Friday, February 5, 2016

Big East Player Development


Part 4 of the series looks at every player in the Big East playing over 20% of his team's minutes when active.
Big East Freshmen
PPG, Min%, Poss%, ORtg, Player, Team

16.0, 80%, 27%, 100.6, *+Henry Ellenson, Marquette

12.3, 81%, 21%, 94.7, Federico Mussini, St. John's

10.6, 69%, 21%, 95.3, *Haanif Cheatham, Marquette

10.3, 62%, 23%, 108.6, *+Jalen Brunson, Villanova

8.5, 66%, 20%, 91.8, Elijah Cain, DePaul

8.4, 66%, 18%, 101.9, +Yankuba Sima, St. John's

7.3, 51%, 16%, 124.9, *Mikal Bridges, Villanova

6.9, 50%, 18%, 109.0, Khyri Thomas, Creighton

6.6, 39%, 23%, 103.3, *+Jessie Govan, Georgetown

6.5, 50%, 19%, 105.1, *Marcus Derrickson, Georgetown

6.5, 50%, 25%, 75.7, Malik Ellison, St. John's

6.3, 56%, 19%, 83.8, *Kassoum Yakwe, St. John's

5.8, 53%, 12%, 118.6, Ryan Fazekas, Providence

5.1, 56%, 19%, 91.5, Traci Carter, Marquette

3.0, 27%, 15%, 94.6, Amarveer Singh, Seton Hall

2.9, 29%, 14%, 106.4, Kaleb Johnson, Georgetown

2.8, 24%, 17%, 98.6, Kaiser Gates, Xavier

2.8, 24%, 20%, 99.8, *Ronnie Harrell, Creighton

2.7, 29%, 14%, 104.2, Drew Edwards, Providence

2.0, 39%, 13%, 76.8, Erten Gazi, DePaul

Players marked with a * were consensus Top 100 recruits. Players marked with a + were players we picked as instant impact freshmen at SI.com.

Marquette is a bit of an enigma. The team has quite a bit of "recruiting" talent. The team has six players in the rotation who were former Top 100 recruits. Moreover last year's struggles on defense appeared to be due to the team's limited size. In the preseason my model pegged Marquette as a defense-led team, who would be elevated by the play of the team's super-elite freshman Henry Ellenson. It saw them as likely one of the last teams in the NCAA tournament. As it turns out, Marquette has mostly followed the script. The defense is much better than the offense. And Ellenson really has elevated the level of the team's play.

But turnovers have absolutely crippled Marquette. Both freshman Traci Carter and Hannif Cheatem are playing a lot of minutes and turning the ball over at an exceptionally high rate. That's killing the offense and the defense and causing the team to underperform in both areas.

Turnovers aren't the only reason the team has lost. They've had games where they shot poorly. The team has been unlucky to have opponents make 76% of their FTs, partly because they've frequently trailed in close games. Marquette has sometimes lacked size when the team gets into foul trouble, since despite a Top 100 recruiting rank, freshman big man Matt Heldt is clearly not ready for Big East basketball. (Heldt and Xavier's Makinde London are the only two Top 100 freshman not to play over 20% of the minutes for their team.)

But turnovers are probably the biggest reason a tournament run is looking like a long-shot for Marquette. The only good news I can offer is that players that make lots of mistakes tend to be the most likely to benefit from the sophomore leap as they clean up their game.

Besides Ellenson, the next most hyped Big East recruit was probably Villanova's Jalen Brunson. Brunson has played well and teammate Mikal Bridges has made a remarkable 74% of his twos. With Villanova continuing to recruit well and putting their players in position to be efficient, their dominance in the Big East is not close to coming to an end.

Big East Guys Who Sat Out 2 Years

12.3, 81%, 20%, 103.4, Rodney Bullock, Providence

When Ben Bentil leaves the floor, Providence is just not the same team. He brings so much on offense and defense, and we saw that against DePaul. But of course, Kris Dunn is probably the conference player of the year. So is it fair to say that Rodney Bullock is also essential? Providence often needs Bullock's scoring to get the victory. When Bullock has played poorly (the team's three home losses), they often don't have enough complimentary scoring to get it done. These three players have absolutely carried an otherwise lackluster roster into a Top 25 poll ranking.

Big East JUCOs

None
All the transfers in the Big East to crack their team's rotation had previous D1 experience. The Big East's only notable JUCO recruit, Darien Williams of St. John's, was hurt early in the season.

Big East D1 Transfers
PPG, Min%, Poss%, ORtg, Player, Team, LastPPG, LastTeam

14.2, 76%, 28%, 109.3, Mo Watson, Creighton, 13.3, Boston University

12.4, 72%, 22%, 97.0, Durand Johnson, St. John's, 8.8, Pittsburgh

9.6, 51%, 22%, 104.2, Cole Huff, Creighton, 12.4, Nevada

8.9, 67%, 17%, 101.5, Ron Mvouika, St. John's, 6.8, Missouri St.

8.5, 61%, 22%, 93.6, Derrick Gordon, Seton Hall, 9.8, Massachusetts

7.0, 59%, 17%, 119.0, Tyler Lewis, Butler, 4.4, North Carolina St.

4.1, 38%, 15%, 96.4, Jordan Gathers, Butler, 8.2, St. Bonaventure

1.9, 23%, 13%, 99.5, Wally Ellenson, Marquette, 2.3, Minnesota

A lot of people seemed shocked that Creighton is playing well this year but the numbers really liked transfers Mo Watson and Cole Huff and they have delivered. All of these players have performed about as expected.
Finally Playing

This group of players were technically on the roster last year, but they didn't play meaningful minutes.
PPG, Min%, Poss%, ORtg, Player, Team

10.4, 63%, 24%, 103.2, Edmond Sumner, Xavier

8.9, 54%, 23%, 103.9, Bradley Hayes, Georgetown

7.7, 59%, 22%, 88.8, Felix Balamou, St. John's

7.5, 65%, 19%, 87.6, Christian Jones, St. John's

6.7, 50%, 16%, 111.5, Reggie Cameron, Georgetown

5.0, 41%, 19%, 87.7, Amar Alibegovic, St. John's

4.8, 67%, 12%, 104.2, Ismael Sanogo, Seton Hall

4.5, 37%, 14%, 118.6, Michael Nzei, Seton Hall

3.7, 20%, 22%, 109.7, Sean O'Mara, Xavier

3.6, 25%, 22%, 95.1, R.J. Curington, DePaul

2.4, 28%, 16%, 92.0, Larry Austin, Xavier

2.3, 43%, 10%, 106.2, Darryl Reynolds, Villanova

1.3, 24%, 14%, 83.7, Peter Ryckbosch, DePaul

Edmond Sumner's emergence is a huge reason Xavier was able to climb in the polls this season.

Georgetown has traditionally played a very tight rotation, and players that don't crack that rotation often transfer. But Bradley Hayes and Reggie Cameron are two of the rare players to stick it out, sitting on the bench for extended seasons, and then finally earn playing time. While both are to be complimented for what they've been able to do offensively, Georgetown's defense has been suspect, and both have played a role in that.

Returning Players
Once again, when interpreting changes in PPG, you should keep in mind the changes in pace and opponent defense. Providence's schedule has been slightly easier defensively this year than it was on the whole season last year. Meanwhile, Creighton's games have had 9 more possessions than their games had on the full year last year. Obviously that is going to inflate scoring totals.

ChOppDef, Team, ChRawPace

3.3, Providence, 4.3

3.2, Marquette, 8.2

2.8, Creighton, 9.0

1.9, Georgetown, 4.2

1.8, Xavier, 5.7

1.5, Villanova, 1.9

1.1, DePaul, 1.0

1.0, St. John's, 4.6

0.7, Butler, 5.6

0.6, Seton Hall, 4.6

Here are the biggest changes in PPG:

ChPPG, ChMin, ChPoss, ChORtg, Player, Team, Class, CurrentPPG

13.3, 29%, 9%, 10.9, +Ben Bentil, Providence, So, 19.7

8.5, 29%, -1%, 18.6, Kelan Martin, Butler, So, 15.7

6.4, 13%, 5%, 27.9, James Farr, Xavier, Sr, 10.6

6.2, 22%, 1%, 10.7, Desi Rodriguez, Seton Hall, So, 11.8

6.0, 36%, 1%, 26.2, Tyler Wideman, Butler, So, 8.3

5.5, 22%, 0%, 15.1, Geoff Groselle, Creighton, Sr, 10.9

5.4, 11%, 2%, 6.8, Khadeen Carrington, Seton Hall, So, 14.2

5.4, 14%, 4%, -7.0, Josh Hart, Villanova, Jr, 15.5

4.7, 21%, 4%, -3.9, Kris Jenkins, Villanova, Jr, 11.0

Players marked with a + are players we projected as breakout players at SI.com. We were high on Bentil coming into this off-season, but I don't think anyone could have expected him to become as invaluable a player as he has become. He not only is the heart of the defense and an elite offensive rebounder, he has also developed enough of a jump shot to really scare defenses and spread the floor. Through four conferences (Big 12, SEC, Pac12, Big East), Bentil has the biggest jump in PPG since last season. He is also the only Big East player with a significant jump in aggressiveness as Bentil went from using 18% of the possession's when on the floor last year to 27% this year.

James Farr is second with a 5% increase in possession's used, but due to Farr's phenomenal increase in efficiency, his jump in PPG is also extremely impressive. Farr used to struggle with free throws, but he has improved in that area this year and I have to wonder if that hasn't also contributed to his ability to finish around the rim. He is no longer afraid of contact. Farr's turnover rate is also down noticeably. We pegged Jalen Reynolds as a breakout post-player for Xavier based on his stellar per minute numbers last year, but Farr's improvement has stolen much of the focus on Reynolds. That might not be great for Reynold's draft prospects, but having a super-athletic player like Reynolds off the ball isn't a bad thing for the team as a whole.

ChPPG, ChMin, ChPoss, ChORtg, Player, Team, Class, CurrentPPG

4.5, 43%, 2%, 12.2, Junior Lomomba, Providence, Jr, 6.2

4.3, 6%, 1%, 6.1, Trevon Bluiett, Xavier, So, 15.4

4.2, 7%, 1%, 7.8, Isaiah Whitehead, Seton Hall, So, 16.2

3.8, 13%, -1%, 33.2, Zach Hanson, Creighton, Jr, 7.5

3.5, 27%, -1%, 14.7, Sandy Cohen, Marquette, So, 7.3

3.5, 22%, -3%, 22.5, J.P. Macura, Xavier, So, 8.9

2.9, 28%, 0%, -4.1, +Isaac Copeland, Georgetown, So, 9.7

2.9, -4%, 4%, 11.4, L.J. Peak, Georgetown, So, 10.8

2.6, 1%, 0%, 12.0, Myke Henry, DePaul, Sr, 14.6

2.6, 17%, 4%, -8.2, Jalen Lindsey, Providence, So, 6.5

2.3, 3%, 2%, -0.1, Ryan Arcidiacono, Villanova, Sr, 12.4

2.1, 12%, 0%, -0.5, Isaiah Zierden, Creighton, Jr, 11.6

Creighton's Zach Hanson actually has the biggest jump in ORtg in the Big East (just ahead of Farr). His two point percentage has improved from 55% last season to 69% this season. Tyler Wideman had the third biggest jump in ORtg, but like Georgetown's Bradley Hayes, that comes with a caveat to me. While Wideman has been a good offensive player, he isn't nearly the defensive player that Kameron Woods was due to his lower rebounding totals. Teams are getting a lot more second chances against Butler this year.

The biggest reason for Georgetown's slightly disappointing season is probably the defense, but another factor is that Isaac Copeland has not emerged. John Thompson III has done a great job developing players like Otto Porter and Hollis Thompson into sophomore stars. But Copeland has not matched that trajectory and his three point shot has been broken this year.


ChPPG, ChMin, ChPoss, ChORtg, Player, Team, Class, CurrentPPG

1.9, -5%, -1%, 17.8, Roosevelt Jones, Butler, Sr, 14.7

1.9, 17%, -2%, 8.5, Aaron Simpson, DePaul, Sr, 6.7

1.9, 9%, 2%, 1.8, Kyron Cartwright, Providence, So, 5.4

1.6, 0%, 0%, 2.5, Kris Dunn, Providence, Jr, 17.2

1.6, -4%, 4%, -4.2, Billy Garrett, DePaul, Jr, 13.8

1.4, -2%, 1%, 9.3, Luke Fischer, Marquette, Jr, 12.4

1.3, 0%, -4%, 17.7, JaJuan Johnson, Marquette, Jr, 8.6

1.3, 9%, 0%, -2.4, Rashaun Stimage, DePaul, Sr, 5.9

1.2, 21%, 3%, -31.9, +Phil Booth, Villanova, So, 7.0

1.0, 8%, -4%, 12.6, Darrick Wood, DePaul, Jr, 5.5

Villanova's Phil Booth was also supposed to step into a slightly larger role for Villanova this year, but his three point shot has gone in the tank and his efficiency drop is the biggest in the Big East. Notably, players that depend on outside shooting suffer much wilder fluctuations in ORtg than other players.

ChPPG, ChMin, ChPoss, ChORtg, Player, Team, Class, CurrentPPG

0.8, 3%, -1%, 0.8, Angel Delgado, Seton Hall, So, 10.1

0.7, 14%, 0%, -11.4, Tre Campbell, Georgetown, So, 4.2

0.6, 9%, -2%, 9.0, Myles Davis, Xavier, Jr, 11.2

0.5, -5%, 2%, -3.2, Daniel Ochefu, Villanova, Sr, 9.7

0.3, 1%, -3%, 3.9, Duane Wilson, Marquette, So, 12.2

0.3, 5%, 1%, -7.2, D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Georgetown, Sr, 16.6

-0.1, -6%, 1%, 3.0, Austin Etherington, Butler, Sr, 2.2

-0.2, -6%, 0%, 1.3, Kellen Dunham, Butler, Sr, 16.3

-0.3, 0%, 2%, -10.1, +Jalen Reynolds, Xavier, Jr, 9.6

-0.3, 0%, -2%, -4.1, Toby Hegner, Creighton, So, 6.4

-0.6, 11%, -5%, 15.4, Andrew Chrabascz, Butler, Jr, 10.6

-0.9, 5%, -3%, -1.7, Tommy Hamilton, Jr., DePaul, Jr, 9.1

-1.8, -4%, -2%, -6.4, James Milliken, Creighton, Sr, 7.8

-2.1, -5%, -1%, -9.5, Remy Abell, Xavier, Sr, 6.3

Of course Copeland isn't the only Georgetown player to see his efficiency fall. The same can be said for Tre Campbell and D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Pac 12 Player Development

The Pac-12 has really been hit with the injury bug this year. Injuries to Stanford's Reid Travis and Oregon's Dylan Ennis have significantly changed the makeup of those teams. Arizona has lost two critical freshmen in Ray Smith and Alonzo Trier, and Elliot Pitts is also out. Utah's Kenneth Ogbe and Washington St.'s Valentine Izundu have missed time. UCLA's Gyorgy Goloman and Oregon St.'s Daniel Gomis have only recently returned and Oregon St.'s Jarmal Reid was out due to injury and then because he was suspended for tripping a referee. None of these players are shown below.  

But I will show the stats for Cal's Tyrone Wallace because he played 18 games and the team is hoping to have him back before the Pac-12 tournament. I also show the numbers for Arizona's Kaleb Tarczewski and Oregon's Jordan Bell who have returned to the lineup for their respective teams. But before we get to the returning Pac-12 players, let's start with the debuts:
Pac 12 Freshmen

PPG, Min%, Poss%, ORtg, Player, Team

15.8, 67%, 33%, 99.4, *+Jaylen Brown, California

14.6, 80%, 25%, 96.7, *+Dejounte Murray, Washington

13.5, 72%, 22%, 115.1, *+Tyler Dorsey, Oregon

12.5, 70%, 21%, 121.0, *+Ivan Rabb, California

12.4, 67%, 24%, 108.1, *Tres Tinkle, Oregon St.

12.2, 61%, 22%, 112.1, *Bennie Boatwright, USC

12.0, 55%, 23%, 109.7, *Marquese Chriss, Washington

11.1, 79%, 20%, 98.1, *Aaron Holiday, UCLA

9.9, 49%, 25%, 100.2, *+Stevie Thompson, Oregon St.

Players marked with a * were consensus Top 100 recruits. Players marked with a + were players we picked as instant impact freshmen at SI.com.

The recruiting rankings for the Pac-12 were pretty much spot-on. Brown, Murray, Dorsey, and Rabb were viewed by all scouting services to be instant impact guys and all four have delivered. Brown could improve his game by taking a few less threes and making a higher percentage of his free throws, but he has been a huge part of Cal's offense. I'm surprised a freshman averaging 16 points and 6 boards per game barely gets mentioned on national telecasts.

 
PPG, Min%, Poss%, ORtg, Player, Team

9.4, 58%, 19%, 101.5, David Crisp, Washington

8.6, 57%, 19%, 96.0, *+Noah Dickerson, Washington

7.9, 53%, 19%, 107.7, Drew Eubanks, Oregon St.

7.1, 43%, 20%, 103.5, *Chimezie Metu, USC

7.0, 43%, 24%, 101.1, Marcus Sheffield, Stanford

6.0, 57%, 14%, 100.0, Matisse Thybulle, Washington

4.4, 30%, 19%, 88.4, *+Prince Ali, UCLA

4.1, 50%, 13%, 101.2, *+Jonah Bolden, UCLA

Jonah Bolden was a partial qualifier last year so technically he only has 3 years of eligibility left, but this is his first year playing college basketball, so I think it is best to compare him to the group of freshmen. It is fascinating to me how a year away from college basketball makes some players better, but hurts other players. After a year of ineligibility, Jonah Bolden and Florida's Brandone Francis-Ramirez have looked rusty. Meanwhile Providence's Rodney Bullock has returned from two years away from basketball to play great.
At SI we thought Prince Ali and Jonah Bolden would both get ample opportunity to earn playing time given UCLA's lack of depth. Ali and Bolden were both ranked 36th by RSCI (in 2014 and 2015 respectively). But their lack of production just goes to show that outside the Top 30, recruits don't always play well right away.  If you are looking for a reason that UCLA has a losing record in conference play, most people want to complain about Bryce Alford's inconsistency or the team's lack of defense. But it would help a lot of UCLA was getting more out of its bench.
There are not a lot of surprises in the Pac-12 as most of the freshmen that are producing were consensus Top 100 recruits. David Crisp is probably the biggest surprise in the Pac-12. He was viewed as somewhere between the 4th and 6th best recruit in Washington's recruiting class and he wasn't a consensus Top 100 player. His ORtg may not be spectacular, but it is fair to say the rest of the freshmen in the Pac-12 would like to be posting that level of efficiency:

PPG, Min%, Poss%, ORtg, Player, Team

3.6, 39%, 15%, 98.7, Thomas Akyazili, Colorado

2.7, 21%, 21%, 86.1, Robert Franks, Washington St.

2.6, 20%, 21%, 88.5, *Justin Simon, Arizona

2.4, 23%, 15%, 89.5, Dominic Green, Washington

2.2, 25%, 16%, 89.9, Kendall Small, Oregon

2.0, 24%, 16%, 85.7, Derrick Bruce, Oregon St.

1.6, 20%, 15%, 91.6, Alex Olesinski, UCLA

1.3, 21%, 13%, 84.1, Cameron Walker, Stanford

Arizona's Justin Simon was a Top 100 recruit, but he's stuck as the team’s #3 PG. I think it is too early to call him a bust given his limited playing time at his natural position.  Arizona's Chance Comanche and Oregon's Trevor Manuel were also Top 100 recruits and they have not even cracked the rotation for their respective teams. At SI, we also pegged Josh Sharma as a possible breakout player given how much he played on Stanford's summer overseas tour, but he has barely played and didn't even crack the 20% minutes threshold for the above table.
Pac 12 JUCOs

PPG, Min%, Poss%, ORtg, Player, Team

12.7, 66%, 21%, 121.6, Chris Boucher, Oregon

10.3, 66%, 20%, 118.3, Lorenzo Bonam, Utah

9.5, 55%, 21%, 109.9, Obinna Oleka, Arizona St.

9.0, 62%, 21%, 110.3, Kadeem Allen, Arizona, Jr

7.8, 58%, 21%, 97.1, Charles Callison, Washington St.

6.7, 52%, 13%, 119.9, Malik Dime, Washington

6.4, 37%, 27%, 90.5, Renard Suggs, Washington St.

5.5, 48%, 18%, 94.7, Andre Spight, Arizona St.

3.6, 28%, 21%, 86.5, Derrien King, Washington St.

No one is great at projecting how JUCOs will do at the college level. I say this to note the curious case of Arizona's Kadeem Allen. Allen was viewed as one of the top shooting guards and a top scorer when he played JUCO ball. But in this year's early practices he became Arizona’s most consistent ball-handler and one of the team's best perimeter defenders. And suddenly despite the presence of elite prospects Parker Jackson-Cartwright and Justin Simon, Allen became Arizona’s starting PG. Allen is good, but for completely different reasons than what the initial JUCO scouting reports said.
The reason it is so hard to scout JUCO players is because the change in competition from JUCO basketball to D1 basketball is huge. But if you had to pick someone to find a quality JUCO recruit, you would probably want to choose Oregon's Dana Altman. Altman just has an eye for identifying players that have skills that will translate to the D1 level. And Chris Boucher is one of the only JUCOs to really become a star this year.

Of course, Lorenzo Bonam has been pretty productive too. You might not think these performances are that special, but Bonam and Boucher are more efficient and scoring at a higher rate than any of the JUCOs we saw in the Big 12 and SEC in Part 1 and 2 of this series.
Pac-12 D1 Transfers

PPG, Min%, Poss%, ORtg, Player, Team, Last PPG, Last Team

15.2, 72%, 23%, 121.3, Ryan Anderson, Arizona, 14.3, Boston College

10.6, 58%, 24%, 105.4, Josh Fortune, Colorado, 8.4, Providence

8.4, 61%, 14%, 134.5, Mark Tollefsen, Arizona, 14.0, San Francisco

7.0, 33%, 23%, 114.2, Conor Clifford, Washington St., 2.5, UC Irvine

2.0, 30%, 11%, 111.4, Stephen Domingo, California, 0.5, Georgetown

Not counting Oregon's Dylan Ennis who ended up injured, Arizona's Ryan Anderson was the Pac-12 transfer expected to have the biggest impact. And Anderson has lived up to the hype. Overall, the D1 transfers in the Pac-12 have all performed about as expected.
Finally Playing

This group of players were technically on the roster last year, but they didn't play meaningful minutes:
PPG, Min%, Poss%, ORtg, Player, Team

14.7, 62%, 25%, 112.5, George King, Colorado

11.5, 73%, 20%, 114.0, Dorian Pickens, Stanford

11.4, 58%, 26%, 106.7, Kyle Kuzma, Utah

8.1, 59%, 18%, 106.1, Kodi Justice, Arizona St.

5.4, 37%, 21%, 97.1, Tory Miller, Colorado

4.6, 55%, 16%, 95.0, Christian Sanders, Stanford

2.8, 38%, 12%, 115.0, Kameron Rooks, California

2.3, 27%, 17%, 74.3, Malcolm Allen, Stanford

2.3, 28%, 13%, 103.3, Grant Verhoeven, Stanford

George King makes me happy to be a college basketball fan. King was a player who was lightly recruited out of high school. He played sparingly as an emergency reserve as a freshmen. Then he red-shirted last year. If he had scored 2 PPG this year, no one would have thought anything of it. Instead King has become a major scorer. And thanks to his emergence, Josh Scott is playing in meaningful games as a senior.
Returning Players

As noted in part 1 and 2, when interpreting changes in PPG, you should keep in mind the changes in pace and opponent defense. Oregon and Oregon St. have actually played a tougher slate of defenses so far this year than they face on the whole year last year, while Colorado and UCLA's schedule has been slightly easier. Meanwhile, Washington's games have had nearly 12 more possessions than their games had on the full year last year. Obviously that is going to inflate scoring totals.

ChOppDef, team, ChRawPace

2.7, Colorado, 6.1

2.6, UCLA, 4.9

2.2, Arizona, 2.9

1.8, Washington St., 4.1

1.6, USC, 5.6

1.6, Washington, 11.9

1.4, Utah, 5.5

1.2, Arizona St., 4.8

1.1, California, 1.4

0.8, Stanford, 1.7

-1.0, Oregon, 2.4

-1.1, Oregon St., 6.6

 
Here are the biggest changes in PPG:
ChPPG, ChMin, ChPoss, ChORtg, Player, Team, Class, CurrentPPG

8.5, 31%, 3%, 21.4, Thomas Welsh, UCLA, So, 12.3

8.3, 15%, 5%, 17.2, Tra Holder, Arizona St., So, 15.4

8.2, 16%, 4%, 13.3, Jakob Poeltl, Utah, So, 17.3

7.9, 27%, 5%, 11.1, Rosco Allen, Stanford, Sr, 15.1

7.4, 44%, 0%, 29.0, Willie Atwood, Arizona St., Sr, 10.3

7.1, 37%, 7%, -7.6, Michael Humphrey, Stanford, So, 10.2

6.1, 1%, 3%, 13.3, Isaac Hamilton, UCLA, Jr, 16.6

6.0, -3%, 4%, 10.6, Andrew Andrews, Washington, Sr, 21.0

5.9, 10%, 5%, 6.4, +Ike Iroegbu, Washington St., Jr, 14.9

5.9, 27%, 5%, -4.2, Marcus Allen, Stanford, Jr, 12.3

5.4, 24%, 4%, -7.8, Gabe York, Arizona, Sr, 14.5

5.2, 14%, 3%, 7.0, Dillon Brooks, Oregon, So, 16.6

4.9, 23%, 6%, -8.4, Dusan Ristic, Arizona, So, 8.2

4.3, 11%, 0%, 26.0, Elijah Stewart, USC, So, 10.8

4.0, 14%, 1%, 9.4, Que Johnson, Washington St., Jr, 10.1

3.9, 17%, 2%, 24.7, +Dominique Collier, Colorado, So, 8.6

Arizona St. senior Willie Atwood has had the biggest jump in efficiency in the conference. He has improved his shooting across the board. USC's Elijah Stewart is next as he has improved his shooting and his turnover rate. But Dominique Collier and Thomas Welsh's improvement in efficiency is arguably more impressive given that they are both using more possessions for their teams as well.

Stanford's Michael Humphrey, Stanford's Marcus Allen, Arizona's Gabe York, and Arizona's Dusan Ristic have something in common. They are all being more aggressive, but they have had to sacrifice some efficiency in the process.
 
 
ChPPG, ChMin, ChPoss, ChORtg, Player, Team, Class, CurrentPPG

3.6, 9%, 2%, 13.2, Julian Jacobs, USC, Jr, 12.1

2.9, 20%, 1%, 0.8, Josh Scott, Colorado, Sr, 17.4

2.9, -5%, 5%, 2.3, Gary Payton II, Oregon St., Sr, 16.3

2.5, 22%, 0%, 13.9, Casey Benson, Oregon, So, 6.0

2.1, 29%, -2%, -7.7, +Parker Jackson-Cartwright, Arizona, So, 5.0

2.0, -7%, 8%, -10.7, Jordan Bell, Oregon, So, 7.1

1.8, 10%, 0%, 0.7, Tony Parker, UCLA, Sr, 13.4

1.6, 8%, 1%, -0.6, +Tre'Shaun Fletcher, Colorado, Jr, 7.0

At SI, we viewed Iroegbu, Collier, Fletcher, and Jackson-Cartwright as breakout scorers, but George King has been a huge suprise for Colorado supplanting some of Collier and Fletcher's shots. And as noted earlier, Kadeem Allen became the Arizona starting PG taking playing time away from Jackson-Cartwright. Some of that is based on Allen, but it also appears that Parker Jackson-Cartwright wasn't totally ready for a larger role. Jackson-Cartwright's efficiency and usage are down this season.

The biggest increase in usage in the Pac-12 belongs to Oregon's Jordan Bell, but again, he's sacrificed efficiency with his increased aggressiveness.

 
ChPPG, ChMin, ChPoss, ChORtg, Player, Team, Class, CurrentPPG

1.6, 3%, 0%, 2.6, Bryce Alford, UCLA, Jr, 17.0

1.3, -2%, 1%, -1.5, Josh Hawkinson, Washington St., Jr, 16.0

1.2, 9%, -2%, 4.8, Jordan Loveridge, Utah, Sr, 11.2

1.2, -3%, 1%, 13.1, Kaleb Tarczewski, Arizona, Sr, 10.5

0.7, 13%, -1%, -8.4, Junior Longrus, Washington St., Sr, 2.2

0.7, -1%, -4%, 19.1, Jordan McLaughlin, USC, So, 12.8

0.5, 4%, 0%, -1.7, Elgin Cook, Oregon, Sr, 13.5

0.4, 3%, 0%, -14.6, Isaiah Wright, Utah, So, 2.3

0.2, 4%, -1%, -6.1, Dwayne Benjamin, Oregon, Sr, 8.7

0.1, -7%, -2%, 15.0, Nikola Jovanovic, USC, Jr, 12.4

0.1, 1%, 0%, -8.2, Wesley Gordon, Colorado, Jr, 6.7

Bryce Alford and Josh Hawkinson may be close to their ceiling. They haven't shown any meaningful improvement from last year. That said, they are still plenty good.
 

ChPPG, ChMin, ChPoss, ChORtg, Player, Team, Class, CurrentPPG

-0.1, -1%, -3%, 13.5, Katin Reinhardt, USC, Jr, 12.4

-0.3, -8%, 0%, 1.0, Sam Singer, California, Jr, 4.2

-0.3, 10%, -5%, 4.1, Gerry Blakes, Arizona St., Sr, 10.9

-0.3, -4%, -1%, 5.6, Jordan Mathews, California, Jr, 13.2

-0.4, -13%, 0%, 15.7, Xavier Talton, Colorado, Sr, 3.8

-0.9, -15%, 0%, 6.0, Eric Jacobsen, Arizona St., Sr, 7.4

-0.9, -15%, -1%, 13.8, Olaf Schaftenaar, Oregon St., Sr, 6.9

-0.9, -5%, -3%, -17.4, Kingsley Okoroh, California, So, 1.1

-1.0, -8%, -2%, 12.2, Donaven Dorsey, Washington, So, 2.8

-1.0, -26%, 4%, 6.9, Malik Marquetti, USC, So, 2.3

-1.0, 7%, 0%, 1.2, Savon Goodman, Arizona St., Jr, 10.2

-1.1, 5%, 0%, -19.2, Brandon Taylor, Utah, Sr, 9.5

-1.3, -17%, 1%, 7.2, Chris Reyes, Utah, Jr, 3.0

-1.5, -4%, -1%, 0.3, Brekkott Chapman, Utah, So, 4.3

-1.6, -5%, -4%, 9.3, Tyrone Wallace, California, Sr, 15.4

-1.9, 15%, -4%, 2.7, Jabari Bird, California, Jr, 8.5

-1.9, -4%, -3%, -0.5, Dakarai Tucker, Utah, Sr, 5.2

-2.5, -17%, -3%, -1.0, Brett Boese, Washington St., Sr, 1.8

-2.8, -25%, -1%, 5.0, Darion Clark, USC, Jr, 2.8

-3.1, -21%, -6%, -17.9, Ny Redding, Washington St., So, 1.0

-3.2, -25%, -2%, 3.6, Langston Morris-Walker, Oregon St., Sr, 6.1

-4.3, -22%, -7%, 1.8, Malcolm Duvivier, Oregon St., Jr, 6.4

Ty Wallace and Jabari Bird have had to sacrifice possessions (sacrifice shots) to their talented freshmen teammates.
If you think these drops in minutes are significant, consider that three players UCLA's Noah Allen, USC's Malik Martin and USC's Srahinja Gavrilovic have essentially all fallen out of the rotation after being rotation players last year. USC's resurgence is based on a number of things. The freshmen have played well; players like Elijah Stewart have become more efficient. But one symptom of that is inefficient players are no longer being forced into playing time. A year ago Martin and Gavrilovic were needed for their size. That is no longer the case.

SEC Player Development

This is part 2 of a series. As with the Big 12, the goal of this column is to look at which players are performing above or below what we would expect. I am focusing on players that have played at least 20% of their teams minutes when active.

SEC Freshmen

PPG, Min%, Poss%, ORtg, Player, Team

19.5, 85%, 28%, 118.3, *+Ben Simmons, LSU

17.4, 85%, 25%, 109.3, *+Jamal Murray, Kentucky

13.7, 74%, 22%, 108.3, *+Malik Newman, Mississippi St.

11.9, 63%, 21%, 117.4, *Kevaughn Allen, Florida

11.5, 54%, 23%, 118.5, *Tyler Davis, Texas A&M

11.0, 60%, 23%, 104.7, Kevin Puryear, Missouri

10.8, 62%, 22%, 111.6, *Quinndary Weatherspoon, Mississippi St.

10.3, 80%, 21%, 96.4, *+Isaiah Briscoe, Kentucky

9.8, 70%, 15%, 111.3, *+Antonio Blakeney, LSU

8.7, 56%, 18%, 101.7, Bryce Brown, Auburn

8.0, 65%, 21%, 91.6, Terrence Phillips, Missouri

7.5, 42%, 21%, 107.7, *+Skal Labissiere, Kentucky

7.3, 48%, 27%, 81.4, *+P.J. Dozier, South Carolina

Players marked with a * were consensus Top 100 recruits. Players marked with a + were players we picked as instant impact freshmen at SI.com.

Too many words have already been written about Ben Simmons for me to provide any new insights. Among Kentucky's trio of Top 15 recruits, Jamal Murray has been brilliant, while Skal Labissiere's efficient shooting masks his lack of strength and low rebounding totals. Isaiah Briscoe has been great at getting to the line, but terrible at converting at the charity stripe, which makes for an inefficient player.

Top 10 recruit Malik Newman got off to a slow start due to injury, but he has been performing well. In fact, Mississippi St.'s offense has improved substantially from 255th last season to 58th this season. The problem is the Mississippi St. defense has somehow gotten worse. Defense is supposed to be Ben Howland's specialty, but the lack of quality post players has prevented him from fielding a quality defensive team.

As for the other Top 25 recruits, Antonio Blakeney rarely touches the ball which has kept his turnover numbers down and boosted his efficiency. But since Blakeney rarely touches the ball, it is hard to rate his overall game at this point. And PJ Dozier's size has helped him become effective at feeding the post and creating turnovers, but he is still a little too turnover prone for South Carolina to truly be an elite team.

Sometimes a player's performance is a little bit about opportunity. Missouri's Terrence Phillips has been lucky enough to play for a bad team where minutes were available right away. But that doesn't mean Phillips has been efficient. But do not knock Kevin Puryear. Puryear has been Missouri's most efficient starter and a real bright spot on a struggling team. Puryear was not considered to be an elite prospect by any of the recruiting services.

Because of his injury, Alabama's Dazon Ingram is not listed in the table, but he was playing significant minutes early in the season.

PPG, Min%, Poss%, ORtg, Player, Team

6.9, 43%, 18%, 116.0, Admiral Schofield, Tennessee

6.8, 45%, 18%, 108.1, *D.J. Hogg, Texas A&M

6.7, 48%, 19%, 103.7, *Admon Gilder, Texas A&M

6.2, 46%, 21%, 87.9, *+Jimmy Whitt, Arkansas

5.8, 34%, 23%, 102.4, Chris Silva, South Carolina

5.5, 35%, 22%, 105.4, K.J. Walton, Missouri

5.4, 40%, 18%, 98.1, *Brandon Sampson, LSU

4.3, 42%, 19%, 84.5, *Horace Spencer, Auburn

4.3, 31%, 18%, 112.8, Donte Fitzpatrick-Dorsey, Mississippi

Admiral Schofield has been a total surprise for Tennessee. None of the scouting services expected anything significant from him. But what is crazy is there have actually been times when the 6'5" Schofield has been used at center by the Volunteers. That makes me wonder if his skill set will really translate when the Volunteers have a better team, but kudos to the freshman for making it work.


We pegged Jimmy Whitt as an instant impact player because Anton Beard's legal situation was not resolved at the start of the season and it wasn't clear when Beard would play. Moreover, Jabirl Durham has always been a little too turnover prone, and Whitt had some ball-handling skills. But players ranked in the 50-100 range like Whitt aren't always ready for a large role right away, and his situation tells a bit about Arkansas' season. Whitt started early, the team struggled, and Arkansas fell out of the Top 100. But when Beard came back, Whitt saw his minutes shrink, and Arkansas is now projected by Kenpom.com to win 10 games in the SEC.


The point of this isn't to knock Whitt. His profile (playing early but making some mistakes) points to the exact type of player you would expect to make a big sophomore leap next season. But the point is to highlight what Florida's Kevaughn Allen has done. (Allen was in the first table.) Allen and Whitt were almost ranked identically by the scouting services, but Allen has become a super-efficient, super effective scorer in his first year. For someone outside the Top 50, that is very impressive.


Texas A&M had a trio of prospects ranked in the 30-50 range where it was very difficult to project how good they would be. As it turned out, the results were across the board. Tyler Davis has been phenomenal, DJ Hogg has been a solid back-of-the-rotation player, and Elijah Thomas struggled with turnovers and free throw shooting before electing to transfer. Admon Gilder, RSCI #85 has also been a solid reserve.


PPG, Min%, Poss%, ORtg, Player, Team

3.8, 40%, 14%, 95.8, Cullen VanLeer, Missouri

3.6, 31%, 21%, 87.0, Derek Ogbeide, Georgia

3.5, 21%, 20%, 107.3, Joe Toye, Vanderbilt

3.5, 28%, 16%, 97.5, Camron Justice, Vanderbilt

3.2, 24%, 19%, 91.3, Shembari Phillips, Tennessee

2.9, 41%, 14%, 79.6, Mike Edwards, Georgia

2.7, 27%, 14%, 105.1, Donta Hall, Alabama

2.3, 28%, 14%, 97.1, *Kevarrius Hayes, Florida

2.2, 30%, 14%, 92.7, *Charles Matthews, Kentucky

2.2, 29%, 16%, 67.8, *+Brandone Francis-Ramirez, Florida

1.6, 24%, 11%, 94.1, E'Torrion Wilridge, Georgia

1.5, 21%, 14%, 67.6, Brandon Austin, Alabama

1.5, 20%, 17%, 78.7, Will Jackson, Georgia

1.4, 26%, 9%, 109.0, Kyle Alexander, Tennessee

1.1, 21%, 15%, 60.5, Aric Holman, Mississippi St.

How many freshmen are playing meaningful minutes? In the Big 12 there were 1.5 freshman per team, in the SEC, the number is 2.6 per team. I really feel like the SEC is in the best shape it has been at in several years. But sometimes, to get better, you have to play young players in the rotation, and that isn't always a painless process. A number of the players in this last group have been flat out ineffective, despite earning minutes at the back of the rotation.

Florida St.'s Xavier Rathan-Mayes was an elite prospect who was ineligible, sat out a year, and debuted at 15 PPG. Florida's Brandon Francis-Ramirez was an elite prospect who was ineligible, sat out a year, and is now scoring 2 PPG.

Francis-Ramirez struggles are even more surprising given that the team was expecting to give him the ball early and often. Florida was a dreadful offensive team last year and an outsider shooter was sorely needed. Unfortunately, Francis-Ramirez shot has broken this year. He had made 1 of his last 23 three point attempts heading into Saturday's game against West Virginia, and had made only 5 of 40 threes on the season. So of course he was 3 of 3 from deep in the Gator's win over the Mountaineers. I have no idea if that turns his season around, but Florida should be thankful that Kevaughn Allen has played so well, because Francis-Ramirez has not.


I am not listing Kentucky's Isaac Humphries in the table, though he was viewed as a Top 100 level recruit. Humphries played major minutes in exactly one game this year.

SEC Jucos

PPG, Min%, Poss%, ORtg, Player, Team

8.9, 71%, 16%, 109.4, Rasheed Brooks, Mississippi

4.9, 31%, 17%, 113.9, Justin Leon, Florida

3.5, 39%, 14%, 102.6, Russell Woods, Missouri


If JUCOs are lottery tickets, no one in the SEC won the Powerball. Mychal Mulder was considered the Top JUCO player joining the SEC this year and he isn't playing for Kentucky. TJ Dunans was probably the next highest rated JUCO recruit, but he got hurt. And Tennessee's Ray Kasongo isn't playing either.

SEC D1 Transfers

PPG, Min%, Poss%, ORtg, Player, Team, LastPPG, LastTeam

18.5, 86%, 28%, 108.2, Kareem Canty, Auburn, 16.3, Marshall

17.0, 65%, 25%, 118.8, Dusty Hannahs, Arkansas, 7.7, Texas Tech

15.3, 72%, 28%, 102.0, Tyler Harris, Auburn, 9.9, Providence

13.0, 68%, 24%, 100.9, Craig Victor, LSU, 3.1, Arizona

10.5, 60%, 23%, 104.3, John Egbunu, Florida, 7.4, South Florida

9.8, 70%, 18%, 103.4, Arthur Edwards, Alabama, 3.9, New Mexico

7.9, 61%, 19%, 97.9, Tomasz Gielo, Mississippi, 12.0, Liberty

5.4, 33%, 24%, 90.0, Sam Finley, Mississippi, 12.5, UC Riverside

4.8, 68%, 12%, 116.4, Anthony Collins, Texas A&M, 7.1, South Florida

4.7, 35%, 19%, 95.6, Nolan Cressler, Vanderbilt, 16.8, Cornell

3.6, 31%, 15%, 104.1, Johnny Zuppardo, Mississippi St., 1.3, Arkansas St.

2.6, 23%, 13%, 111.2, Willy Kouassi, Arkansas, 4.6, Kennesaw St.


The biggest surprise to me is Anthony Collins of Texas A&M. Though he still isn't a major scorer, the fifth year senior has never been efficient before this season. His ORtg has been 99, 97, 88 (injury year), and 96. This year he's achieved unparalleled levels of efficiency by never shooting. His shot percentage of 8% is the lowest of his career. And even adding in assists, his overall usage rate of 12% is also a career low. I honestly did not think Collins could be the PG of an elite team, but Texas A&M is proving me wrong.

Dusty Hannahs, Tyler Harris, Craig Victor, and John Egbunu were all expected to be key players for their new teams, so it is not a surprise they would be playing a lot of minutes. But what is surprising is that all four have become much more aggressive scorers with their new teams, all while maintaining solid levels of efficiency.

Auburn's Kareem Canty has improved his efficiency this season by shooting much better than he did at Marshall. (Auburn has been slightly disappointing this year. Daniel Purifoy's ineligibility and TJ Dunans injury are a part of that, but Canty has more than done his part.)

The only transfer on this list who is trending below expectations is probably Sam Finely of Ole Miss. Finley is a very aggressive player on the floor and at UC Riverside he wasn't very efficient. But with a year of JUCO in between, it seemed plausible he might have found his shot. He hasn't and as a result Andy Kennedy is reluctant to play him.
Finally Playing


PPG, Min%, Poss%, ORtg, Player, Team

6.8, 42%, 17%, 125.9, Derek Willis, Kentucky

6.1, 44%, 19%, 108.4, Marcanvis Hymon, Mississippi

4.5, 26%, 19%, 109.8, Aaron Epps, LSU

3.8, 29%, 20%, 100.3, Josh Henderson, Vanderbilt

3.5, 39%, 19%, 77.8, Keaton Miles, Arkansas

3.2, 42%, 13%, 98.0, Trey Thompson, Arkansas

2.8, 24%, 19%, 84.6, Elbert Robinson III, LSU

2.7, 46%, 12%, 84.3, Houston Kessler, Georgia


I didn't do the above table in the Big 12 column, but I probably should have. There are a handful of returning players that have played so few minutes last season, that we should probably view their presence in the rotation as a debut.
Because of the one-and-done nature of the program, Kentucky fans get to cheer for fewer players who develop over the course of their career. But Derek Willis is the classic player who has worked hard and is finally earning playing time.
Elbert Robinson was a former Top 100 recruit, and while big men sometimes develop later, he is clearly still behind the curve.


Josh Henderson played more minutes in 2013 (his first full season) then he has in the next three seasons combined. That is a weird statistical profile.

Returning Players

As noted in the Big 12 column, when interpreting changes in scoring, we should consider the difference in defenses faced and the differences in pace year to year. While South Carolina has played a much easier slate of defenses relative to the full year last year, Vanderbilt's schedule is almost on par with last year. Thus we should discount any improvements in ORtg for South Carolina players slightly.

ChDef, Team, ChRawPace

3.5, South Carolina, 7.7

2.7, Missouri, 5.4

2.3, Alabama, 4.3

2.3, Mississippi, 2.9

2.2, Kentucky, 5.9

1.9, Georgia, 3.6

1.6, Auburn, 5.2

1.4, Texas A&M, 5.9

1.4, Arkansas, 1.9

1.3, Florida, 7.5

1.1, Mississippi St., 6.2

0.9, LSU, 4.0

0.9, Tennessee, 11.9

0.8, Vanderbilt, 6.6

Similarly, even the  team with the biggest drop in pace in the SEC (Arkansas) is currently tracking about two more possessions per game than they did over the full season last year. (Games slow down later in the year.) So when we compare this year's PPG numbers to last year's numbers, keep that in mind.

Here are the players with the largest changes in PPG this year, with the current PPG on the far right:

ChPPG, ChMin, ChPoss, ChORtg, Player, Team, Class, CurrentPPG

12.8, 45%, 6%, 15.4, +Moses Kingsley, Arkansas, Jr, 16.5

12.7, 9%, 8%, 14.1, Kevin Punter, Tennessee, Sr, 23.0

10.8, 29%, 9%, 13.7, +Yante Maten, Georgia, So, 15.8

10.4, 30%, 8%, 2.8, Tyler Ulis, Kentucky, So, 16.1

9.4, 35%, 7%, 5.5, +Retin Obasohan, Alabama, Sr, 15.6

8.5, 25%, 2%, 11.9, Anthlon Bell, Arkansas, Sr, 16.4

7.0, 7%, 7%, 6.0, J.J. Frazier, Georgia, Jr, 16.5

7.0, 11%, 3%, 3.0, Stefan Moody, Mississippi, Sr, 23.6

6.8, 17%, 3%, 17.0, Michael Carrera, South Carolina, Sr, 14.0

5.7, 3%, 3%, 20.6, Gavin Ware, Mississippi St., Sr, 15.7

5.5, 23%, 5%, 37.3, Tonny Trocha-Morelos, Texas A&M, So, 7.0

5.1, 3%, 5%, -5.1, Sebastian Saiz, Mississippi, Jr, 12.8

5.0, 17%, 1%, 17.7, Detrick Mostella, Tennessee, So, 8.3

4.9, 0%, 7%, -6.5, Wade Baldwin IV, Vanderbilt, So, 14.3

4.6, 4%, 3%, 0.5, +Robert Hubbs III, Tennessee, Jr, 11.8


Players we projected as breakout scorers at SI.com are marked with a +. We projected eight SEC players in this category. Three of our breakout players (Kingsley, Maten, and Obasohan) have clearly delivered. I'll discuss the failures below.


First, Robert Hubbs is scoring at a higher clip, but much of that jump in scoring is pace-related. After averaging 61 possessions per game last year, Tennessee is up to 73 possessions per game this year. Hubbs isn't really any more efficient. You can say Hubbs is shooting a little more, but his is probably the least impressive jump from 7.2 PPG to 11.8 PPG that you are going to find.


Kevin Punter on the other hand really has gotten better. Yante Maten has seen the largest jump in usage rate in the SEC, but Punter is a close second. To use 8% more possessions and see your efficiency jump substantially is amazing. And Punter has improved in every area. He has a higher assist rate, lower turnover rate, and better shooting percentage in FTs, twos, and threes.


Tyler Ulis has seen his usage rate increase substantially too. Ken Pomeroy always used to show these graphs about how players rarely shoot more. I think he used it to argue that Patric Young was likely to stay a role player for Florida. But here is the thing, when a player goes from being the 5th or 6th best player on his team to the first or second best, the coach is going to draw up a lot more plays to get him the ball. Ulis driving the basketball is now a much more important option for Kentucky and he has delivered.


It was fair to ask before the season if Tony Trocha-Morelos was even going to play. Texas A&M had a great recruiting class coming in, and after he made just 30% of his two point attempts last season, he seemed like the odd man out. But Trocha-Morelos has had the biggest jump in efficiency in the SEC. And he did that while raising his usage rate as well. He still isn't a star, but he is no longer an offensive liability for the Aggies.


ChPPG, ChMin, ChPoss, ChORtg, Player, Team, Class, CurrentPPG

4.6, 21%, 0%, 2.1, Mindaugas Kacinas, South Carolina, Sr, 10.6

4.4, 43%, 3%, 13.9, Jabril Durham, Arkansas, Sr, 6.2

4.4, 23%, 3%, -0.5, Marcus Lee, Kentucky, Jr, 7.0

4.3, 36%, -1%, 13.5, Anthony Perez-Cortesia, Mississippi, Sr, 7.0

4.3, 36%, -1%, -8.3, Devon Baulkman, Tennessee, Sr, 9.0

4.1, 17%, -1%, 24.3, Jeff Roberson, Vanderbilt, So, 8.8

4.0, 15%, 0%, 10.9, +Alex Poythress, Kentucky, Sr, 9.9

3.6, 29%, -1%, 36.1, T.J. Lang, Auburn, So, 6.1

3.2, 16%, 4%, 11.5, Manuale Watkins, Arkansas, Jr, 5.8

3.1, 2%, 5%, 13.7, Chris Chiozza, Florida, So, 7.0

3.1, -12%, 2%, 3.8, Jalen Jones, Texas A&M, Sr, 16.8

3.1, 16%, -1%, -7.8, Shannon Hale, Alabama, Jr, 11.3

3.1, 12%, 1%, 10.5, Riley Norris, Alabama, So, 7.8

3.0, 19%, 3%, 5.1, +Justin Coleman, Alabama, So, 7.3


The quickest way to a big jump in efficiency is usually outside shooting. Auburn's TJ Lang raised his three point percentage from 34% to 44% and saw a big efficiency rise. He still rarely shoots so he is still not a major scorer, but that was the second biggest jump in efficiency in the SEC this year. The third biggest jump belong to Vanderbilt's Jeff Roberson. Roberson's jump in efficiency is largely due to a decrease in turnover rate.


But jumps in efficiency for role players are usually less interesting. That is why the jump in efficiency for Buddy Hield was so phenomenal. He is shooting much better and he is no role player. Probably the best the SEC can say about a major scorer upping his efficiency is Gavin Ware upping his shooting percentage from 50% to 62% this season which led to that 21 point jump in efficiency in the previous table.


Justin Coleman was the #72 recruit in 2015. We pegged him as a breakout candidate this year because he almost certainly had to shoot better than the 27% he shot on twos and 23% on threes that he shot as a freshman. His free throw percentage suggested he could work hard and become a good shooter. But that has not happened. The best thing you can say is Coleman has raised his percentage on twos to 39%, but that isn't good enough. (Coleman seems stuck on Kasey Hill’s trajectory and that isn’t necessarily a good thing.)


I am showing the numbers for Kentucky's Alex Poythress and DeVon Walker (below) relative to two years ago as both players missed most of last season due to injury. Poythress hasn't been a total disappointment, but with Labissierre struggling, he hasn't taken advantage and become the dominant low-post option Kentucky needs. 


ChPPG, ChMin, ChPoss, ChORtg, Player, Team, Class, CurrentPPG

2.7, 6%, -2%, 20.3, Devin Robinson, Florida, So, 9.1

2.3, -16%, 2%, -0.6, Anton Beard, Arkansas, So, 7.9

2.0, 15%, 0%, 8.0, I.J. Ready, Mississippi St., Jr, 10.2

1.9, 16%, 2%, -1.6, +Namon Wright, Missouri, So, 8.7

1.8, 5%, -3%, 18.2, Matthew Fisher-Davis, Vanderbilt, So, 9.1

1.8, 0%, 2%, 2.7, Kenny Gaines, Georgia, Sr, 13.5

1.7, 17%, -3%, 7.8, Dorian Finney-Smith, Florida, Sr, 14.8

1.6, -3%, 2%, 6.5, Laimonas Chatkevicius, South Carolina, Sr, 10.2

1.5, 3%, 1%, 1.6, Tramaine Isabell, Missouri, So, 5.6

1.3, -1%, 0%, -6.5, Armani Moore, Tennessee, Sr, 11.7

1.3, 16%, 0%, -3.3, Craig Sword, Mississippi St., Sr, 12.7

1.3, 33%, 1%, -0.9, Kenny Paul Geno, Georgia, Jr, 2.9

1.2, 1%, 0%, 12.7, Ryan Rosburg, Missouri, Sr, 4.5

1.1, -16%, 4%, -2.2, Kasey Hill, Florida, Jr, 8.3

1.1, 7%, 2%, 2.4, Danuel House, Texas A&M, Sr, 15.9

0.8, 8%, 0%, -9.1, Martavious Newby, Mississippi, Sr, 4.8

0.7, 1%, -2%, 9.1, Sindarius Thornwell, South Carolina, Jr, 11.9

0.4, -14%, 2%, 8.1, Tim Quarterman, LSU, Jr, 11.9

0.2, 3%, -6%, 19.9, Travis Daniels, Mississippi St., Sr, 6.3

0.1, -5%, 2%, -15.0, Luke Kornet, Vanderbilt, Jr, 8.8

0.1, 9%, 1%, 4.4, Wes Clark, Missouri, Jr, 10.1


I realize that Vanderbilt's Luke Kornet has had a knee injury this season and that probably accounts for some of his loss of efficiency. But the truth is, Kornet's hot three point shooting last year is starting to look like a fluke. He shot 24% from deep as a freshman, 41% last season, and is now shooting 23% this season. Even when Vanderbilt was winning early in the year before Kornet had to miss a few games, he started the year 0-13 from deep.


ChPPG, ChMin, ChPoss, ChORtg, Player, Team, Class, CurrentPPG

-0.2, 13%, 0%, -7.5, +Jakeenan Gant, Missouri, So, 4.7

-0.2, 0%, 1%, -17.7, DeVon Walker, Florida, Jr, 2.2

-0.2, -5%, 1%, -11.2, Jimmie Taylor, Alabama, Jr, 5.4

-0.3, 6%, 0%, -14.1, Tavario Miller, Texas A&M, Jr, 2.4

-0.3, -13%, -2%, 14.4, Duane Notice, South Carolina, Jr, 11.4

-0.5, -36%, -1%, 8.6, Keith Hornsby, LSU, Sr, 12.9

-0.7, -16%, 0%, 7.9, Josh Gray, LSU, Sr, 6.5

-0.7, -3%, -2%, -0.6, Charles Mann, Georgia, Sr, 10.5

-0.8, -9%, 1%, -0.6, Damian Jones, Vanderbilt, Jr, 13.6

-0.8, -8%, -4%, 22.6, Jordon Granger, Auburn, Sr, 4.1

-1.1, -23%, 2%, -6.4, D'Angelo Allen, Missouri, So, 2.2

-1.3, -10%, -3%, 11.7, Alex Caruso, Texas A&M, Sr, 7.8

-1.4, -6%, -4%, -2.1, Cinmeon Bowers, Auburn, Sr, 10.7

-1.5, -13%, -1%, -11.4, Jalyn Patterson, LSU, So, 5.3

-1.6, -7%, -6%, 18.3, Michael Kessens, Alabama, Jr, 4.3

-1.8, -5%, -7%, -0.5, Marcus Stroman, South Carolina, So, 2.5

-1.9, -6%, -1%, -12.2, Justin McKie, South Carolina, Jr, 1.3

-3.0, -13%, -6%, 8.4, Derek Reese, Tennessee, Sr, 3.0

-3.5, -9%, -2%, -14.1, Riley LaChance, Vanderbilt, So, 8.8

-4.4, -6%, -9%, 1.5, Fred Thomas, Mississippi St., Sr, 4.7


Riley LaChance's decline is one reason that Vanderbilt is trending below expectations on the season.

Missouri has lost a lot of talent in recent years, but the team was not devoid of elite recruits. Namon Wright and Jakeenan Gant were top 100 recruits heading into their sophomore campaign. With good effort, the coaching staff would certainly consider using them more. Instead, both have gotten lost and the Missouri offense is broken. Both Gant and Wright have seen their shooting percentages plummet since last season and Missouri is now definitively the worst team in the SEC.

The tables do not show Auburn's Tahj Shamsid-Deen or Florida's Alex Murphy who have barely played due to injuries. Tennessee's Jabari McGhee and Mississippi St.'s Fallou Ndiaye and Demetrius Houston have also transferred or been kicked off their respective teams.