#84 Davidson Men's Basketball 2017-2018 Preview


Davidson Wildcats


2017-2018 Overall Rank: #84

Conference Rank: #7 Atlantic 10

Last season Davidson missed out on the postseason for just the second time since the 2004-2005 campaign and the first time since 2009-2010. With Coach Bob McKillop leading the way, the Wildcats will almost certainly start a new streak this year. The return of Peyton Aldridge certainly helps. The 6-8 senior averaged 20.5 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists. He can play a variety of positions and stretch the defense with his superb outside shooting. He connected on 40.9 percent of his 171 three-point attempts and shot 49.5 percent from the field as a whole. With Aldridge’s hustle and leadership adding to his immense productivity, Davidson is in good hands.
2016-17 Record: 17-15, 8-10
2016-17 Postseason: None
Coach: Bob McKillop
Coach Record: 533-328 at Davidson, 533-328 overall
Who’s Out:
Losing Jack Gibbs is a tough blow. The 6-0 guard averaged 22.1 points, 4.1 assists and 4.0 rebounds during his senior season to end a brilliant career at Davidson. Gibbs was a superb shooter and playmaker and replacing all of that production will not be done by a single player. Fortunately, the Wildcats have plenty of players who are ready to play a larger role. The only other departure is Andrew McAuliffe, who averaged 2.2 points and 1.1 rebounds in 8.9 minutes per game.
Who’s In:
Carter Collins, Luke Frampton and Kellan Grady will help replace Gibbs. Collins will eventually develop into a quality scoring point guard. For now the 6-3 lefty will likely play tough defense and knock down some shots off the bench. Frampton is a big 6-5 guard who can attack the basket and score in bunches. However, it is Grady who will have the biggest impact right away. He will have some competition, but do not be surprised if Grady begins his collegiate career as Davidson’s starting shooting guard. He can run the point too and could be utilized in either role for the Wildcats. Wherever he plays, Grady can score in a variety of ways and help out in other ways too. The lone newcomer in the frontcourt is Bates Jones. There will not be too many minutes for him this year and he can use that time to add strength and develop his overall game.
Who to Watch:
Davidson returns five players who started at least 16 games last year. Besides Aldridge, Will Magarity was the most productive in the scoring column, averaging 8.4 points per game. The 6-11 senior added 5.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocked shots during his first year with the Wildcats after transferring in from Boston College. He will team up with Aldridge to provided Davidson with one of the best frontcourts in the Atlantic 10. Jon Axel Gudmundsson was the other regular starter in 2016-2017. He averaged 8.2 points and 3.5 assists. Gudmundsson was inconsistent shooting the basketball as a freshman, but he can certainly boost his 32.7 three-point percentage. He will also be asked to do more ball handling with Gibbs gone, although Grady can certainly help out with that. KiShawn Pritchett is another promising sophomore. At 6-6, he is a big guard who has a lot of potential. Pritchett averaged just 3.9 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 2016-2017, but he does have a very good all-around game and will make an impact even if he is not scoring. Rusty Reigel, a 6-2 senior, started 17 games as a junior and may lose out on a starting job to Grady. He is a capable outside shooter though and has proven to be a good scorer off the bench.
Final Projection:
Senior Nathan Ekwu was a starter two years ago, but played a reserve role when Magarity was eligible. He provides experience and quality depth to the frontcourt. Senior guard Jordan Watkins should be in the regular rotation again after averaging 2.7 points last year. All of that gives Coach McKillop plenty of depth. In fact, he may have a difficult time reducing the regular rotation to eight or nine guys. That is a good problem to have and nobody gets more out of their players than Coach McKillop. He has built Davidson into a consistent program that will be a dangerous team in the A-10 for a long time to come. Another NCAA Tournament run like in 2008 when Davidson went to the Elite Eight may not come again, but this is a Davidson squad that has the potential to reach the NCAA Tournament in an Atlantic 10 conference race that should be very tight.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT
Projected Starting Five:
Jon Axel Gudmundsson, Sophomore, Guard, 8.2 points per game
Kellan Grady, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season
KiShawn Pritchett, Sophomore, Guard, 3.9 points per game
Peyton Aldridge, Senior, Forward, 20.5 points per game
Will Magarity, Senior, Forward, 8.4 points per game
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 73.8 (162nd in nation, 7th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 71.6 (162, 7)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.7 (212, 8)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.2 (148, 7)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 9.1 (35, 1)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.1 (222, 7)
Free-Throw Percentage: 75.3 (34, 3)
Rebound Margin: -0.6 (218, 8)
Assists Per Game: 15.6 (48, 3)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.2 (92, 5)
Madness 2017 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#89 Kellan Grady