The All-Mid-Major Madness Second Team has been announced, and three of the five players hail from the Atlantic 10. The A-10 finished the season as the best mid-major conference according to KenPom, and these three players kept their teams relevant in the fight for the postseason.
Joining them is a representative from the MAAC and one from the West Coast Conference — a geographic outlier.
All awards were voted on by our staff.
2016-17 All-Mid-Major Madness Second Team:
Jaylen Adams, St. Bonaventure
Adams has put his name in the NBA Draft pool, but if he returns to St. Bonaventure next year, he will be an easy Player of the Year candidate in the Atlantic 10. As a junior, he was one of the best scorers and assist men in the country, averaging more than 20 points and almost seven assists per game. He was far-and-away the Bonnies’ most valuable player offensively, aided by his ability to get to the line and knock down his free throws. His efficiency from three took a bit of a hit in 2016-17, but if he can correct that, Adams could be one of the most dangerous scorers in the country.
T.J. Cline, Richmond
Cline, the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year, epitomized consistency, even if his Richmond Spiders did not. Though Richmond stumbled to a mediocre season and an NIT appearance after boasting realistic NCAA Tournament expectations in the preseason, Cline was a star throughout. Aside from somehow leading the Atlantic 10 in both assist rate and defensive rebounding percentage, Cline posted 18.5 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 5.6 assists per contest. He also had two triple-doubles, including a 32-point, 11-rebound, and 11-assist outburst against Duquesne in a fun-as-hell 101-90 victory.
Jack Gibbs, Davidson
In the highlight of its season, Davidson upset Dayton in the Atlantic 10 Tournament in March. That, and most else that went right for the Wildcats this year, would not have happened without Gibbs. The senior dropped 34 points, including five threes, against the Flyers in the 73-67 victory, giving Davidson a shining moment in an ultimately disappointing year. Gibbs also eclipsed the 2,000-point mark for his career and finished third on Davidson’s all-time scoring list (to answer your question, yes, Steph Curry is first).
Eric Mika, BYU
The lone western representative of the Second Team earned his spot by scoring in double figures in every game this season and nearly averaging a double-double. For now, BYU fans are holding their breath and hoping Mika returns to school for his junior year. If he does, the Cougars will get back a guy who placed second in the West Coast Conference in block percentage and in the top 10 in both offensive and defensive rebounding percentage. The highlight of his season may have been in the opener, when he posted 26 points and 18 rebounds in a win over what turned out to be an excellent Princeton team.
Justin Robinson, Monmouth
The MAAC Player of the Year stands at only 5’8, but made his presence known in just about every game he played. Over his four-year career, Robinson loved to shoot, and we loved to watch him shoot. In his final collegiate game — a 23-point, seven-assist effort in a loss to Ole Miss in the NIT — Robinson took 17 threes, making seven of them. Then there was his 40-point game against Siena, in which he went 8-13 from distance and 6-7 from inside the arc. With 669 total points this season and 693 last season, Robinson now owns the top two single-season scoring marks in Monmouth’s Division I history. His 2,003 career points is also the most ever in the Hawks’ D-I era.
On Wednesday, we will unveil the All-Mid-Major Madness First Team and Mid-Major Madness Player of the Year.