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Here are some second-year players around the league who are ready to step into major roles or perhaps turn into stars.

BUTLER

*Roosevelt Jones (7.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg,). Rugged small forward (6-4) is built like a tank (220 pounds) and rumbles through defenses like one. Good passer and defender and a terrific rebounder for his size. Loves contact and has great body control, finishing well in traffic.

Only knocks are poor free-throw shooting (50% FT) and the absence of an outside shot (0-2 on treys). He could be a star if he extends his range and take advantage of getting fouled when he drives to the hoop.

*Kameron Woods (4.2 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 39 blocks). Springy and athletic big forward is an opportunistic scorer around the basket who uses his leaping ability to board and block shots.

CHARLOTTE.

*Pierra Henry, Charlotte (7.2 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 96 assists, 72 steals). Henry, a big athlete at 6-4 and 200 pounds, is likely to be one of the best defensive guards in the league. His offense, mainly outside shooting, is s sore spot, but he can run the offense and get points in transition.

DAYTON

Alex Gavrilovic (4 ppg, 55% FG, 2.8 rpg). Physical bigman, a onetime Big East recruit, showed the kind of skills typical of European finesse forwards but he has a bit of American-style nastiness down low.

FORDHAM

Byran Smith ( 9.6 ppg, 3.2 rpg 32% FG). Smith put up good numbers simply because the Rams needed another scorer, not because he was efficient. Still, Smith has good size and athleticism for his position and he does have a good-looking shot. He should show marked improvement as a sophomore.

Devon McMillan (7.4 ppg, 81 assists). McMillan did not shoot well and he had his ups and downs, but he’s got the playmaking ability to be an above-average point guard. He should settle down in year two and be more consistent. He’s very quick and likes to drive and dish.

LASALLE

Jerrell Wright ( 10 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 57% FG, 36 blocks). A stud, plain and simple. Wright is a gifted interior scorer who’s hard to stop and as he matures he should turn into a star, perhaps in his second season. He can affect games defensively too – but not unless he avoids foul trouble.

MASSACHUSETTS

Cady Lalanne (6.7 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 55% FG, 21 blocks in 14 games). Lalanne is the most gifted post player in the A-10 – right now. He is young and coming off a severe injury, but Lalanne has a variety of moves inside and the strength and athleticism to shed defenders. If he stays healthy and has a big year, UMass is going dancing.

Max Esho, Massachusetts (5.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 22 blocks, 30 steals). One of the most intriguing and less noticed young players in the A-10. Esho is long and lean, but strong too, and has the makings an excellent inside-out game. Runs the floor, is a quick leaper on the boards and excels at the top of a press. Guys like him are rare in the A-10. His combination of skills, athleticism and high motor destine him for A-10 stardom.

RHODE ISLAND

Mike Powell, Rhode Island (8.7 ppg, 30% 3PG, 110 assists 98 TOs). Rhody guard had the usual growing pains, but he showed good playmaking ability and toughness in his first year. He finds open teammates and will attack the basket aggressively if the situation warrants. His outside shot needs to improve, though, to make him an upper echelon PG in the league.

RICHMOND

Kendall Anthony (13 ppg, 42% 3PG, 80% FT, 53A, 52T). Tiny shooting guard lit it up as a frosh and can change a game single-handedly with his explosive scoring. As a sophomore he needs to buckle down on defense, exercise better shot selection and look for teammates more. Sometimes all he thinks of is shooting.

ST. BONAVENTURE

Charlon Kloof, Bonaventure (6.4 ppg, 87 assists, 49 turnovers). Bonnies combo guard settled in after being relieved of primary ball-handling duties. He is on his way to becoming an all-league defender, using his long arms, quickness and athleticism to contain opponents. His offense improved as the season wore on. He likes to attack the basket, but a better outside shot will open up his entire game. Expect big things from Kloof this year.

Jordan Gathers (38 assists and 14 turnovers in nine starts). The Bonnies’ late-season surge can be attributed in part to the insertion of Gathers into the starting lineup as the point guard. The offense seemed to run smoother with Gathers running the show. He took care of the ball and got it to teammates in position to score. Kloof also seemed to benefit from Gathers’s increased playing time. Yet Gathers shot poorly last year and will have to do better (34% FG, 16% 3PG) to keep his spot.

Youssou Ndoye (2.6 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 60% FG). His numbers don’t jump out, but Ndoye is the only true bigman on the roster and he will by necessity see lots of minutes. He might deserve them, too. Ndoye showed some good skills here and there and he’s athletic for his size. He did shoot well and block 17 shots in limited time. Fouls were a big problem, however. That could keep him of the floor if he doesn’t wise up.

ST. JOSEPH’S.

Chris Wilson (3.3 ppg, 31% 3PG, 89 assists, 49 turnovers). Wilson was a key contributor off the bench. He took care of the ball and didn’t try to get too fancy. He’s probably the best true point guard on the roster and is likely to see extended playing time. He does need to show some more creativity with the ball and gain some consistency on his jumper, however. Teams laid off him and packed it in against the bigs.

TEMPLE

Anthony Lee (5 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 50% FG, 38 blocks). Lee is in line to start as a redshirt sophomore and should boost his production. He’s one of the biggest and most athletic forwards in the league and is already a good rebounder and shotblocker. His offense is developing, but he has good hands and a nice touch around the rim.

Will Cummings. Cummings barely played as a freshmen – just like many players before him under Fran Dunphy (see: Khaliff Wyatt). Yet in scattered minutes he showed he belonged on the floor. He’s one of the quickest players on the team and has good defensive potential. Although he only took 22 shots, he did hit 4-8 three-pointers. He should see a huge bump in minutes if he’s as ready as preaseason talk suggests.

VCU

Treveon Graham (7 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 31% 3PG). Rangy 6-5 swingman is active around the hoop, rebounds well for his size and has shown the rudiments of a solid outside shot. Graham reportedly had a great summer and improved his shot. That could make him a candidate for a much bigger role, perhaps as a go-to scorer.

Briante Weber (5 ppg, 3 rpg, 41% FG, 77 steals 59 assists). Weber, a superb athlete, is best noted for his terrific defense. He has quick hands and long arms and move his feet like a ninja. He gets a lot of his points off steals or in transition. The rest of his offensive game needs time to blossom, however, and that could put a cap on his minutes.

XAVIER
Justin Martin (3ppg, 32% 3PG). A highly touted recruit, Martin often struggled in his first year after sitting out a season. He will likely be a starter as a sophomore and be allowed to play through mistakes. That should boost his confidence, which seemed easily shaken last year. Martin is a fine athlete, and at 6-7, he is capable of getting off his shot vs. most defenders. Expect him to settle in and average double digits in points.

Others to watch

Victor Nickerson, Charlotte. Lean and long forward has good hops and showed flashes of all-round skills, but he just wasn't ready as a freshmen. He probably will be ready this season.

Terrence Williams, Charlotte. Shooting guard played well on a summer trip to the Bahamas and knocked down his shots.

John Kopriva, GW. Hard-working big forward is not
a super athlete, but he's clever around the basket and finishes well.

D.J. Peterson, LaSalle. Hustling small forward played solid defense as a frosh and hit 48% of his treys in limited time.
 

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MASSACHUSETTS

Cady Lalanne (6.7 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 55% FG, 21 blocks in 14 games). Lalanne is the most gifted post player in the A-10 – right now. He is young and coming off a severe injury, but Lalanne has a variety of moves inside and the strength and athleticism to shed defenders. If he stays healthy and has a big year, UMass is going dancing.

Max Esho, Massachusetts (5.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 22 blocks, 30 steals). One of the most intriguing and less noticed young players in the A-10. Esho is long and lean, but strong too, and has the makings an excellent inside-out game. Runs the floor, is a quick leaper on the boards and excels at the top of a press. Guys like him are rare in the A-10. His combination of skills, athleticism and high motor destine him for A-10 stardom.
This is what I've been saying all along. There's no doubt he will have a big year, but the key will be staying healthy. Assuming he does, this is what makes UMass a lock for the NCAA.

And damn. In two years this front court is gonna be downright scary.
 

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I'd say you missed Kadeem Panthophlet as well in the others to watch department, but I wouldn't want to be ridiculed as a Duquesne supporter who is repping his team. Shame on me.
 

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CHARLOTTE.

*Pierra Henry, Charlotte (7.2 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 96 assists, 72 steals). Henry, a big athlete at 6-4 and 200 pounds, is likely to be one of the best defensive guards in the league. His offense, mainly outside shooting, is s sore spot, but he can run the offense and get points in transition.

Others to watch

Victor Nickerson, Charlotte. Lean and long forward has good hops and showed flashes of all-round skills, but he just wasn't ready as a freshmen. He probably will be ready this season.

Terrence Williams, Charlotte. Shooting guard played well on a summer trip to the Bahamas and knocked down his shots.
Just to add a little bit about the Charlotte guys: my perception was Henry's offense was fine after some early season jitters until he injured his wrist in the GW game (he often held back when others were scoring, but stepped up when the Niners needed a bucket). Then it seemed to be more up-and-down and his jumpshot definitely changed after the injury. I think he'll be much better if he's healthy.

Nickerson has been written off by a number of Charlotte fans, but it's another premature evaluation. You can really see what he's trying to do is really smart, but he often didn't have the strength and explosion to carry it out. A year of weight training will have helped with that (he had improved strength by year's end). His shooting has nowhere to go but up, but reports are that he's also improved his jumpshot over the summer.

Williams is a slasher who had no confidence in his jumpshot at all. He just hoped every time the ball left his hands. If he can hit even low 30's on his 3 pt jumper, or have a reliable midrange game, he'll be much more dangerous.

One thing all these guys need to improve is their team defense (Henry gets a lot of steals, but he acts like a free safety kind of like McConnell did for Duquesne, which exposes the team defense against disciplined teams). I expect that will be the biggest jump these guys make with another year of experience.

It's a shame these guys probably won't fully realize their potential in the A10.
 

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Unless I missed it, Kloof was our PG throughout. Gathers was the 2.

Also Kloof will be a junior this year. He played at a juco a couple years ago and lost a year.
 

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Alex was a decent surprise last year. Played well for an unknown freshmen but like most freshmen, was inconsistent. If he can become consistent he should have a solid sophomore season.
 

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Wayne Sparrow is one to watch for the Spiders . He has good size and athleticism at the 2 guard spot, and can shoot the three. He was starting to get some PT and play well last year when he broke his wrist or hand. He is a RS Soph. As WH noted on the Freshman list, opportunity plays into one's potential to breakout. That could be the one factor with Brothers and Anthony already playing a lot of minutes. I think Wayne could play some at the 3 as well.
 

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Word is that Chris Wilson from St Joe's has improved his shot quite a bit. The kid has a good head on his shoulders and played pretty well as a frosh- he was thrust into major minutes when Jones got hurt. I look for a big jump.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Unless I missed it, Kloof was our PG throughout. Gathers was the 2.

Also Kloof will be a junior this year. He played at a juco a couple years ago and lost a year.
You did kinda miss it, Wolf. Wright played some point earlier in the year and Gathers wasn't put in the starting lineup with nine games left in the season for his shooting. He mainly ran the offense, though Kloof didn't entirely give up quarterbacking on the floor.

Gathers played around 20 minutes a game at season end, so Kloof still ran the offense in part of every game. BTW, Kloof not coincidentally took more shots once Gathers became a rotation regular.

I just learned that Kloof lost a year of eligibility due to NCAA rules. No matter. He still is just a sophomore in basketball terms even if he's classified as a junior for NCAA purposes.
 

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WH, Gathers essentially never played the point. Kloof and Mosley ran the show all year. Gathers and Wright did display great feels for the pick 'n' roll, though.
 

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WH, Gathers essentially never played the point. Kloof and Mosley ran the show all year. Gathers and Wright did display great feels for the pick 'n' roll, though.
Hate to argue with Bona fans, but I saw part or all of 10 of the team's final 12 games last season. Gathers handled the ball quite a bit and at least looked like he was running the offense on a number of occasions.

To be accurate, Kloof was still the starting point guard. Yet as he got more comfortable on offense, Schmidt used Gathers to handle the ball so Kloof could focus on scoring and try to get open. Ditto with Mosley. He was used mainly as a 3-point threat late in the year and didn't try to get others involved.


Put another away, Bona didn't really deploy a traditional point guard for most of the season. Nobody on the team - Gathers included - is a true point.

Just to double check, I looked at the individual game performances in the final third of the season. Kloof started taking more shots, including the only two games in which he made double-digit attempts. Clearly he took on a greater burden in scoring.

Mosley, for his part, jacked up more than 50 shots in the last 10 games in very limited minutes (10 to 12 a game). He tallied just 7 assists in that period.

Gathers' stat line is like that of a point guard. After his insertion in the starting lineup, Gathers had two games with 4 assists - his season best - and three games with 3 assists. He totaled three times as many assists as Mosely in that span.

I should point out that Kloof averaged more assists each game than Gathers even after Gathers was made a starter, but Kloof also averaged 15 minutes more a game and still handled the ball quite a bit.

I am not suggesting that Gathers should be the point guard of the future. But he is not a great shooter and he really did do a solid job of managing the game in limited minutes as a frosh - when asked.
 

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Gathers may have been very secure with the ball, but I would attribute his own reticence to shoot and the "everybody pass to Nicholson" offense to his numbers. Kloof brought the ball up every possession, started the offense and guarded the opposing point. He was the point guard (and I respect how much Nonnies basketball you've watched, but I saw every game they played last year). Matt Wright was in a similar situation to Gathers in that when he was cold, he'd pass instead of forcing a shot.

Mosley just loves shooting.
 

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While Martin will be a big key for Xavier, Dee Davis is the one who will determine how well the muskies do this year. If he becomes Tu Holloway 2.0, the muskies will surprise everyone.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Gathers may have been very secure with the ball, but I would attribute his own reticence to shoot and the "everybody pass to Nicholson" offense to his numbers.
This is undoubtedly true. I give Gathers credit, though. Schmidt was looking for some stability. Gathers didnt turn the ball over, made the right passes, played solid defense and helped on the boards. More of a glue player than anything.
 

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No rising sophomores at Duquesne? Not surprised. Pantophlet, Datt and Torres don't have a ton of potential. So sad to be a Dukes fan.
 

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This is undoubtedly true. I give Gathers credit, though. Schmidt was looking for some stability. Gathers didnt turn the ball over, made the right passes, played solid defense and helped on the boards. More of a glue player than anything.
I like Gathers and think he will be very good for the Bonnies, and part of the reason I though starting him worked is that it let Wright come off the bench where he was much more successful.
 

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I like Gathers and think he will be very good for the Bonnies, and part of the reason I though starting him worked is that it let Wright come off the bench where he was much more successful.
It is no coincidence that Gathers' presence in the starting lineup coincided with Bona's drastically improved perimeter defense. Gathers, Kloof, and Conger are all very athletic and play D that reminds me of Tim Winn's Bonnies. It's one of the reasons Bona fans are quietly optimistic coming into 2012-13. Life without Nicholson will be a major adjustment, but returning nine experienced vets from last year's squad is a good start.
 
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