Welcome to A10 Talk’s Preseason Top 25 Player Countdown for the 2018-19 season. Each day, we’ll be publishing a new article counting down our best 25 players for the coming season, as voted on by our staff of writers. Today, we feature #20 Javon Bess of Saint Louis.
What He’s Done
Javon Bess has proven he really can do it all. After two rather quiet seasons at Michigan State, Bess broke out in a big way when the Billikens needed him most. Starting all 33 games and averaging the most minutes in a single season in school history (36.2 mpg), he took control of both ends of the floor, earning himself A-10 All-Defensive honors. Bess was flat out dominant, nabbing 41 steals to go along with leading his team in scoring and total rebounds and having the second most assists on the team. Bess was firing on all cylinders last season and is really a jack of all trades on the court. He has also shown a strong sense of rebounding, especially for a guard, and can fill any gaps Coach Travis Ford needs him to. An exciting player with a workhorse mindset, Bess took control for the shorthanded Billikens for most of last season. His breakout season was put on display every contest, showing his overall skillset paired with his veteran leadership, coming out with a record above .500.
What He’ll Do
This season will be an interesting year for Bess as he heads into his last season with Saint Louis. While he showed an impressive all-around repertoire, he will not have to take over the game anymore, with Jordan Goodwin back in the mix and the addition of star freshman Carte’Are Gordon. However, Bess showed his dominance all over the floor last season and with a deeper supporting cast, Bess can settle in nicely as one of the best players for the Billikens.
Bess shows everything you want to see in a basketball player. He brings energy into every contest and should continue to be one of the top scorers, rebounders and defenders on the team in his senior campaign. He showed a lack of shooting accuracy last season, but that can be chalked up to fatigue from his heavy minutes. He shouldn’t be relied on as heavily as he was last season and should show an improvement on both shooting percentage and shot selection.
He is the perfect player for a team with a lot of talent as he can step in and fill gaps on both the offensive and defensive ends. While the Billikens will be a well-oiled machine on offense, Bess will be a crucial part to the Billikens’ success on the defensive end. He will also be an important part of helping develop the young roster and set the pace as the Billikens grow to become one of the A-10’s best teams. Bess is in store for another high-level season contributing a little bit of everything across the board. He will be a key star in the lineup and look to lead SLU back to its winning ways.
Previously: #21 Carte’Are Gordon