Welcome to A10 Talk’s Top 25 Player Countdown. Each day, we publish a new article counting down the 25 best players in the Atlantic 10 this past season. Today, we wrap up our countdown with #1, St. Joseph’s DeAndre’ Bembry.
It’s no surprise that DeAndre’ Bembry was A10Talk’s unanimous pick for best player in the A-10 this past season. Not only did the SJU forward win A-10 Player of the Year, he led the Hawks to a conference tourney championship and into the second round of the NCAA tournament. While Bembry may be leaving a year early for the NBA draft, he departs having made a sizable impact on the notoriety of not only St. Joe’s basketball, but on the Atlantic 10 conference as a whole. He is primed to be the first A-10 player drafted since 2012, and the first St. Joe’s player drafted since 2009. Here’s a more in-depth look at what Bembry accomplished in the 2015-16 season.
Bembry is more than just a scorer, he’s one of the best rebounders in the league. For that reason, it may be difficult to define his best performance of the year as he can impact the game in many different ways.
His top scoring performance actually came in the A-10 championship game when he dropped 30 on VCU, also pulling down five rebounds. Following the ejection of teammate Papa Ndao, Bembry simply took over and guided his team to a win to lock up their NCAA tournament bid. Bembry was 13-16 from the field, and despite being just 6 feet, 6 inches tall, he was able to slice to the basket for more than a dozen of his signature finishes. It was a classic Bembry performance; dominant yet subtle. His consistency down the stretch went to show how much he had grown as a player over the last couple seasons.
Another top performance came in January against Fordham, when Bembry recorded one of his nine double-doubles on the season. He went for 26 points and 12 rebounds on 11-17 from the floor, showcasing his aptitude to create and convert on high-percentage shots near the basket.
Finally, it was no surprise that another one of Bembry’s best games of the season came in a huge matchup, this one against Oregon in the NCAA tournament. While he may have only put up 16 points (his season average was 17.4), he added 12 rebounds along with a couple flashy highlights like this reverse slam here:
This is just another reminder of how versatile and athletic Bembry can be from any position on the court. We’ll hope to see similar highlights this coming NBA season.
35. Bembry scored double-digits in 35 of the 36 games this past season, proving how consistent he can be. This was even an improvement from his sophomore year when he scored single-digits in just three games.
7.8. Bembry’s rebounds per game. This ranked 6th in the conference and second on the team behind Isaiah Miles.
40. Thirteen times this season, Bembry played all 40 minutes. In a sport where wear-and-tear tend to take their tolls over the course of a season. Bembry just got better as the year went on. When the grind got tough, so did he.
St. Joe’s season ended when they were knocked off by Oregon in the second round of the NCAA tournament. It was a very successful year for the Hawks, who won the A-10 tournament and regular season title while posting their most wins since 2004. SJU was arguably the best team in the conference this year and showed huge strides from their 13-18 record one season prior. Bembry was clearly a large part of why the Hawks were one of the top contenders in 2015-16.
Previously: #2 Jack Gibbs