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 #17 Mike Lewis II of Duquesne.
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
Mike Lewis II was one of the biggest surprises in the A-10 last year. The 6’0 combo guard from St. Louis was not on a lot of people’s radar coming into last season, but then he went on to lead Duquense in scoring as a true freshman with 14.1 points; not to mention, he’d end up getting named to the A-10 All-Rookie team in the process. Though the lightly-recruited Lewis II had coaches asking “How did I miss this guy?” all year, cut them a little slack—Lewis was the fourth option on a loaded Chaminade Prep team featuring the Celtics’ Jayson Tatum, Iowa’s Tyler Cook, and Princeton’s Will Gladson.
Once Lewis II got to Duquense, he finally had the chance to be the number one option, and he did not disappoint. In 18 A-10 games, he scored over 20 points seven times, including a career high 31 against UMass and 24 against his hometown Billikens, who didn’t even offer Lewis a scholarship. Lewis displayed an ability to score from all three levels, shooting 40% from the field and 36% from three. He set school records for most three pointers made by a freshman with 63, and highest free throw percentage for a freshman with an 83% clip as well.
What He’ll Do
After the season Duquense fired coach Jim Ferry, and following a long and arduous coaching search, landed former Akron coach Keith Dambrot. However, Ferry’s firing triggered a mass exodus, including the Dukes’ other star freshman, Isaiah Mike. Lewis also announced he would transfer, but then decided to come back. As Dambrot builds the Dukes with commits such as 2018 4-star Gavin Bizeau and transfers such as former Mizzou guard Frankie Hughes, Lewis will be the centerpiece of a rising Dukes squad in the coming years. This year, however, he’ll have to power an offense that might lack scoring other than him. With the offense running through Lewis, prepare to see some huge numbers from the guard.
Previously: #18 Josh Cunningham