Before A-10 Conference play kicks off on January 2nd, Chris and I are planning on writing a post where each of us assigns a pre-conference grade for each player and coach. How exciting.
Leading up to this assessment, I thought it might be fun to let you into my little world of skewed statistics and disrupted logic by taking you through my process of evaluating players, class by class. And what better way to kick it off than a preliminary look at the meatiest bunch of them all – the Class of 2017.
Now, before we get started, let’s lay some ground rules for these posts:
- These evaluations are going to be a statistical analysis based on the player’s current and prior year performance.
- I will ignore outside factors that might contribute to a player’s value to a team (court vision, basketball knowledge, team leader, etc.). This is because I do not understand that stuff.
- I’m only going to review statistical categories that I find interesting for that particular player.
- It is physically impossible for me to write anything positive about Brett Jolly.
- Defense doesn’t matter.
So, let’s get started, shall we? I’m going to evaluate in alphabetical order, with the exception of Jolly, for oh so many reasons.
In the 2014-2015 season, Bartley played the 5th most minutes on the team, sharing the back court with a platoon made up of Hollywood (RIP), Roby, Yacoubou, and Reynolds. Once McBroom transferred, I believed it was Bartley’s backcourt to control coming into 2015-2016. Bartley could hardly be considered a scoring point guard, but he could shoot the three (43%). Yea, this was Bartley’s year!
This season, Bartley’s minutes have dropped considerably, averaging 5.8 minutes less per game (the biggest drop on the team) and losing the point position to the more aggressive and talented Miles Reynolds. But at least he can still come off the bench and be a threat from long range! Eh, not really. Bartley is shooting only 26.7% from behind the arc (16.3% drop). It’s hard to imagine Bartley’s role on this team increasing to be a significant factor unless there is an injury or he has some of Michael Jordan’s “Secret Stuff” stored in his gym bag. Maybe this was a bad one to start off on; that was unexciting.
I think everyone wished that Cpt. Spaghetti would have red-shirted last year. After supposedly putting on 25 lbs this off season (this is heavily disputed by a scale), he’s still too fragile to be a big presence down below. BUT. BUT. Apart from not being the type of player I want him to be, he hasn’t been terrible at being the player he actually is. His FG% is up 11.1% to 55.6% (best on the team), and this goon is shooting 54.5% from three point land. If it weren’t for the sudden emergence of Miles Reynolds, I would argue that Gillman might be the most improved player of this class. He absolutely needs to improve on his rebounding – 2.1 Rebounds per game is WAY too low for a dude that is 6’10, and he still needs to work on not looking like an idiot, but there is progress here we can be okay with.
If he wants more playing time than the 20 minutes he’s getting per game, he needs to start developing some actual Center abilities, even if it’s just complimentary to his attempt at being JJ Reddick.
Well, this will be easy. His minutes are up a whopping 14.7 minutes per game. He’s averaging 7.6 more points per game, shooting 20.2% higher in general and 39.5% higher from 3 pt range. As a point guard, I wish his assists were higher (2.4/game), but I can live with it as long as he continues to get to the line a remarkable 6.3 times per game. He ranks second among A10 players in made free throws.
Sure, there is improvement to be made here and he’s plateaued a bit after the first four games, but I’m excited to see where he goes.
Davell hasn’t been terrible on the court this year, but he is slightly worse in just about every statistical category when compared to last year. Now, you can possibly attribute this to the drop in playing time (down 5.8 minutes a game, biggest drop behind Bartley), and I would hear that argument without slapping you upon the face. But it sure looks like he’s got a “PUT ME IN COACH” agenda when he’s out on the court. But that gets into the outside factors that I know nothing about.
He’s shooting percentage across the board is slightly down (only 2.5%), but not enough to get all hot and bothered. Actually, that’s not even worth mentioning. This one is boring again. I wouldn’t be surprised by a transfer here after the season, which is too bad because I think Davell could be a fantastic player.
I just wrote my opinions on Milik Yarbough in our weekly rant, so I’ll try to focus this assessment a bit.
Milik Yarbrough has dramatically improved from behind the arc (up 13.3%) since last year. He’s also pulling down 2 more rebounds a game, which is significantly important on our team, since we suck at all things related to jumping. Despite his maddening turnovers (2.1/game + every time he goes for a layup), it’s the same old song and dance from last year, so that’s probably something we just have to get used to. Year to year, not much has changed for Milik, and that’s a problem.
Milik needs to be the best player on the court, at the very least he needs to be the best player wearing blue. I neeeeeed to see improvement from him. The fact that his develpment is stagnant is a problem for our program and more telling than anything else about our ability to develop our players.
You learn something new about yourself every day – I can say something positive about Brett Jolly!!!
Brett Jolly’s minutes are down 2.7 minutes per game this year, and he has not seen time in two games this year. His three point percentage is down 10.5% (WHY? WHY ARE YOU TAKING THREES?) and his free throw percentage is down 24.4%.
Let’s take a more definitive approach on how Jolly has improved this year:
Overall, I would say the Class of 2017 has made minor progress. As a class, Field Goal Percentage is up 5.8%, Three Point shooting is up 7.2%, assists are up 3 per game, and they’re generally fouling less despite getting more minutes.
Stay tuned for more definitive grades in the future and a look at the juniors in the coming weeks.