Shavar Newkirk is the most under the radar guard in the country. Not many college basketball fanatics have heard of him outside of the Atlantic 10 Conference. Newkirk is a deadly shooter from downtown that can also get to the rim and make crazy finishes. He has quick reflexes, good vision, and deceptive speed. He is a joy to watch. In his first two years on hawk hill he did not get a lot of playing time which served him well. He was able to take time and learn from veteran guards such as Aaron Brown. It has really paid dividends this year.
Through the first seven games of the season Newkirk averaged 20.3 points per game, 4 rebounds per game, and 5 assists per game. He also is shooting 48% from 3-point land which is good for 30th in the country. Newkirk accounts for almost ⅓ of Saint Joseph’s points per game. He is the most improved player in the country. In the 2015-16 season, Newkirk averaged 8.0 points per game and shot 30% from downtown.
Along with having surprisingly impressive numbers, Shavar Newkirk has stepped up into a leadership position. He is a silent leader. He never says much but he leads by example. Sophomore guard Lamarr Kimble has thrived under Newkirk’s leadership. Kimble is averaging 14 points per game which is up from 6 points from the previous year. Kimble has become a consistent shooter just like Newkirk. The two make up one of the best backcourts in an excellent Atlantic Ten Conference.
This year is a down year for the Saint Joseph’s Hawks but not for Shavar Newkirk. Shavar Newkirk is a fun player to watch and a great scorer. He is the most improved player in the country and will continue to improve as the season goes on. If he continues to perform at such a high level he will definitely be on an NBA roster come the 2018-19 season.