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Co-Player of Year Jaylen Adams among 3 Bonnies honored

St. Bonaventure guard Jaylen Adams and Davidson forward Peyton Aldridge, two key figures in the Bonnies' win over the Wildcats in triple overtime last week, were named co-Players of the Year in the Atlantic 10 Conference. Adams was one of three Bona players to be honored Tuesday.

Adams averaged 20.5 points and 5.3 assists per game and led the Bonnies to a 24-6 record overall, including a 12-game winning streak to end the season. Bona's victory total was the highest for the regular season in the history of the program. The streak was their longest ever in conference play.

Along the way, Adams had back-to-back 40-point games in victories over Duquesne and Saint Louis. His 44-point effort against the Billikens was one of the great performances ever at the Reilly Center. The three-time all-conference selection will be remembered as one of the best players ever to wear a Bona uniform.

"It makes me feel great," Adams said Tuesday evening after practice. "It's a tremendous accomplishment for myself, for my teammates and my coaches. I wouldn't be here without them. I just want to continue to prove people wrong and continue to get better. I'm extremely excited and thankful for the award."

Senior guard Matt Mobley was named first-team all-conference after averaging 18.2 points per game while junior LaDarien Griffin shared the Most Improved Player award with Massachusetts sophomore Luwane Pipkins. The awards were announced in advance of the A-10 tournament, which begins Wednesday.

Adams and Mobley were the highest-scoring backcourt in the A-10 and carried the Bonnies to a 14-4 conference record. St. Bonaventure, which finished second behind Rhode Island, will play Friday in the conference quarterfinals against the winner of Duquesne-Richmond.

"I was really excited," Mobley said. "I'm glad that they gave us both (first team), like they did in the preseason. It's a testament to my teammates I obviously couldn't do anything without them. They put me in great spots all year, set great screens for me all year. I had the easy job, just knocking shots down."

Rhode Island guard Jared Terell and Virginia Commonwealth forward Justin Tillman joined Adams, Mobley and Aldridge on the all-conference first team. Davidson guard Kellan Grady was named the conference's top rookie.

Aldridge was terrific for Davidson while averaging 21.3 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. He scored 45 points against St. Bonaventure while Adams scored 34 before both fouled out in the epic matchup the Bonnies won, 117-113.  Aldridge's point total was the most ever scored by an opponent in the Reilly Center.

"I'm happy for the both of us," Adams said. "He's a senior, and he had a good year as well. I'm happy the A-10 recognized us both."

Griffin emerged this season while playing about 30 minutes per game in his first year as a full-time starter. He averaged 8.7 points and 6.5 rebounds per game, nearly tripling his production from last season in both categories. He had four double-doubles, including 21 points and 14 rebounds in a win over Fordham in January.

Pipkins, a 5-foot-10 guard, averaged 21.1 points and 4.1 assists per game in a down year for UMass. He averaged 10.2 points and 2.3 assists last year as a freshman.

 

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