Evaluating A-10 seniors: Five to watch and more to consider

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Pittsburgh, PA — The Atlantic 10 is an upperclassmen-oriented league for a reason. So many are able to put careers together and learn and it shows in All-Conference honors when a Jr. or Sr. follows someone’s name. This makes picking the Atlantic 10 All-Senior Team a brutally tough task.

As previously stated in my sophomore article, these lists are not in any particular order, so do not look much into where someone is placed.

The criterion for this event is from last season’s play, projections from this season, and observations from watching games and discussions with various coaches.

Enjoy, and I can’t wait for the Twitter reactions where I messed up where everyone should be placed.

All-Senior First Team

Peyton Aldridge, Davidson– People probably saw this coming after the feature I wrote on Aldridge, but he is the real deal. He was overshadowed in some circles because of how Jack Gibbs was playing, however, this will no longer be the case. Aldridge can score pretty much anywhere on the court. This placement was an easy one and that will show throughout the season.

E.C. Matthews, Rhode Island– For those unfamiliar with Matthews, the Atlantic 10 Championships were a nice introduction or re-introduction for others. Matthews came back from a serious injury and did not miss a beat. He will be equally if not more hungry this year on a Rhode Island team that has the expectation of repeating if not faring better than last season.

Jaylen Adams, St. Bonaventure– Probably the most NBA ready player in the conference and his success is on both sides of the ball. Adams makes this team go and this senior year will not be any different. It is such a short write up for someone who deserves more, but his accomplishments speak for themselves. It is nice that he is gaining more attention on a national level.

Justin Tillman, VCU– Tillman is a walking double-double and has shot blocking ability which should excite VCU fans as the Rams try to pick up where they left off following Will Wade’s departure. With Mo Alie-Cox gone, Tillman will be guarded harder and be more of a focal point though he should be up for this challenge. He does have a foot sprain he is dealing with that may affect his early season performance, but when healthy, he is one of the top five players in the conference.

Matt Mobley, St. Bonaventure– Mobley is just as dangerous as Adams is, and it is why St. Bonaventure has the respect of everyone in the conference. Guard play is not a problem with Bona, and teams will have to seriously game plan for two guards, which is tough to do, especially when they are Jaylen Adams and Matt Mobley. Yes, these five are a carbon copy of what the Atlantic 10 had, and there is nothing wrong with that.

All-Senior Second Team

Jonathan Williams, VCU– Just a selfless player on both sides of the ball, a tremendous passer, great leader and solid defender. You cannot ask more from him and the scoring may go up this year.

Jared Terrell, Rhode Island– While some focus was on E.C. Matthews, Jared Terrell also had himself a great season. Terrell scored 20 points to lead Rhode Island in the Atlantic 10 Championship game. He has amassed over 1,000 points in his career.

B.J. Johnson, La Salle– This could have been a first team selection and there would not have been much of an argument. B.J. Johnson is the real deal, and with Jordan Price graduating, more people will be aware and see Johnson’s true potential.

Yuta Watanabe, George Washington– I tried my hardest to put Watanabe on the first team, really did, but just could not do it. I do not reveal my rankings ever but Yuta was just on the cutting room floor, I respect his game that much. Watanabe sacrificed so much for his team guarding much smaller guard and using so much energy not for scoring, but containing on defense. Watanabe is expected to carry a larger role this season and will look for help from his team but if there was a sixth first team spot, it would have gone here.

James Demery, Saint Joseph’s– Demery got the nod over his teammate Shavar Newkirk on this team because of overall health and more of a body of work to go off of. Demery has shown the ability to score and with Charlie Brown injured and Newkirk coming off ACL surgery, he gets the nod here.

Also Considered

Shavar Newkirk, Saint Joseph’s– If you take a look at Newkirk’s PPG average, you will ask why he is not higher. In short, his injury cost him. He played one Atlantic 10 game of which he played in the first half and scored 10 points. With Demery, more is known and Newkirk coming off of surgery there are more questions.

Davell Roby, Saint Louis– The easy thing for Roby to do is leave after a coaching change and a poor team record, but he did not do that. Roby has been a constant with the program and his play warranted serious consideration for making this list.

Jarvis Garrett, Rhode Island– If he was healthy last season, Garrett would have made a list, but his ulcerative colitis forced him to miss eight games, and he was not the same player after. He did have 12 points in an earlier exhibition this season, which is great news. I am interested to see how he will fare this season.

Patrick Steeves, George Washington– Steeves may be one of the top candidates to be a starter and help score points for a GW team that does not return many team minutes to the floor. Steeves fulfilled his role well last year and should be an important factor this season.

Jordan Robinson, Duquesne– Yes I mainly cover Duquesne, but no, this is not a biased selection. Coach Keith Dambrot loves feeding the post, and this season, that is where Jordan Robinson lives. He is in the best shape of his career, he finally is getting the minutes he deserves and is improved on both sides of the ball. Robinson will receive plenty of playing time, partially out of necessity, but though there are bigger names on this team, he may make the biggest impact.

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Zachary Weiss

Zachary Weiss has had a 10 year journalism career, with the past three mainly focusing on Duquesne Athletics and the Atlantic 10.

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