Players to Watch: Atlantic 10

Scott McGrathCorrespondent INovember 27, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS - MARCH 14:  Jordan Crawford #5 of the Indiana Hoosiers drives against the Minnesota Golden Gophers during the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament at Conseco Fieldhouse on March 14, 2008 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

This is the second volume of the conference players to watch, this time with the Atlantic 10 Conference.

Ryan Brooks - Temple

With the graduation of Dionte Christmas, the Owls needed someone to step up both offensively and defensively to fill Christmas’s shoes. Brooks has done just that as every single one of his statistics is up this season so far, and fairly drastically. 

Brooks has scored 17 or more points in all games except one, which was a game against Georgetown where only 91 total points were scored in the game. 

Other players also need to improve for Temple to have the kind of season they had last year, but Brooks showed what he can do in a game against Delaware where he finished with 23 points and nine rebounds.

Look for Brooks to have a big season in his senior year as the Temple Owls try to compete in the talented Atlantic 10 Conference.


Keith Cothran - Rhode Island

With the graduation of top scorers Jimmy Baron and Kahiem Seawright, Cothran is the most experienced player on this team, and needs to pick up the scoring that left with Baron and Seawright. 

Coming off the bench last season, Cothran averaged 13 points per game, and as a starter this year he is only averaging 14 points. However, Cothright showed last season he is capable of putting up big numbers, scoring 19 points against Dayton, 26 points against Massachusetts, and over 20 points five times, all off the bench, even after missing five games.

Cothran may not appear to be a great player right now, but look for him to improve throughout the season as his minutes have increased from last season.


Chris Johnson - Dayton

As a freshman, Johnson’s numbers were fairly low, but he only saw 16 minutes per game. This season, Johnson’s minutes are up to 26 per game, and his production has drastically improved. 

Johnson has gone from six points per game to over 16, from five rebounds per game to over eight, and from half a steal per game to 1.3 steals. Johnson’s play should definitely help the Flyers this season, even though they have suffered two disappointing losses to Kansas State and Villanova (games where 16 and 13 points respectively).

Nevertheless, Chris Johnson has been huge in every single game, scoring 18 on Creighton and 19 on Georgia Tech in Dayton’s two other games so far this season. Clearly, Johnson is going to be very important to this team this year, but he will also rely on junior Chris Wright to carry some of the load.


Jordan Crawford-Xavier

Jordan Crawford, possibly more famous for being the “kid” who dunked on LeBron James, transferred from Indiana to Xavier two years ago, and therefore had to sit out last season. 

The sophomore has been stellar, averaging 21 points a game through four games, dropping 26 points on Sacred Heart, but finished disappointingly with only nine points against Marquette.

Crawford might  be a little shaky at the beginning of the year after sitting out for a whole season, but he should improve throughout the season and become the leader, along with Jason Love, of this Musketeer team and try to lead them again to an Atlantic 10 championship.

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