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There’s more than just offense to Atlantic 10 Player of the Year Luka Brajkovic’s play

He helps to anchor Davidson’s defense, which held Fordham to 14% from 3-point land Friday

Davidson v George Washington
Luka Brajkovic won Atlantic 10 Player of the Year despite ranking third on his own team in scoring.
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

When you look at Davidson’s stat sheet, no one starter is better than the other. When you look at the Atlantic 10 awards, it may say different. Although Luka Brajkovic may not rank highly in offensive rating and point average, the difference he makes on both sides of the floor is insurmountable.

Ranked fourth on the team in offensive ranking and third in point average, Brajkovic has too many weapons around him. It’s almost insane to say that one player is better than the other.

Michigan State transfer, Foster Loyer, leads the way with a 66th ranked offensive rating and 16.9 points per game. Following him are Nelson Boachie-Yiadom and Michael Jones. Boachie-Yiadom doesn’t even start, and Jones is the fourth leading scorer. The second-leading scorer on the team, Hyunjung Lee, has been touted as the Korean Stephen Curry, so there’s that.

Then you have Brajkovic. The team’s third-leading scorer was named the league’s player of the year. When the metrics say that he’s your fourth-best offensive player, you’re set up for success.

“It just speaks to the fact that we have a lot of weapons on our team that any given night can step up,” Loyer said. “We have so many guys that do such a good job playing their role, accepting the role and then exceeding at that role.”

On Friday, Brajkovic only scored six points and was the teams’ sixth-leading scorer. He was effective, he just didn’t score. A lot of his work was done on the other end of the ball.

The Wildcats held Fordham to only 14% from behind the arc, shutting down a team that drained 19 threes against them earlier this season to four in the month of March.

“The Atlantic 10 has a tremendous number of 3-point shooters at every position,” Davidson coach Bob McKillop said. “We’ve had a lot of rehearsals with our close-outs. And I think that Will Reigel, our assistant coach, who was in charge of the scout did a superb job of strategizing.”

The Wildcats will try to continue its strong defensive play against Saint Louis in the semifinals. The Billikens shot 43% from behind the arc in their quarterfinal win over Saint Bonaventure and drained 11 threes against Davidson earlier in the year. For the Wildcats to not only win but cover, they’ll have to keep the Billikens at bay as they did with Fordham.

Matchup: Saint Louis vs. Davidson

Location: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

TV: CBSSN at 1 p.m. ET

DraftKings Line: Davidson -3.5, O/U 136.5