As we count down the days to the start of the 2018-19 season, A10 Talk will be bringing you its preseason power rankings, as voted on by its team of writers. We continue the countdown with #T2 Davidson Wildcats.
Returnees to Watch
Sophomore sensation Kellan Grady returns after averaging 18 points per game last season. The Bostonian shot over 50 percent from the field and over 80 percent from the line in his freshman campaign. Grady put up these tremendous figures as Davidson’s second scoring option. This year, following the departure of co-A-10 player of the year Peyton Aldridge, Grady’s numbers should improve as the offense will run through him. Grady does a phenomenal job in taking care of the ball; he had the 13th best turnover rate in the nation last season. Thus, he has the tools and the potential to be a lottery pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. The A10 Talk staff even voted Grady as the #1 Player in the A-10 in our Preseason Top 25.
Jon Axel Gudmundsson
Jon Axel Gudmundsson returns to the club for his Junior season. Last season, Jon Axel became one of five NCAA players in the last 25 seasons to average at least 13 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists a game while averaging over 40 percent from deep. The Icelander had a terrific performance against Kentucky in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament as well; he had 21 points and poured in six three-pointers. If Gudmundsson can rely on his experience, hit big shots, and take care of the ball, then he has the potential to be a top-10 player in the conference.
A phenomenal shooter who stands at 6’6″, sophomore KiShawn Pritchett should take the next step in becoming a viable option in the offense. He led the team in free throw percentage as he shot 91 percent from the stripe. When he scored more than ten points in a game last season, Davidson had a record of 7-0. Overall, he averaged six points per game last season and started 32 of 33 games he played in; he certainly has the potential to average double digits this year.
Newcomers to Watch
Luke Frampton sat out the entire 2017-2018 season due to a knee injury. Thus, he redshirted and still has four years of eligibility remaining. In this year’s exhibition game against Washington & Lee, Frampton was in the starting lineup. In 24 minutes of action, he drained five of eight from deep and totaled 18 points. As a 6’5″ shooting guard, the Redshirt Freshman should fit in well into Bob McKillop’s system.
At 6’10”, the freshman will likely start as the big man for Bob McKillop. Luka Brajkovic, a native of Austria, is a member of the U-18 Austrian National Team. In the FIBA U-18 Championship, he averaged 18 points and 11 rebounds per game for his country. In Davidson’s lone exhibition game against Washington & Lee, he started and saw 22 minutes of action. In those 22 minutes, he showed a lot promise as he scored 16 points on seven of ten from the field; he also snagged eight rebounds.
Games to Watch
Davidson will participate in the Charleston Classic on the weekend before Thanksgiving. The Wildcats will first face Wichita State, who has made seven straight NCAA Tournaments and reached the Final Four in 2013. From there, Davidson has the potential to play two other Power 5 schools: Virginia Tech and Alabama. It will be fun to see the Davidson backcourt play against NCAA Tournament caliber teams early on in the season. Davidson fans should definitely consider making the three hour drive to Charleston to see their Wildcats play in these marquee games.
Merry Christmas, Davidson! Santa has gifted you with a trip to the Dean Dome to face the North Carolina Tar Heels on December 29. The Associated Press placed UNC at #8 in the Preseason Top 25 Poll. For the Tar Heels, Seniors Luke Maye and Kenny Williams will lead a deep and talented team that is poised for a Final Four Run. Needless to say, Roy William’s Tar Heels will be a tough test for Davidson. However, it will be fun to watch Davidson’s backcourt face a true blue-blood in Chapel Hill. Perhaps, this game will feature two of the best teams from the state of North Carolina come game time.
Bob McKillop and his Wildcats have a lot to look forward to this season. I think Davidson will finish in the top four of the conference and be tough to beat in Brooklyn. They are also a popular pick to repeat as Atlantic 10 Champions. Perhaps, Davidson enters the NCAA Tournament as a single-digit seed and makes some noise in the Big Dance. They certainly have the talent in the back-court to do so.