Welcome to A10 Talk’s Preseason Top 25 Player Countdown for the 2017-18 season. Each day, we’ll be publishing a new article, counting down our best 25 players for the coming season. Today, we feature #1 Jaylen Adams of St. Bonaventure.
Our Top 25 Player Countdown is a compiled list based on voting from our staff and writers from across the league. Thanks to the following for helping configure this year’s Top 25 Atlantic 10 Player Countdown:
Grant Labedz (@GrantLabedz), Mat Shelton-Eide (@MatSheltonEide), Grant Kelly (@GrantKelly07), Andrew Phung (@LoveRI401), By George (@ByGeorgeGMU), Davidson Recruiting (@DavidsonMBBRecr), Steve DiMiceli (@SteveDiMiceli), Rhody Rampage (@RhodyRampage), UMass Recruiting (@UMassRecruiting), Bona Blog (@BonaBlog), Petey Buckets (@PeteyBuckets), and UMass Ball Report (@theumbr).
What He’s Done
For having only played three seasons, Jaylen Adam’s current list of accolades is absurdly long. Among others, he has earned two First Team All-Conference selections, attended two Adidas Nationals Camps, added a preseason First Team All-Conference selection this season, and was selected as a candidate for the Bob Cousy 2018 Point Guard of the Year Award. After a breakout sophomore season, expectations for Jay’s junior year were high; and with the departure of Marcus Posley and Dion Wright, opposing teams responded by meeting Jay with new defensive looks, and double teams. Adam’s answered by increasing his offensive output to 20.6 points and 6.5 assists per game. The one concern for Adams all last season was a nagging ankle injury that kept him from playing, or playing at full strength, in a few conference games.
What He’ll Do
As it stands, there is no question who the most important player is to the Bonnie’s success this season. While the Bonnies may have high expectations, with no proven interior scorer, they have the capability of losing any game if their shooters get cold. Look for Jay to shoot more frequently in the early stages of games. Last year, the Bonnies fell in deep holes early on, often corresponding with Jay taking very few shots. He will be the best player on the floor in nearly every game the Bonnies play this season; there is no reason for him not to fire away from the tip.
If Jay plays the way he did at full strength last season, he will likely challenge Peyton Aldridge for the POY award. Not only that, but he is a mere 623 points (roughly 20.7 ppg) away from becoming the sixth player in Bona history to eclipse 2,000 points. If Adams is continues to build upon the success he’s had in his first three seasons, he will likely guide the Bonnies to the NCAA’s, get selected in next years NBA draft, and have his number hanging from the rafters of the Reilly Center. Not bad for a kid that most thought was the second best “Jay Adams,” at Bona entering his freshman year.
Previously: #2 Peyton Aldridge