The Atlantic 10 Men’s Basketball Champions are back! Coming off a thrilling run through the 2018 A-10 Championship where they claimed their first conference tournament title, the ‘Cats are primed for another trip to madness. Let’s go inside the numbers of your 2018-19 Davidson Wildcats.
After four spectacular seasons, Peyton Aldridge’s time at Davidson is up, meaning that much of the spotlight this season will be on Grady. In an outstanding freshman season, Grady led Davidson’s starters in Offensive Rating (122.4), meaning Grady produced 1.224 points per all of his possessions for the Wildcats. Most impressive, Grady had the 13th lowest turnover rate in the nation at 7.4%. He turned the ball over more than twice in only two games and he dished out twice as many assists as turnovers. During the A-10 Tournament, Grady shot 43.8% from deep and turned the ball over just twice. Named by several pundits as one of the top players in the country, Grady will look to build on his electrifying stats as he leads the Wildcats into their defense of the A-10 title.
Jon Axel Gudmundsson
Grady and Gudmundsson give the ‘Cats one of the finest backcourts in the country. The junior from Iceland has been immensely valuable for the Wildcats. “JAG” is effective on both sides of the ball. An offensive Swiss Army knife, Jon Axel became just the fifth Division I player in the past 25 years to average 13 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists, all while shooting 40% beyond the arc during the regular season. His assist percentage of 25.6% led the team last season. He thrived in high pressure situations, making a game-winning layup to knock off #17 Rhode Island at Belk Arena and connecting for six three pointers in the NCAA Tournament game against Kentucky. But by far the most underrated aspect of Jon Axel’s game is his defense. His 1.8 defensive win shares topped the Wildcat squad, and he was the only ‘Cat last year in all of the top six lineups in defensive efficiency with 10 or more possessions.
A native of Mooresville, Pritchett has been one of the most efficient Davidson players. Pritchett posted an excellent 60.5% effective field goal percentage in ‘17-’18, and improved his 3 point shooting percentage from 28.8% his freshman year all the way to 43.8% this past season. His offensive turnaround on a whole was impressive, going from a 87.2 offensive rating freshman year to a 112.2 last year. He finished the year strong, shooting 50% from three point range combined in the Atlantic 10 championship game and the NCAA Tournament.
This freshman has been heralded as a deadly shooter. He excelled in our exhibition against Washington & Lee, catching fire in the second half and making 5 of 8 threes in the game, along with collecting 2 steals. Look for him to fire away all season long, and don’t be surprised if he becomes a force in the A-10 by season’s end.
The Austrian had an outstanding debut, shooting 70% from the field and grabbing a team-high 8 rebounds. This international talent at 6’ 10” looks to be an effective post player for the Wildcats in the coming years.
Another new face excelled in that game. Brother of former Wildcat Chris ‘14 shot an awesome 4 of 5 from three point range against the Generals and contributed 4 assists. Playing for 25 minutes in the win, we expect Czerapowicz to have a significant role for the ‘Cats.
You may have heard the thunderous applause when Nathan walked back onto the court on Thursday. The redshirt senior, returning from injury, had not played since the 2016-17 season. A key contributor on defense, Ekwu has posted defensive ratings under 100 (lower is better) for two out of three seasons. He was especially effective in 2015-16, achieving the team’s best defensive rating and second-best offensive rating while shooting an even 50% from the field playing 20 minutes a game. Wildcats fans will be able to enjoy one more season of Ekwu’s great play in ‘18-19.
The ‘Cats are loaded with talent to make another postseason run, and after a long few months of preview and analysis, it’s time once again to dance to “Sandstorm,” sing “Sweet Caroline,” and cheer on your beloved Davidson Wildcats at Belk Arena!