It could finally be time for a Rhode Island Ram to win the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year award again. Can Jared Terrell do it?
After URI’s 15-3 record in conference play, there is a considerable probability that the best player on the best team in the Atlantic 10 could be named Player of the Year. The senior from Weymouth, MA is averaging 17.8 points per game (45.3 FG% and 83.7 FT%), 3.3 rebounds per game, 2.4 assists per game, and 1.6 steals per game throughout the 2017-2018 season. Within conference play, the Rams’ senior leader’s production has not wavered. In 18 Atlantic 10 games, Terrell averaged 17.7 points per game (45.2 FG% and 82.6 FT%), 3.5 rebounds per game, 2.2 assists per game, and 1.4 steals per game. For Dan Hurley, Rhode Island’s #32 has epitomized consistency. Rhode Island’s #32 scored in double figures in 17 out of the 18 conference games. In the one game that he didn’t reach double digits, he still scored eight points versus Davidson (in a 13-point victory).
As always, Terrell has remained as durable as ever, playing in all 29 games for the Rhode Island Rams in the 2017-2018 season (30 if you count their exhibition game versus Buffalo). Throughout the current season, he has played 32.8 minutes per game. In conference play, he never played less than 25 minutes in a game (in a 14-point win versus Saint Bonaventure). By a decent margin, URI’s starting shooting guard has been the team’s most valuable player in the 2017-2018 season due to the senior leadership that he has provided in the locker room, as well.
In comparison to all of the other A-10 players, Terrell ranks 11th in points per game and 32nd in field goal percentage in conference games. Additionally, his exceptional 43.1 shooting percentage from three-point range (in conference play) is good for sixth among Atlantic 10 players. Beyond numerical figures, Terrell has proven his worth as the conference’s player of the year due to his defensive prowess. In essentially all of his games played, he drew the undesirable task of defending the opposing team’s best offensive player. In response, the senior wing often shut down any possible large scoring output by his match-up. When it comes to the conversation for the conference’s Player of the Year, Terrell’s defensive influence must be recognized.
As of now, the lead candidates for the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year award include Terrell, Jaylen Adams (Saint Bonaventure), Peyton Aldridge (Davidson), Justin Tillman (VCU), B.J. Johnson (La Salle), and Luwane Pipkins (Massachusetts). As a byproduct of playing on teams that are in the bottom half of the conference standings, Tillman, Johnson, and Pipkins could very well be overlooked. Consequently, it is looking like a three-horse race between Terrell, Adams, and Aldridge for the most prestigious individual award in Atlantic 10 men’s basketball.
A huge differentiating factor between Jared Terrell and his competitors for the award are the performances that he and had his team had in non-conference play. As a conference, Rhode Island was the only team that had bona fide wins that can be viewed as “signature wins” by the selection committee. Saint Bonaventure had the second-best collection of non-conference wins and their best win during that stretch was at Syracuse, a team that may not make it into the 2018 NCAA tournament. In the Rams’ best win of the season, Terrell dropped 32 points (9-17 FG and 10-10 FT) against Seton Hall in the Barclays Center during Thanksgiving weekend. Additionally, he scored 24 points at Nevada, 11 points against Virginia, 11 points versus Providence, 21 points versus Charleston, and 23 points versus Iona. The Iona Gaels have secured the automatic bid for the MAAC and the rest of the aforementioned teams are all projected to be in the field of 68 in the biggest event in college basketball.
Conversely, Jaylen Adams missed the first six games of his senior season due to injury and his best non-conference performance was a 25-point performance (40 FG%) versus Yale (a 16-14 team). Meanwhile, Peyton Aldridge scored just 13 points (36.4 FG%) on his trip to Nevada and his best game in non-conference play was a 37-point performance against a UNC-Wilmington team that is in the basement of the CAA (11-20 overall record). At the end of the day, it is clear that the 2018 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year is Mr. Jared Terrell.