A10 Player of the Year Watch, 2018 Edition 2

Welcome! If you’re interested in the A10 Player of the Year race, check back here every Friday. Also make sure to park your butt in front of a TV tonight to watch Rhode Island visit VCU (ESPN2, 7pm). Not only should it be a quality basketball game, it features the top two contenders in the POY race, Jared Terrell and Justin Tillman. Some notes on methodology:

  • Numbers listed are for the season, but we’ll give favor to players who are performing better in conference.
  • The criteria for rankings is mostly in my head, but I’ll heavily favor a combination of efficiency, workload, and defensive production. I reserve the right to be completely arbitrary about how good a defender I think someone is.
  • We’re going back to true shooting percentage as the shooting metric and abandoning the points per field goal attempt experiment for now. If you’re not familiar with TS%, the simplest explanation is that it’s like field goal percentage, but it weights threes and foul shots accordingly since each shot has a different point value.

As usual, thanks to College Basketball Reference, hoop-math, and kenpom for the data. Here we go.

First Team

Jared Terrell, Rhode Island

18 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.7 steals

22.9 PER, 25.9% USG, .602 TS%

He’s still in the driver’s seat for me, but Tillman is riding shotgun. It’ll take a big finish from Aldridge, Adams, or Mobley (dark horse) to take it away. Jared Terrell is the best player on the conference’s best team by a mile.

Justin Tillman, VCU

18.2 points, 9.7 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.7 blocks

28 PER, 26.2% USG, .617 TS%

In conference Tillman is averaging almost 19 and 12, which can’t be ignored. His box score numbers and efficiency numbers are wild. If VCU knocks off Rhode Island tonight and manages to finish only a game or two back in the standings he could well take it. Wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him win it regardless.

Peyton Aldridge, Davidson

20 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 0.5 blocks

22.8 PER, 28.4% USG, .562 TS%

Box score contributions are still gaudy but his efficiency has taken a hit this year. He misses Jack Gibbs.

Josh Cunningham, Dayton

16.1 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.6 blocks

26.8 PER, 23.5% USG, .697 TS%

Up there with guys like Demonte Buckingham on the A10’s all-underutilized team.

Jaylen Adams, St. Bonaventure

17.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 1.3 steals

20.6 PER, 24.3% USG, .599 TS%

As much as I hate to do it, I’ve gotta knock him down a little bit. He’s not even the highest usage player on his own team anymore after Matt Mobley went bananas against George Mason.

Second Team

Matt Mobley, St. Bonaventure

18.4 points, 5 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.5 steals

20.2 PER, 24.6% USG, .598 TS%

Seriously, look at his advanced numbers. They’re almost identical to teammate Jaylen Adams. Very little separating these two right now. Mobley moves up a little this week after a nuclear performance against George Mason.

Luwane Pipkins, UMass

20.2 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.6 steals

20.4 PER, 32.5% USG, .560 TS%

Watch UMass play and you’ll gain a new level of appreciation for Pipkins. Dude has to carry the scoring load and does not have much help. Only Carl Pierre, a freshman spot-up shooter, also averages double figures for the Minutemen.

BJ Johnson, La Salle

21.2 points, 8.1 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 1.6 steals

24.7 PER, 32.6% USG, .547 TS%

Fun stat: BJ Johnson doesn’t have a single game with more than 2 assists this season. That’s partially due to the fact that he doesn’t pass a lot, and partially due to how much iso La Salle runs anyway. He’s also missed five games, so it’s tough to have him a whole lot higher than this.

Jon Axel Gudmundsson, Davidson

15.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, 5 assists, 1.5 steals

23 PER, 22.5% USG, .617 TS%

I’m probably higher than others on JAG and I’m okay with that. Nothing wrong with 15/6/5 while adding a steal and a half per game and being delightfully efficient.

Otis Livingston, George Mason

16.9 points, 3.1 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 0.9 steals

17.9 PER, 24.7% USG, .575 TS%

Similar to Pipkins, handles the scoring load for a team that doesn’t have a lot of reliable scoring around him. The usage rating doesn’t really tell the story of how much he’s expected to do on offense. Went for 53 points on 26 shots in two games since the last post.

Third Team

James Demery, St. Joseph’s

17.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.4 steals

18.7 PER, 25.5% USG, .517 TS%

Might be the best player for a slightly disappointing St. Joe’s team.

Yuta Watanabe, George Washington

14.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.8 steals, 1.7 blocks

17.6 PER, 22.2% USG, .523 TS%

The first of the guys who’s up this high because of his defense. The box score does not do justice to how good a defender he is.

Grant Golden, Richmond

15.9 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 0.8 steals, 1.3 blocks

21 PER, 29.3% USG, .551 TS%

He’s a guy who could finish much higher depending on how the voters choose to weight conference production. Almost all of his numbers have improved in conference, most notably his 24.7 PER.

Eric Williams Jr, Duquesne

15 points, 9.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.3 steals

22.1 PER, 22.6% USG, .564 TS%

Another rookie who’s doing a lot better in A10 play than the OOC. Averaging 16 and 9 in conference with a .641 TS%.

Darrell Davis, Dayton

16.5 points, 4 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 0.6 steals

16.8 PER, 24.9% USG, .602 TS%

This final spot could have gone to a number of different players. I get the sense this might be a revolving door.

Honorable Mention

Pookie Powell, La Salle

Shavar Newkirk, St. Joseph’s

  • 16.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.7 steals
  • 18.8 PER, 28% USG, .489 TS%
  • Just not having the season that we expected, and St. Joe’s has been disappointing. Dropped him from my first three teams, even though it feels weird.

Javon Bess, St. Louis

  • Kind of strange to not have anyone from St. Louis on a team, but Bess is their leading scorer with 13 points per game. That generally doesn’t get it done.

Stan Robinson, Rhode Island

EC Matthews, Rhode Island

  • If he makes it it’ll be on the strength of his reputation and Rhode Island’s record. All-conference teams are for stat compilers and he simply hasn’t accumulated much.

Jaire Grayer, George Mason

Mike Lewis II, Duquesne

All Defensive Team Watch

Hasahn French, SLU

Yuta Watanabe, GW

Stan Robinson, URI

Jordan Goodwin, SLU

Tydus Verhoeven, Duquesne

Ladarien Griffin, SBU

Jared Terrell, URI

Joseph Chartouny, Fordham

All Rookie Team Watch

Grant Golden, Richmond

Kellan Grady, Davidson

Eric Williams Jr., Duquesne

Jordan Goodwin, Saint Louis

Jacob Gilyard, Richmond

Hasahn French, Saint Louis

Terry Nolan, George Washington

Carl Pierre, UMass

Goanar Mar, George Mason

Fatts Russell, Rhode Island

Thanks for dropping by! Come back next week for an updated list.

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