Davidson, which won the regular-season title in its first season in the Atlantic 10, dominated the league’s postseason awards announced Tuesday.
The 24th-ranked Wildcats’ senior guard Tyler Kalinoski was named the Atlantic 10’s men’s basketball player of the year, while Davidson’s Bob McKillop was honored as the league’s top coach.
Kalinoski, who also is a first-team all-conference choice, is one of four Davidson starters who were honored Tuesday by the league’s coaches. Guards Brian Sullivan and Jack Gibbs made second-team all-conference and forward Peyton Aldridge is on the all-rookie team.
Kalinoski, a 6-foot-4 guard, is third in the league in scoring (16.9 points per game) and leads the Atlantic 10 in 3-pointers made per game (2.9) and assist-turnover ratio (2.9). He also averages 5.7 rebounds (19th in the league), 4.2 assists (third) and shoots 43.3 percent from 3-point range (fourth).
Never miss a local story.
“When you see a kid have a dream and the dream was to be the best player be could become -- and to see that validated by receiving this award -- as a teacher and as a coach there is no greater joy,” McKillop said of Kalinoski. “I think he looked in the mirror every day and challenged himself to be as excellent as he could become.”
McKillop took a team that was a preseason pick to finish 12th in its first season in the league to the regular-season title and the top seed in this week’s Atlantic 10 tournament in Brooklyn, N.Y. He deflected much of the credit of his award to his wife Cathy.
“The one who deserves a significant amount of credit for it, but who will never receive anything on the national level, is Cathy, my wife,” Bob McKillop said. “Being the wife of a coach -- it’s tough. Every day I walk or drive across the street, leaving the game court or practice court, and my emotion is all tied to that. And she’s got to somehow manage that. Without that, this doesn’t happen.”
Gibbs, a sophomore who missed seven games with a knee injury, averages 16.0 points and leads the league in assists (4.8) and free-throw percentage (87.9), and is second in 3-point percentage (45.5). He also averages 2.1 3-pointers per game (eighth in the league) and has an assist-turnover ratio of 2.2 (fifth).
Sullivan, a junior, averages 13.1 points and is fourth in the league in assists per game (3.9) and third in 3-pointers made (2.6). He’s second in the league behind Kalinoski in assist-turnover ratio (2.7).
Aldridge, a 6-foot-7 forward, has rapidly developed into a strong defensive force for Davidson. He has averaged 2.0 blocks over the past seven games, including four against George Washington on Feb. 28.
Joining Kalinoski on the first team are Saint Joseph’s forward DeAndre Bembry, Dayton guard Jordan Siebert, Virginia Commonwealth guard Treveon Graham and Richmond guard Kendall Anthony.
Bembry, the league’s leading scorer (17.9) is a Charlotte native who started his high school career at Hough High before his family moved to New Jersey.
VCU guard Briante Weber is the defensive player of the year. Weber was on track to break the NCAA’s career steals record before he suffered a season-ending knee injury in January. Fordham’s Eric Paschall is the rookie of the year.
Scott Fowler contributed.