By Colin Dunlap | 4:52 p.m. Tuesday
Three questions from Kevin:
Q: What are your best guesses for some of the annual A-10 player awards this season? Any guesses on Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Most Improved Player or Coach of the Year?
DUNLAP: If I had to submit my picks for those exact awards, they would be as follows:
- POY - Jordan Crawford (Xavier) and Damian Saunders (Duquesne) in a tie right now -- the last few games will decide it.
- ROY - Not even close, the kid from Fordham, Chris Gaston. For as bad as the Rams are with him, imagine them without him.
- DEF. POY -- Damian Saunders. Hard to argue with the guy who, right now, leads the A10 in steals, blocks and defensive rebounds.
- MOST IMPROVED -- Andrew Nicholson at Bona. The guy has gone from a very, very, very raw player into someone who is growing more polished with every outing and, dare I say, an NBA guy.
- COACH -- It pains me to say this because of the things he has said (more than once) about his disdain for the A10, but it might have to be Saint Louis' Rick Majerus right now because of their surge as of late. If not, Fran Dunphy at Temple.
Q: Having seen most of the A-10 teams play now, who do you believe are the handful of legitimate NBA prospects in the bunch?
DUNLAP: I think Nicholson, in time, will grow into an NBA guy. I also think Jordan Crawford, at Xavier will get a look, same with Chris Wright at Dayton. There is no question Wright's athletic ability is unmatched in the A10. It is absolutely scary. Rodney Green and Aaric Murray at La Salle are a couple of guys who intrigue me for vastly different reasons and I think that Damian Saunders, although he is a definite "tweener," might get a look or two.
Q: Every year, Duquesne gives out the Chuck Cooper Award to the team's best underclassman and the Sihugo Green Award to the team's best upperclassman. Do you have predictions on this year's winners? Maybe this question is a non-starter, as Damian has obviously been the team's best upperclassman, but is there anybody other than Eric Evans that would win the underclassman award? BJ Monteiro maybe?
DUNLAP: If I were voting, the two you mentioned -- Saunders and Evans -- would be locks.
Q: At the end of the game when time had expired, the officials conferred at the scorer's table before ruling the game was over.
What was going on?
ECON69, Moon Township
DUNLAP: It was my understanding that the officials were checking the television monitor to see if the ball had gone out of bounds before the final buzzer had gone off. I did not hear a whistle (maybe because the gym was so loud) but was told by someone that there was, indeed, a whistle blown. Had it been deemed -- which is was not and the game was ended -- that the ball had gone out of bounds and one of the officials had blown their whistle while there was still time on the clock, that amount of time would have been put back on the clock and Dayton would have received the ball under their own hoop. It was established the ball had gone out of bounds, and the subsequent whistle had come, after the clock hit 0.00.