College Sports

Here’s an early look at next season’s Davidson Wildcats’ basketball team

Davidson’s Kellan Grady (right) will be one of the Atlantic 10’s top players next season.
Davidson’s Kellan Grady (right) will be one of the Atlantic 10’s top players next season. TIM COWIE -

With the recent addition of freshman Luka Brajkovic, Davidson’s basketball roster for next season appears to be set.

Despite losing Atlantic 10 co-player of the year Peyton Aldridge and five other seniors, the Wildcats should again be a factor in the league. Davidson won last season’s conference tournament, making the NCAA tournament for the 14th time in program history.

Here’s what the 2018-19 Wildcats will look like:

Probable starters

G Kellan Grady, sophomore (18.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.9 apg last season): Will be one of the league’s top players and could contend for All-America honors after a smashing freshman season in which he was named the A-10’s top rookie. Will take on more point-guard duties.

G Jon Axel Gudmundsson, junior (13.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 5.1 apg): Contributes in so many ways, is as solid as they come in the backcourt.

G KiShawn Pritchett, junior (5.9 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 3.3 apg): His size (6-foot-6) makes him a tough matchup and he is the Wildcats’ leading returner in 3-point percentage (43.8) and free-throw percentage (91.7). Wildcats hope his balky knee continues to improve.

G/F Luke Frampton, redshirt freshman: Missed last season with a knee injury, but coach Bob McKillop thinks Frampton can be as good a player as he’s had at Davidson.

F/C Nathan Ekwu, senior: Also missed last season with a knee injury. At 6-7, 245 pounds, he will provide a tough inside presence that the Wildcats haven’t always had. Started 24 games as a sophomore, leading the team with 37 blocks and averaged 5.9 rebounds.

Key contributors

If Ekwu doesn’t nail down a starting spot, it would likely be filled by either 6-10 junior Dusan Kovacevic or 6-10 freshman Luka Brajkovic. Both players fit the Davidson/McKillop mold of a big man who can move and shoot.

And although the Wildcats will still be extremely young (Ekwu the only senior), McKillop will need to continue to develop sophomore guard Carter Collins and sophomore forward Bates Jones.

The Wildcats also signed three other freshmen – guards Michael Jones and David Czerapowicz and forward Nelson Boachie-Yiadom. Where they will fit, we will see.

Wildcats notes

▪ Assistant coach Ryan Mee was named head coach at Division III Vassar. Mee spent six seasons with the Wildcats.

▪ Davidson will play Temple in the Boardwalk Classic in Atlantic City, N.J., on Dec. 15. The Wildcats also have nonconference home games against Dartmouth (Nov. 9), Northeastern (Nov. 24), Charlotte (Nov. 27) and Winthrop (Dec. 4), as well as road games against UNC Wilmington (Dec. 1), Wake Forest (Dec. 17) and North Carolina (Dec. 29). Davidson will also play in the Charleston Classic in November. The Wildcats can schedule up to two more nonconference games.

David Scott: @davidscott14