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 #5 Jacob Gilyard
What he did
It was certainly a difficult year to determine an Atlantic 10 all-conference first team, but leaving Jacob Gilyard out seems criminal. The Richmond sophomore was top 5 in the conference in points, assists, and steals per game this past season. An absolute pest on the defensive end of the floor, Gilyard ranked first in the A-10 in steal percentage and 9th in the entire nation. His shooting improved significantly throughout the year as he shot 41.3% from long range in conference play, good enough for 4th in the A-10. Richmond struggled mightily this year due largely in part to Nick Sherod’s injury at the start of the season. Gilyard and Golden were called upon to do a lot, but Nathan Cayo also stepped up big in his sophomore season, among others. Jacob Gilyard proved to be one of the best all-around players in the conference last year and will ride into 2019-20 with a lot of momentum for his team.
What he’ll do
As a junior, Jacob Gilyard should be one of the best players in the league and will be gunning for Atlantic 10 Player of the Year. The Spiders have a chance to do something special next season as they return a majority of their scoring as well as a dangerous player in Nick Sherod who missed the season due to injury. The junior duo of Jacob Gilyard and Grant Golden is a fun one to watch, and I’d expect that to develop even further in 2019-20. Richmond seems like it’s bound to finish somewhere in the middle of the pack next year (7th or 8th), but I could see the Spiders finishing as high as 4th or 5th. There are no excuses for this team this year. It’s time for Chris Mooney and co. to step up and have a good season.