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 feature #25 Brian Sullivan.
Brian Sullivan played three years as a guard for Davidson. A transfer from Miami (Ohio), Sullivan sat out the 2012-13 season before becoming a key piece to the Wildcat offense the next three seasons.
Sullivan had many electrifying performances for Davidson, but there are a couple that stick out that not only showcase his skill and shooting ability, but his leadership abilities as a team captain. The first game of note took place on December 21st, 2013 – Sullivan’s redshirt-sophomore year. Davidson was off to an up-and-down start to the year, as was Sullivan. Not shooting well from deep (the hallmark of his game) Brian Sullivan and Davidson headed to Chapel Hill to take on the North Carolina Tar Heels. In a performance that would cement him into the minds and memories of every Davidson fan watching that day, Sullivan dropped 33 points, hit 7 threes, and willed the Wildcats to force the game to overtime. Unfortunately Davidson would lose the game in OT, but Sullivan truly delivered an unforgettable performance that game.
One aspect of Sullivan’s game that rarely showed up on the stat sheet was his leadership and ability to run the offense. Even with Jack Gibbs functioning as the primary ball handler, Sullivan was often called into action to run the show for Davidson. This was on display this past year when Davidson hosted Richmond. Missing Jack Gibbs, Jordan Barham, Jake Belford, and others to injury, Davidson was left with just 7 scholarship players. The team turned to Sullivan, who ran the show on offense to the tune of 21 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists in a key win for the Wildcats.
Brian Sullivan also displayed a propensity to nail clutch shots at the end of games – St. Bonaventure fans will curse his pull up game-sealer from the parking lot for years to come – a shot that likely knocked the Bonnies out of the NCAA Tournament. Similarly, Sullivan stuck daggers into the hearts of both George Mason and Montana his junior year with late-game heroics.
Brian Sullivan was a consistent performer throughout his Davidson career, capped off by an impressive final season. Last season he shot 40% from three with an average of 3.3 threes made per game. This amounted to a 14.2 points per game average, the highest of his college career. Sullivan also chipped in 3.4 assists per game, and had an elite assist to turnover rate.
Sullivan won a total of 64 games over his three season career, including helping Davidson to a 20-13 mark last season. Statistically he was one of Davidson’s most used players, and played 84% of the team’s available minutes.