Welcome to A10 Talk’s postseason Top 25 player countdown where we’ll be breaking down the best players in the Atlantic 10 this past year, as voted on by our staff. Each day, we’ll release a new article as we unveil our list. Today, we start with #1 Jon Axel Gudmundsson of Davidson.
What he did
Little surprise here: Jon Axel Gudmundsson of Davidson, this year’s A-10 Player of the Year, checks in at #1 on our countdown. JAG had an all-star season for the Wildcats, doing just about everything and leading his team to some crucial wins. With an injured Kellan Grady in 2018-19, JAG stepped up and proved to be the best player on the Wildcats and the best player in the league. Gudmundsson was a workhorse for Davidson, playing 94.3% of available minutes in league play. In doing so, he managed to rank top 7 in the A-10 in points, assists, and rebounds per game, a pretty incredible feat. Gudmundsson was a very underrated defender as well; he was the best in the conference in fouls committed per 40 minutes, proving he could defend on the ball without sending the opponent to the free throw line. With an arsenal of shooters on the wing, Gudmundsson became more of a facilitator and less of a shooter in 2018-19. However, that doesn’t mean he didn’t find his own shots. Gudmundsson was tied for 2nd in the league in PPG at 17.2, as he had a knack for finishing through traffic as well as knocking down the open jumper.
What he’ll do
JAG will be the favorite to win A-10 POY in his senior season as well. The junior went to test the NBA waters this offseason but ultimately decided to return to Davidson. That leaves Bob Mckillop and company with a dangerous roster of experienced players ready to make a deep run in March. This may be Davidson’s best team since making it to the Big Dance as an at-large in 2015, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Wildcats go dancing again in 2020. Some have cited Davidson as a fringe top 25 team heading into November. Should Davidson have a good non-conference showing, that’s a real possibility. A lot will hinge on JAG’s success. He made an enormous leap last year in all areas of his game. If he can improve even further between now and the start of the season, the Atlantic 10 better watch out.
Previously: #2 Marcus Evans