St. Bonaventure will play the teams expected to be elite in the Atlantic 10 Conference at home in the 2015-16 men's basketball season. The Atlantic 10 announced the schedule pairings for the 14-team conference season on Tuesday.
Bona gets to play Davidson, Dayton and Rhode Island - the top three seeds from last season - at the Reilly Center. All three are expected to be very good again next season. Forecasting the strength of schedule always is speculative. Davidson was picked for 12th last year in the coach's poll and finished first. Nevertheless, there's reason to think the Bonnies' slate is a fair shake.
Every Atlantic 10 team plays home-and-away series with five foes. Three of Bona's five home-and-away foes were in the A10's bottom five last season. The teams Bona will play twice are (with last season's A10 record in parentheses):
Dayton (13-5), Duquesne (6-12), Massachusetts (10-8), St. Joseph's (7-11) and St. Louis (3-15). Bona's single-game foes at home are: Davidson (13-5), Rhode Island (13-5), Richmond (12-6) and George Washington (10-8). Bona's single-game foes on the road are: Virginia Commonwealth (12-6), LaSalle (8-10), George Mason (4-14) and Fordham (4-14).
Bona traditionally is paired with Duquesne for home-and-away games every year. Dayton, Davidson and VCU were the A10's NCAA Tournament teams last season. Expect Davidson, Rhode Island and Dayton to be among the top of the coaches' poll again next season, along with George Washington and, perhaps VCU (which lost coach Shaka Smart to Texas).