5 & 5: Top freshmen and sleepers in the Atlantic 10

20 Oct

Temple's Michael Eric is one of the names you need to know when talking about the Atlantic 10 this year. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

By Brian Flinn
National Hoops Report

There are several gotta-know-em faces in the the Atlantic 10 this year. And then there are some faces that you shouldn’t forget about. The National Hoops Report looks at the five best freshmen and sleepers in the A-10 this season.

HI, MY NAME IS…

Dezmine Wells (Xavier)- The early frontrunner for freshmen of the year, Wells can provide instant offense when he’s on the floor. It will be interesting to see if Chris Mack starts him from the beginning or eases him into the rotation. He could be a monster coming off of the bench.

Anthony Lee (Temple)- While he isn’t a true freshman, the redshirt forward could be key to replacing Lavoy Allen. At 6’9 he has decent size and with a year of practice under his belt it wouldn’t be surprising to see him develop into a big piece for the Owls this year.

Mamadou Datt (Duquesne)- A team that was short on height last season brings in a forward that could provide serious talent in the post. He is already the second tallest person on the team and could be the inside presence that could take pressure of the Dukes talented backcourt.

Jonathan Holton (Rhode Island) – There’s a lot of minutes to go around after the graduation of Delroy James. Jonathan “Sponge” Holton could be one of the players that could step up and give the Rams meaningful minutes. Don’t be surprised when the super athletic forward forces his way into the starting lineup.

Justin Martin (Xavier)- After having to redshirt last season, Martin will be another one of the talented players that makes Xavier the deepest team in the conference.  If Mack decides to put Martin and Wells on the floor at the same time, there will not be a better freshmen scoring combo in the conference. With the addition of Martin the future looks bright for Xavier.

DON’T SLEEP ON US

Brad Redford (Xavier)- After missing all of last season, people might forget how great of a shooter Redford really is. Expect him to remind everyone early and often as he keeps opposing defenses honest with his deadly shooting.

Michael Eric (Temple)- Look for Eric to take a huge jump with the graduation of Lavoy Allen. For Temple to be able to challenge Xavier for the title, someone will have to step up in the post for the Owls and Eric will be the smart pick.

Lasan Kromah (George Washington)- Another talented player that was forced to sit out all of last year due to injury, Kromah will be one of the main reasons that will keep GW competitive throughout the season. Last year there was no one to back up Tony Taylor, there is this year with the return of Kromah.

Mike Talley (Dusquene)- Last year Talley provided depth off the bench, this season the Dukes might have to start him. After averaging 7 points over 22 minutes last year expect his numbers to jump with the increased playing time for the talented sophomore.

Josh Parker (Dayton)- After averaging 7 points in just over 17 minutes a game last year, Senior Josh Parker could be the Robin to Chris Johnson’s Batman. Parker is the second leading returner in minutes this year and with the transfer of Juwan Staten his playing time, and scoring, figures to go up.

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