Welcome to A10 Talk’s Top Pre-Season Top 25 Player Countdown for the 2016-17 season. Each day, we’ll be publishing a new article counting down our best 25 players for the coming season. Today, we feature #11 Jordan Price of La Salle.
What He’s Done
La Salle’s Jordan Price has been the definition of “putting the team on your back” for the last couple seasons in Philly. Last year as a junior, Price played 37.7 minutes per game and in 95.1% of available minutes, a stat that ranks him 3rd in the nation. Even more so in conference play, Jordan Price was on the court in an astonishing 98.1% of available minutes. Price barely knew what the bench was last season. Ever since transferring from Auburn in 2013, Price has had to play an overwhelming amount of minutes for the Explorers, but that should change this season.
With all of the time Price spent on the court, he certainly made his impact felt. The junior led the Explorers in scoring at 19.2 points per contest. He also pulled down 5.5 boards and dished out 3.0 assists per contest. He’s been an offensive machine, except for when he turns the ball over. His 3.29 turnovers per game rank him as the nation’s 34th worst at protecting the basketball last year. Though we do have to cut the guy some slack; he did have the ball in his hands just about every possession. Price took almost a third (31.1%) of the team’s shots while he was on the floor last season. He ranked 41st nationally in this category. Needless to say, Jordan Price was an integral part of this team, and La Salle squeezed out just about every ounce it could get from him.
What He’ll Do
La Salle has a lot of incoming transfers that could’ve snuck into the 20-25 range of this list. Pookie Powell, Demetrius Henry, and B.J. Johnson are all solid players that have more than one season remaining with the Explorers. Simply by acquiring offseason transfers, John Giannini has transformed this team from one with an abysmal record to one that could compete for an NCAA Tournament berth. Most importantly, Jordan Price is going to get a rest. No longer is he going to have to play every minute of every game. Other scoring options will give him some much-needed breathers on the bench. Also, Jordan Price is less likely to get double-teamed on defense when there is a plethora of other scoring options for La Salle. This could lead to even more production and better efficiency from La Salle’s star senior.
I wouldn’t necessarily expect Jordan Price’s numbers to shoot up next season, especially with the addition of a number of key scorers. What I would expect to see is an increase in shooting percentages and a reduction in turnovers. I think Price tends to fall victim to sloppy play when he has to be on the court for too long. Though he’s one of the best scorers and overall players in the Atlantic 10, it’s easy to make mistakes when you’re not given ample time to recover on the bench. I think we could see Price’s 36.5% three point and 39.0% field goal percentages rise 5 points each this season. I also think it’s reasonable to expect his turnovers to fall by 0.5-1.0 per game.
Though his numbers may not skyrocket, Price will likely be a much more efficient player, and efficiency is what La Salle needs. The Explorers ranked 295th in the nation with a 45.4% 2 point field goal shooting percentage last year. Their 33.6% three point shooting wasn’t much better, as it ranked 223rd nationally. With more weapons under his belt, I think John Giannini has what it takes to turn this team back into an NCAA Tournament contender. With Jordan Price captaining the ship, there is a lot of potential in this Explorers team.
Previously: #12 Hassan Martin