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06 January 2008


Feature: Grading freshman effectiveness

posted by Foye's Boy
1/06/2008 11:12:00 PM
(Editor's note: First-time LetsGoNova.com contributor "Foye's Boy" penned this piece about freshman efficacy between the DePaul and Pittsburgh games.)


After a tough loss to DePaul on Thursday night, I found it important to offer my insight on the effectiveness of our freshman players, with respect to how many minutes they are being played. Let's first take a look at some of the stats of '07-'08 season to date (Not including Pitt game):


I will offer my personal effectiveness ratings for these five players, 10 being extremely effective and 1 having no effect at all.

"READ MORE" below for the freshman effectiveness blurbs.



Corey Fisher - Guard

Effectiveness: 9

MPG: 25

Corey Fisher, whom Jay Wright has dubbed as being the most "surprising" member in his freshman class, has really begun to show his potential stardom. Now a starter, he is the 'Cats' second-leading scorer, averaging about 13 points per game, including a solid 23 points in a losing effort against DePaul. He has the ability to create his own shot, often toying with defenders, and also has the ability to finish drives to the basket and shots from behind the arc (40 percent). More important, he takes away the ball-handling responsibilities from Scottie Reynolds, which should leave Reynolds with more opportunities to score. He has been making some careless passes and turnovers, but let's not forget that "Fisher Price" is still only a freshman. The potential is definitely there, and I look for Fisher to continue to produce and be very effective for the Wildcats, especially in the upcoming conference games. He gets a 9 for effectiveness because he is the star in this freshman class.


Corey Stokes - Guard

Effectiveness: 3

MPG: 14.8

Stokes, the high school McDonald's All-American guard, has yet to show his abilities that made him so highly touted coming into this year. Stokes has seemed to not be able to find his stroke from three (only 19 percent), despite being third on the team in 3-point attempts. (Only Reynolds and Fisher have more.) He lacks confidence, both offensively and defensively, and thus has not really been a threat to opponents. It seems that he is trying too hard to be perfect, and thus has been frequently out of position on defense. He also seems to be forcing untimely shots. Quite frankly, he has been disappointing so far, but the season is still very young and I believe (and certainly hope) that he can turn around.


Malcolm Grant - Guard

Effectiveness: 8

MPG: 15.5

Grant, the least-heralded of the freshman guards coming into this season, has been a pleasant surprise this year for Jay Wright. He provides an unbelievable amount of energy coming off the bench, and I believe he is the most defensively sound guard on the team. Grant has a tremendous stroke from the arc (18-31; 58 percent), can get it done at the line (80 percent), and rarely makes bad decisions. As we all know, he single-handedly was responsible for the amazing comeback against the LSU Tigers, when Grant scored 13 points in the last 3 minutes. I believe Wright needs to give Grant more minutes because he really can change the entire tempo of the game. I thought Grant should have played more late in the DePaul game to help spark a comeback like the LSU game, but he only played 12 minutes. He is quite effective when he comes off the bench, and needs to see more playing time.


Antonio Pena - Forward

Effectiveness: 6

MPG: 12.3

Pena, a red-shirt freshman, has helped to the fill the void left for a rebounding big man, since the sophomore center Casiem Drummond got hurt. Pena is a very athletic and strong forward, and has begun to gain confidence in Wright's system. He provides valuable minutes off the bench, especially when Dante and Shane are in need of a rest, or are in foul trouble. He needs to work on getting better defensively and avoiding cheap fouls, but I like what I see out of him offensively. He seems to lack a mid-to-long-range game, but he is able to get open down low, and can usually finish. He has been a great asset to this basketball team coming off the bench.


Andrew Ott - Forward

Effectiveness: 1

MPG: 4.3

Ott, who also red shirted last year, has only played in three games, and probably will not see many minutes due to the tough upcoming conference games. He is just not there offensively or defensively, and quite frankly lacks confidence. In my opinion, he is at least one to two years away from being a producer on this team. Therefore, I cannot say that he is effective at all, other than offering support and depth from the sidelines.

NOTE - This article was written before the Pitt game and does not include stats or minutes from that game. However, the Pitt game only furthered my feeling that Grant needs as many minutes as possible (he was remarkable), and that Fisher and Pena are tremendous assets to this team. The Pitt win was a perfect example of how effective this freshmen class has been, and hopefully will continue to be.

Feel free to offer comments, criticisms, and your own opinions, as this is my first post. Let me know what you guys think of the 'Nova class of 2011.

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6 Comments:

At 10:27 AM, January 07, 2008, Anonymous Tom said...

i really like your freshmen reviews...I could not agree with you more about fisher and stokes...keep on writingg

 
At 10:56 AM, January 07, 2008, Blogger NovaFan09 said...

great post. while i agree with most of your assessments, i would have to say that pena is more comfortable facing up to the basket, rather than starting his offense in the post role. Too many times I have seen Antonio get the ball 15 feet from the hoop instead of closer to the net. I would like for him to be more assertive down low. yes, he does have many high percentage shots, but that is from timely offensive rebounding and from receiving great passes down low. so, in a way, he does have an inside game.

 
At 4:11 PM, January 07, 2008, Anonymous Foye's Boy said...

does Pena remind anyone else on a more aggressive (but maybe less smoother) version of will sheridan??

 
At 4:36 PM, January 07, 2008, Blogger Shel said...

Simply put: Malcolm Grant needs more minutes in the rotation. He's proven his worth thus far, and needs to be given an opportunity to show what he can do.

With only two players willing to mix it up (Cunningham and Drummond, and the latter is on the shelf), I'd love to see Pena down low a bit more. I think he needs some more polish, but what freshman big man doesn't? I think he's moving along just fine.

 
At 7:14 PM, January 07, 2008, Blogger Dewey Hammond said...

Great post. Thanks.

 
At 12:23 AM, January 15, 2008, Blogger John said...

Good post...keep it up

 

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