS, UMASS, SJU, SLU
Home – DUQ, FOR, URI, SLU, DAV, MASON, GW, SBU, VCU
Away – DAY, LAS, UMASS, SJU, DAV, MASON, GW, SBU, VCU
Home –FOR, MASON LAS, VCU, DAY, DUQ, UMASS, RICH, SJU
Away – DAV, GW, URI, SLU, DAY, DUQ, UMASS, RICH, SJU
Home – DAV, GW, MASON, RICH, FOR, LAS, UMASS, URI, SBU
Away – DAY, DUQ, SLU, VCU, FOR, LAS, UMASS, URI, SBU
Home – LAS, UMASS, SBU, SJU, DAY, DUQ, MASON, URI, VCU
Away – DAV, FOR, GW, RICH, DAY, DUQ, MASON, URI, VCU