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 continue our countdown with #6 Peyton Aldridge.
Before I dig into this article let me start with a personal apology to Peyton Aldridge on behalf of A10Talk.com and A-10 media members in general for having you this low. Somehow my No.3 overall player dropped out of the top-5 in our overall group rankings, not to mention fell to that six spot in the official Atlantic 10 voting as well (the first player on the all-conference second team rankings), an unforgivable sin in my opinion. Simply put, Aldridge may be the best combination of size and skill in the Atlantic 10. Here’s why…
Where to begin? Aldridge stuffed stat sheets all season long, with four 30-point nights for the Cats and a slew of double-doubles, doing his best alongside Jack Gibbs to carry the Cats while acting as Davidson’s most efficient player this season. Aldridge was huge in the Wildcats’ A-10 tourney opening game against La Salle, posting a 33-point, 10-rebound double-double while dishing out 3 assists along the way. Those are numbers only A-10 POY TJ Cline matched this season. He followed that up with a more pedestrian 14-point, 9-rebound night in an upset win over top-seeded Dayton. Aldridge averaged 24 points, 12 rebounds and four assists in the Cats two contests against Richmond, averaged 33 points, 9.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists against La Salle and dumped a 31-point, 13-rebound double-double on Saint Joseph’s. Impressive. Unfortunately outside of Jack Gibbs the Leavittsburg, Ohio native wasn’t surrounded with enough additional talent to finish in the top half of the A-10 this season, but alongside Gibbs was enough to carry Davidson to this past season’s A-10 tourney semifinals.
You want stats? We got stats! Statistically Aldridge had few peers in the A-10 this season. The junior ranked third in scoring (20.5) and 4th in rebounds (8.2) this year, simple stats that all fans love. Geeked-out stats that I love however are Aldridge ranking No.1 in the conference in win shares (5.8) just ahead of Jaylen Adams and TJ Cline, ranking third in player efficiency rating behind only Hassan Martin and A-10 POY TJ Cline and the fact that he checked in in the top-five in both rebounds and three-point percentage (that never happens) — and throw in fourth in offensive turnover percentage, because we all love someone who doesn’t hurt their team. This dude is versatile and if you’re drafting an A-10 all-star team, makes a great argument for a No.1 pick.
Aldridge and three-year partner in crime Jack Gibbs did their best to carry this year’s Davidson group, but just weren’t surrounded with enough horses to put together much of a memorable team season. Still, the efficient Aldridge left everything on the court and had another sensational individual season because of it. The trick for Bob McKillop and Co. next year will be improving the group around Aldridge to make sure this Davidson legend’s tenure ends where it should: in an NCAA tournament.
Previously: #7 Marquise Moore