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, as voted by our staff. Today, we feature #20 De’Monte Buckingham of Richmond.
De’Monte Buckingham had a strong sophomore season that helped keep the Spiders relevant in conference play. However, the recent news of his dismissal from the men’s basketball team means his days as a Spider are over. Buckingham improved on solid freshman year numbers, and with the exception of Grant Golden emerging as a superstar, the sophomore was often the team’s best player all over the court.
Buckingham’s best performance last season came at home against Georgetown, going for 28 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists. The sophomore single-handedly kept Richmond in the game, though the Spiders came up short and suffered another disappointing non-conference loss. Most of De’Monte’s best games came early in the season against some tough out-of-conference opponents; as we noted, freshmen Jacob Gilyard and Grant Golden came out and stole the show later in the year. While Buckingham wasn’t always the leading scorer this past season, he could always be counted on at the free throw line and in the paint for some big rebounds.
21.8%. Buckingham’s defensive rebounding percentage was 21.8% last season, ranking 136th nationally and 6th in the Atlantic 10 conference.
77.8%. The sophomore connected on 77.8% of his free throw attempts this past season, and he got to the line with quite some frequency. The Spiders were lucky to have him at the stripe in late game situations.
Buckingham is a guy that can do it all for your team, and we saw that in his first two years at Richmond. Unfortunately, Chris Mooney not only has a lot of rebuilding to do (Buckingham and Fore are gone), but there seems to be a culture problem at Richmond, as Buckingham getting dismissed from the team is not a good look for either party. Hopefully the Spiders can reload some talent before next year gets underway.
Previously: #21 Jeff Dowtin