Atlantic 10 action here in the nation's capital as the George Washington Colonials host the Saint Joseph's Hawks. Saint Joseph's has been struggling mightily this season, and they enter this one at 4-15, while George Washington has been more mediocre at 8-11. Despite the different records oddsmakers have this one as relatively tight. It'll be streamed by ESPN+.
Saint Joseph's Having A Rough YearTo say Saint Joseph's has been having a rough year would be a pretty big understatement. Just a few years ago they were a very solid mid-major program and made the NCAA Tournament as an eight-seed. They've been stuck in mediocrity the past couple of seasons, but have fallen far beyond that this year. They've completely cratered, and enter this one at 4-15. All that being said, things somehow aren't quite as bad as they seem. They actually have some impressive wins, like when they beat Bradley and UConn, two teams ranked inside the top 100 by advanced analytics site Kenpom.com.
You will never see a buzzer beater like this again.— Zac (@zacvoynow) January 12, 2020
Ryan ******* Daly. pic.twitter.com/x2jbYdd7lw
A lot of their losses have been close ones to good teams, like when they lost by six to Davidson on the road in overtime a few games ago. The win over UConn was on the road and they just beat Penn in their most recent road game, so they clearly don't have too much of an issue playing away from home. The offense has been surprisingly decent, and they're led by junior wing Ryan Daly. Daly has been one of the best players in the conference this season, averaging 19.4 points to go along with 7.8 rebounds per game. He's been going off recently, with at least 21 points in three of his last four games. This team might not be as bad as many people seem to think that they are.
George Washington Has Key InjurySaint Joseph's has been a disaster this season, but it's not like George Washington has been all that much better. The Colonials were 9-24 last season, so this still has to be nice even though they haven't been anything better than mediocre. They enter this one at 8-11, and they've been slipping recently. They're just 2-5 in their last seven, and it doesn't look like they're going to make too much noise in the A10. They've been competitive for most of the year, but they don't have a single impressive win. Their best win this season was probably against George Mason, a team ranked 155th by Kenpom, which isn't saying much.
They've played an incredibly weak schedule and still haven't managed to crack .500. Things are only going to get tougher in conference play. They haven't been good on either side of the ball, and they are also dealing with a significant injury. Senior forward Arnaldo Toro, left their last game with an ankle injury and it's unclear if he's going to play here. He's the team's leading rebounder, and it'll be a massive loss if he doesn't play here. Without him in the lineup, they would have startlingly little size. They're also a fairly young team, and two of their top four scorers are freshmen. They don't shoot the ball particularly well from three, and without Toro, they'll lose their only established post presence.