There’s not a lot to be agreed upon when it comes to the Atlantic 10 in 2017-18; maybe the only thing most fans can confidently say is that the league is going to look different: different coaches, different players, and different teams making a rise in the standings. With all of the changes, this league has some impact transfers coming into the equation, as well as some under-the-radar newcomers. Today, we’ll take a look at some of the new guys that might be overlooked coming into 2017-18. Here are 3 undervalued transfers in the A-10 next season.
1. Bo Zeigler, George Washington Colonials
USF forward Bo Zeigler decided to graduate and transfer this offseason after 3 seasons with the Bulls. In 2016-17, Zeigler averaged 4.7 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per content despite playing just 20.5 minutes per game. Zeigler had the 9th best block percentage in the American Athletic Association last year, proving he’s come a long way on the defensive end of the floor. He also shot 52.3% from two-point range in league play, which ranked 15th in the AAC. Though Zeigler didn’t get much playing time in conference play last year, he had a 20 point performance earlier last season against Bethune Cookman, tying his career-high.
With the departures of Kevin Marfo and Collin Smith, 20.5 minutes per game is going to be a thing of the past for Bo Zeigler. The 6-6 senior is going to be relied upon heavily at the 3 and the 4 along with Arnoldo Toro and Patrick Steeves. Though Maurice Joseph has been struggling to keep a solid roster intact, the Colonials will have an undervalued wing in Bo Zeigler next year.
2. Jaylen Brantley, Massachusetts Minutemen
Massachusetts probably didn’t get enough credit for landing impact transfer Jaylen Brantley from Maryland. The rising senior transferred to Amherst in order to be closer to home, and he should provide serious upside for Matt McCall in the coming season. Immediately, a number that stands out to me is Brantley’s 46.5% three point shooting percentage in Big Ten play, ranking third in his league. Massachusetts is a team that shot a collective 29.7% from deep (339th in the nation), and the Minutemen lose their two leading three point shooters in Donte Clark and Zach Lewis. Brantley’s value can’t be overstated for a team that’s got some rebuilding left to do.
Expect Jaylen Brantley to be more than just a role player next year, as he should see a large chunk of minutes at the 1 or the 2. In accordance with C.J. Anderson and LuWane Pipkins, this backcourt really isn’t going to be as bad as many people are painting it out to be. At the end of the day, Massachusetts has a solid core of guards and an incredible post player in Rashaan Holloway, so who knows, maybe the Minutemen can surprise.
3. D.J. Foreman, Saint Louis Billikens
Of the three impact transfers that Travis Ford and co. add this season, D.J. Foreman may be the most undervalued. D.J. Foreman made steady improvements from his freshman to sophomore season as a Rutgers Scarlet Knight. He went from just 3.8 points and 2.7 rebounds in 2014-15 to 7.9 points and 6.0 rebounds in 2016-17. Foreman ranked 23rd in the Big Ten in defensive rebounding percentage in his sophomore season. The rising junior is going to be a workhorse on the glass, and his offensive numbers are primed to make a jump as well. Perhaps D.J. Foreman’s most underrated asset is his ability to get to the free throw line, though he shot the ball at just 56.0% two seasons ago. Yet, the sophomore had a free throw rate that ranked top 100 nationally and 2nd in the Big Ten Conference. If he can improve his efficiency at the line, he’ll be an enormous asset next year.
D.J. Foreman is going to make up a very good frontcourt with Hasahn French and Elliott Welmer. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Rutgers transfer average 10 points and 7 rebounds per game next season, as he should be a big piece to the puzzle scoring the basketball and pulling in much needed boards.