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The conference season is still in its infancy. Admittedly, it is very difficult to obtain definitive trends. Regardless, there are a few things we can take from this small sample group. Numbers the courtesy of and only conference games are factored.

VCU 1-0 101 81 20 70
LaSalle 2-0 114 96 18 67
St. Louis 2-0 84 87 7 67
UMASS 2-0 105 98 7 67
Geo Wash 1-1 109 102 7 65
St. Bona 1-1 109 102 7 70
St. Joes 1-1 107 107 0 69
G. Mason 0-2 96 101 -5 69
Fordham 0-2 105 111 -6 74
Richmond 1-1 102 110 -8 72
Duquesne 1-1 100 109 -9 72
Dayton 0-1 83 94 -11 71
URI 0-2 88 99 -11 63

Separation. Last week the difference between the fastest and slowest paced teams was seven possessions. To date, with two, maybe three, conference games contested, that difference is 11 possessions. It is a case of teams settling into a groove against conference competition.

Granted, the road is unforgiving. Richmond did get a split… but do expect that defensive efficiency to get better and the pace to be a few possessions less as the season progresses.

The Rhode Island defensive efficiency is not that bad but the offense?

Two nice wins by LaSalle, over George Washington and at Duquesne. The defense has not forced turnovers (17% opposing TO rate) but they are limiting opponents to a 40% eFG rate.

Small samples can be misleading. Take Dayton who ran into a very good Saint Louis team on a night the Flyers were less than Springfield, Mass. Quality.  Hence, the offensive efficiency of just an 83.

In their loss at UMASS, an old nemesis, turnovers, were St. Bonaventure’s undoing. The TO rate was 29%. Upcoming games with St. Louis, George Washington and LaSalle will tell us more about the Bonnies.

Speaking of a George Washington team off to a great overall start, a big reason for their success is care of the ball. Their TO rate is just 12%.

St. Louis defense is rooted in holding opponents to a 38% eFG mark from the floor. The Billikens can turn you over as they force opponents into a 20% TO rate.

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