#40 Davidson Men's Basketball 2015-2016 Preview

Davidson Wildcats

2015-2016 Overall Rank: #40
Conference Rank: #2 Atlantic 10

Davidson Team Page#40 Davidson Men's Basketball 2015-2016 PreviewBuy Davidson Basketball Tickets

Many overlooked Davidson when they moved to the Atlantic 10 last season. They did not think the Southern Conference powerhouse could compete day in and day out against the tougher competition. Once again, Coach Bob McKillop quietly did his thing and took his team to the NCAA. Davidson, who some pegged to finish 14th in the 14 team conference, finished first. Nobody is going to overlook Davidson in 2015-2016.

2014-15 Record: 24-8, 14-4
2014-15 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Bob McKillop
Coach Record: 495-299 at Davidson, 495-299 overall

Who’s Out:
There is only one major departure from last year’s team, but it is leading scorer Tyler Kalinoski. He averaged 16.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.2 steals. Kalinoski is a major loss and he was a huge reason why Davidson ranked second in the nation in three-pointers made and 21st in three-point field goal percentage. The Wildcats still have shooters, but losing a leader like Kalinoski will be difficult to deal with. The only other departure is little used forward Ali Mackay.

Who’s In:
With so much returning talent, Davidson will not ask much of incoming freshmen Dusan Kovacevic and KiShawn Pritchett. Kovacevic, a 6-10 native of Serbia, can spend some time getting used to playing in the A-10. Pritchett could use some time to get over a knee injury, so do not expect much from either newcomer. But both are versatile players who fit very well in the Davidson system. In a year or two, Kovacevic and Pritchett will be productive players.

Who to Watch:
The Davidson backcourt still has plenty of weapons even without Kalinoski. Jack Gibbs averaged 16.2 points, 4.8 assists and 1.5 steals. Gibbs is a big-time scorer from anywhere on the floor. But more pressure will be on Brian Sullivan since he will be asked to take over much of the leadership role. Sullivan averaged 12.7 points and 3.9 assists during his junior campaign. With Gibbs and Sullivan leading the way, Davidson will have one of the best backcourts in the conference. Jordan Barham is a 6-4 guard, but he plays like a forward. He actually led the team in rebounding with 6.1 per game and added 11.8 points per game. Barham is not a shooter, but he is a proven slasher and can take advantage of any matchup. The biggest concern on the perimeter is the depth and sophomore Jordan Watkins will need to turn into a reliable shooter off of the bench.

Final Projection:
Coach McKillop will have depth in the frontcourt. Peyton Aldridge is the traditional Davidson forward who can shoot the ball. He took nearly half of his shots from beyond the arc. Sophomore Oskar Michelsen and Jake Belford, who missed much of last year with an injury, are a couple more big guys who can shoot. Nathan Ekwu and Andrew McAuliffe are the more traditional big men. Neither will score too much, but Davidson does not need them to score. Ekwu and McAuliffe will grab some rebounds and do some of the dirty work in the paint and that is all they need to do. Last year was no fluke and this is a Davidson team that is just as talented as the team that won 24 games last season. This time the rest of the A-10 won’t look past the Wildcats.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Jack Gibbs, Junior, Guard, 16.2 points per game
Brian Sullivan, Senior, Guard, 12.7 points per game
Jordan Barham, Senior, Guard, 11.8 points per game
Peyton Aldridge, Sophomore, Forward, 9.4 points per game
Nathan Ekwu, Sophomore, Forward, 3.0 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 79.0 (7th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 69.4 (256, 12)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.7 (41, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 44.3 (242, 13)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 10.7 (2, 1)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 39.1 (21, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 70.5 (120, 3)
Rebound Margin: 0.4 (178, 7)
Assists Per Game: 17.1 (3, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 9.5 (6, 1)


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