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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The latest A-10 class, on paper, seems very strong. It has plenty of future starters and several likely stars. It’s mostly guard heavy, at least in terms of immediate impact players. There’s some talented bigmen, but they will need more time to develop.

Below is my All-Rookie Team with other players to watch. I base my picks not on who the most talented players are, but who’s likely to get the minutes to produce right away. Some of the players I left off my list are less likely to get the minutes or might not be physically ready to contribute right away.

Rookie of the Year

Juwan Staten

All-Rookie Team

Ron Roberts (6-7, 205), St. Joseph’s - Former St. John’s recruit is physically capable to be a force inside in his first year. Other Hawks frosh may have more talent, but he fills a huge need.

Juwan Staten (5-11, 189), Dayton – Best point guard recruit in the A-10 since Jameer Nelson. He might not be as good as Jameer in his freshman season, but Staten is ready to start from day one.

T.J. McConnell (6-0, 165) Duquesne – Slightly built combo guard just finds a way to score. And it just so happens that the Dukes badly need a shooting guard with deep range.

Rob Loe (6-11, 235), St. Louis – Billikens’ top rated recruit from New Zealand will be thrown into the fire now that Willie Reed is gone. He has the size to compete in the A-10 and is a good outside shooter.

Tyreek Duren (6-0, 180), LaSalle – Top point guard from Philadelphia will probably run the show in his first year. He’s a good all-round athlete and floor leader.

Other freshmen to watch (in no particular order):

Derrick Williams, Richmond - He is a load inside at 270 pounds and could be an answer for the Spiders’ rebounding woes.

Jordair Jett, St. Louis - Somebody has to run the offense with Kwamain Mitchell out. Jett, a well regarded recruit, is the only other true point guard on the roster.

Cole Stefan, LaSalle - Late signee from Minnesota might be the best pure shooter in the freshman class. The Explorers need another shooter.

Langston Galloway, St. Joseph’s – High-motor combo guard is very athletic and versatile.

Jay Canty/ Justin Martin/Jordan Latham, Xavier – All three are topnotch recruits. Martin is the deep shooter and Canty the energetic slasher, but the 245-pound Latham might the most ready to make an impact where the Muskies need it most. (Martin still needs NCAA clearance). One of these players is likely to make All-Rookie.

Daryl Traynham, Massachusetts – Small, dribble-drive point guard is likely to start sometime during the season. He’s another member of a fine class of A-10 point guards.

PS: Fordham and St. Bonaventure have plenty of time for newcomers = the Rams upfront and Bona in the backcourt - so there's opportunity there. It's just hard to gauge the quality of their recruits.
 

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WH - as always, thanks for the post and insights. I do hope, however, that a frosh or two from the Enchanted Mountains force their way into the mix of top rookies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I researched Wright and de Haas, but they are not the most well-known players and lots of guys struggle to shoot as freshmen. Plus they have to get acclimated to bball stateside. The Bonnies obviously need a shooter, so they will get a chance. Hopefully one or both will surprise.
 

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Watch out for Temple SG/WF Aaron Brown. Has a great chance to contribute very early. 6'5 210 with college-ready strength that few freshmen seem to have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You know how Dunphy is with most freshmen. Not sure Brown can get enough minutes at 2/3 to merit consideration unless he provides consistent outside punch. Then again, Brown did shoot 40%-plus on treys as a senior ...
 

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I would not be surprised if the best lineup during "winning time" is Juwan Staten at PG and Josh Parker at SG. Paul Williams tends to get lost at times and put in some empty minutes. I think BG might have a shorter leash on him with capable reserves. If Parker does play significant minutes (14-16 at point, 8-10 at SG), he will be worthy of mention on an All-Newcomer squad. Which also means more minutes for Staten and an increased likelihood to live up to WH's preseason billing.
 

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Freshman SG Brandon Spearman out of Chicago will be an excellent addition to our lineup. Has the potential to be a very good offensive player, but he has everything in a player to become an excellent lockdown defender.
 

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Has SJUs frosh class been sorted out yet? I have not been following closely. They all qualify?
 

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"Best point guard recruit since Jameer Nelson"

That may be true with rankings and overall press, but that's still high praise from the godfather. If Juwan is even 75% of the player Nelson was, UD will do some great things over the next 4 years.
 

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Excellent work as usual, WH.

Thank you very much for taking the time to research and post your selections.

They look spot-on, as always.
 

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Freshman SG Brandon Spearman out of Chicago will be an excellent addition to our lineup. Has the potential to be a very good offensive player, but he has everything in a player to become an excellent lockdown defender.
My sources tell me Brandon has been very impressive in open gyms (of course not a barometer) but on a talent and physical readiness he's there. But I think the other 3 freshman (outside of Juwan) are going to find minutes hard to come by especially Hill and Oliver at this point, for D1, they're physically and defensively challenged and we've come to know BG...BG minutes are typically alotted to defenders.
 

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WH - how about Esho for Umass? I am not necessarilly lobbying for a position in your newcomer list, but I am curious how you thing he will fit in?

He it coming in at a fat spot with Vinson, Farrell & Reilly (ooh , that would make a great name for a Law Firm...) probably getting most of the minutes - do you think he will get meaningful PT in his freshman year? I can only assume that he is off your list because you don't think he will have enough PT.
 

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Has SJUs frosh class been sorted out yet? I have not been following closely. They all qualify?
Please ask JHG or some other Temple fans. They are the best source of information where it comes to kids high school grades and SAT scores. Funny how they shut the f up about this subject.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I thought Paul Williams came on strong at the end of last season. And Johnson could see some minutes at WG as well. Then you have Parker. Spearman won't get minutes easy, is my guess. Ditto for the other frosh, for the reasons oRed cites.

I've seen Staten quite a bit. He is not an offensive juggernaut like Nelson, but he's much more athletic and a better defender at the same age. I like his well-rounded game and he's more mature than a lot of PGs at his stage. Still, there are never any guarantees that players match the hype, and we've had some pretty good PGs in recent years, including KA, Mitchell, Fernandez, etc.

On Esho: I dont see him getting the minutes. He's really a PF forward right now, without the power game. He needs to get stronger and improve his jumper to make the move to the wing.
 

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And Johnson could see some minutes at WG as well.
Interesting line-up possibility without a "true" SG:

PG: 6'-0" Juwan Staten
SG: 6'-6" Chris Johnson
SF: 6'-9" Luke Fabrizius
PF: 6'-8" Chris Wright
C: 6'-10" Devin Searcy

 

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My sources tell me Brandon has been very impressive in open gyms (of course not a barometer) but on a talent and physical readiness he's there. But I think the other 3 freshman (outside of Juwan) are going to find minutes hard to come by especially Hill and Oliver at this point, for D1, they're physically and defensively challenged and we've come to know BG...BG minutes are typically alotted to defenders.
UD may be in trouble if either Hill or Oliver play significant enough minutes to warrant consideration for all rookie team. I've read that Hill may play more of a 4 spot for UD, so there could be some minutes there as Benson & Kav are the only legit backups for the 5 spot w/o going very small. But with Johnson & Wright being able to handle the same role at the 4 that Hill could this season, those minutes are going to be hard to get. Really, outside of injury I don't see either seeing much time, and one of the 2 could be a RS canidate.

I could see spearman picking up a bunch of time at 2 if he warrants it. If UD plans to keep the pace and intensity up, then I think you can just about split the PG spot b/w Staten and Parker, leaving Williams and Spearman playing a majority of the minutes at the 2 spot. Of course getting enough production to actually make the team (ie likely scoring enough points for a SG) would be tough as the offense should run thru Wright & Johnson slashing to the hole, Staten setting people up and Williams shooting.

fwiw, I agree w/ WH in that I loved what Paul Williams flashed late in the year. I once had Bucky (UD radio announcer, former UD player, Cincy Royal player back w/ Oscar for those that don't know) say that Paul was easily the most talented of the kids in his class coming into UD during early workouts, but he kept getting small nagging injuries that were going to limit him. IIRC, he had a fairly significant injury to start out his freshman year, and didn't get into full swing until later. I wonder if that lead to his less than desired start to his UD career, however, towards the end of last season, it seemed like he stepped out of Marcus' shadow a bit and displayed a new confidence and higher production, especially on the run thru the NIT. UD needs that Paul Williams to show up this year to keep teams from sagging in and clogging up lanes to prevent penetration from Wright & Johnson.
 

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Interesting line-up possibility without a "true" SG:

PG: 6'-0" Juwan Staten
SG: 6'-6" Chris Johnson
SF: 6'-9" Luke Fabrizius
PF: 6'-8" Chris Wright
C: 6'-10" Devin Searcy

The A10 would press that team into submission. There's only 1 player that can put the ball on the floor. Double Staten and they may not ever make it over half court.
 

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The A10 would press that team into submission. There's only 1 player that can put the ball on the floor. Double Staten and they may not ever make it over half court.
Its a valid point, but unfortunately Dayton has been surviving this way for years. Our SGs can never dribble the ball. Many times last season Chris Wright (!) was the second best ball handler on the floor. I think Paul and Staten will be solid ball handlers. Obviously the addition of Parker as a combo G should help the ball handling.

The real game-changer could be if our two star forwards become more comfortable dribbling the ball. Chris Johnson, particularly, could stand to improve his handle. Though perception seemed to be the opposite, Wright was the better ball handler of the two last year.
 

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I was just commenting on CJ playing the 2. Dayton has enough ball handlers this year but I would be very uncomfortable with having only 1 player capable of creating his own shot and that player being a freshman.
 

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Good to be reading WH posts again. It is like the right of passage into Basketball season. Just some comments about DU’s freshman, Everhart is excited about his freshman class, especially the three guards, McConnell, Tally & Jones. I believe all three will see plenty of minutes. Tally is a high scoring guard from Michigan, and was one of the finalist for Mr. Basketball. Like McConnell his dad was his HS coach. He is small (5'11") but super quick. Jones is a lanky 6'4" guard that is a good three point shooter, a terrific defender who played point in HS. All three of these guys turned some heads in the Pittsburgh Summer League. Everhart was recently quoted as saying: "Everyone wants to look at what these guys averaged, in terms of points, in high school and they see 34 (McConnell), 31 (Talley) and 18 (Jones) and numbers like that in terms of scoring," Everhart said. "Does that jump out at you? Sure. But that isn't what I look at. I look at three guys who, collectively, had over 30 assists a game. That tells the guys in the backcourt who are older that these younger guys are going to push them [for playing time]. And it also tells our big guys that if they come to play, they are going to get the basketball thrown into them."

Rounding out the freshman class are 6-9 forward/center Derrick Martin (14.0, 15.0, 7.0b) and August commit 6-6 forward Joel Wright (23.0, 17.0). Wright, who comes to Duquesne with the colorful nickname of "Air Jamaica," originally committed to Fordham before going to prep school. Martin, who is awaiting word from the NCAA regarding his initial eligibility status, will not be permitted to practice until a decision is rendered. "Derrick was a very productive player on a very good team," says Everhart. "I'm really high on his ability to run the floor and block shots. He can also step out and shoot the 3-pointer. Players who can do that are a rare find. I expect him to impact us positively." Assuming Martin qualifies he and Wright will also be pushing for playing time.
 
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