Big Ten Chucker Power Rankings after (roughly) Week 1. This was tough, because a lot of the high volume shooters are also very efficient so far because most of these teams are playing cupcakes right now, and a lot of the guys I tabbed in my preseason preview as ones to watch are either not shooting as much as they should or are making too many shots. This list looks very different than the preseason list, and I suspect a lot different than the final list as well. That being said, we need a starting point so here we go. Preseason Rank in parenthesis.
1. Tre Demps, Northwestern (1). No change at the top, as Demps has put up an 0-7 shooting night and a 4-13 shooting night, putting him at a robust 23% eFG% while taking 27% of his team's shots when he's on the floor. The man is a machine. Just think if he turned the ball over too. Alas, he takes care of it with just one TO so far this year and one of the best turnover rates in the country. I guess you can't have everything.
2. Bryn Forbes, Michigan State (NR). Skyrocketing in from nowhere is Forbes, who I totally missed in my preview because I forgot about him transferring in from Cleveland State. He was known as a shooter but his accuracy seems to have deserted him. He opened in grand style by shooting 1-8 (1-6 from three) vs. Navy and then followed that up with a 3-9 (3-8 from three) against Duke, managing to avoid picking up a single assist in the process. Forbes is tied for 7th in the conference in missed field goals despite coming off the bench. You just can't teach that.
3. Bryson Scott, Purdue (4). It wouldn't hurt him to shoot more often with just 9 shot attempts through two games, but at the same time that's 27% of his team's shots while he's on the floor so I guess you can't ask for too much more. No complaints whatsoever about his inefficiency though, as he's made just 3 of those shot attempts while turning the ball over five times versus just one assist. Stellar. I put Forbes ahead of him because of the volume shooting which is the #1 characteristic of chucking, but Scott has real potential if he'd just get more aggressive.
4. Carlos Morris, Minnesota (NR). Probably should have seen this coming since he's a JuCo who was going to be handed a starting role and a bunch of minutes. He's taking 26.5% of the shots when he's on the court and is shooting just 6-19, chipping in with 3 assists versus 2 turnovers. Plus, and you can't quantify this unfortunately, but watching him play both games this year (plus the exhibition) and seeing him get lost defensively over and over again is just bonus points.
5. John Johnson, Penn State (2). He's not shooting as much as I'd like with just 11 attempts through two games and a sub 20% shot percentage, but on the bright side he still can't hit the broad side of a barn if he fell out of a boat. He's made just 3 of those 11 attempts for a 27% shooting percentage, and you just can't argue with brickability like that. He needs to get himself over that 20% of shots barrier, or he's going to have to start dropping.
6. Melo Trimble, Maryland (NR). I'm always impressed by chucking point guards who turn it over as much as they assist their teammates (3 to 4 for him), not to mention averaging just 2.0 assists per game in 25 minutes when you're a point guard. Add in taking 26% of your team's shots while you're on the floor despite going just 6-17 this year and you've got yourself a nice little chucker. Could settle down since he's a freshman and all, but that's an impressive debut.
7. Terran Petteway, Nebraska (10). Even though Pettaway has been effective, averaging 24 points per game on 47% shooting, he simply has to be here for volume reasons. Petteway is taking 43% of Nebraska's shots when he's on the floor, a number that is simply unheard of. It puts him seventh on the leaderboard this season and he's one of only four players from a major conference (1 of 2 if you don't consider the American or Mountain West major) to be north of 40% shot percentage. That 43% would be an all-time record (dating back 2004, kenpom.com) for anyone in any conference. His 1.0 assist per game average vs. 2.0 turnovers doesn't hurt, either. I mean, his chucker score per game ins a full 50% higher than the #2 guy. That means something.
8. Mike Williams, Rutgers (NR). I don't know who this guy is but I stumbled across him and he's taken a staggering 30.2% of his team's shots when he's on the floor (if you remember from the preview it's rare to cross 30% in a major conference) and has hit just five out of fifteen attempts. I'm also very encouraged by his 1-7 game against Fairleigh Dickinson. Could be a real sleeper.
9. Bryant McIntosh, Northwestern (NR). Say you're some nerd freshman, what do you do when the basketball season first starts up? If you're McIntosh you just say bombs away and fire that ball in the direction of the hoop. He shot 5-11 in first game (pretty good) but put up a 2-10 in game 2, and through two games leads the Wildcats, a team with Tre Demps, in shot attempts. He's only taken five of his 21 attempts from three so far, so he's either a long two machine or a reckless driver - either way I like it. He's down the list because he has a really good assist to turnover ratio (to good to be a real chucker) so I suspect he'll fall of this list soon, but I wanted to give some recognition because that's some impressive work.
10. Denzel Valentine and Travis Trice, MSU (8). I treated them as one in the preview because I wasn't sure which would emerge as the chucker (if any) and I'm still not sure because they're both showing half the chucker traits, but neither is all the way there. Trice is shooting a ton, 30% shot percentage, but he's also making most of them and has a great assist to turnover ratio. Valentine can't shoot at all this year so far, but he needs to shoot a bit more to take over this spot as his own. Odds are this spot become's Valentine's on his own sooner rather than later, but I don't want to dismiss Trice just yet simply because he's jacking up so many shots.
Other notable feats of chucking around the nation:
1. Zay Jackson, SE Louisiana. The six-foot junior guard set a high bar in the first game of the year, scoring 16 points on 6-24 shooting (3-13 from three) with 4 assists and 8 (8!) turnovers. According to my highly proprietary formula (no, I'm not only basing these lists on that formula) Jackson's score of 102.5 is the highest of the season by a wide margin. If anybody can beat this, well, wow. Jackson followed that up with a 2-8 with 9 (9?) turnover performance so he's really one to keep an eye on.
2. Rashad Vaughn, UNLV. There were plenty of more egregious games than what Vaughn did his first week, but hey, if I took all the worst games it would pretty much just be guys nobody has heard of and that's no fun. Neither game is all that horrendous by itself, but back-to-backs of 8-18 and 7-19 shooting with two turnovers versus three total assists is setting a nice baseline. He also ranks 8th in the nation at percentage of his teams shots taken when he's on the floor at 43%. At some point this year he's going to put up an epic stinker. It's coming.
3. Joseph Young, Oregon. Read this conference preview. Or just scroll down to the Most Frustrating Player part. Or just trust me when I tell you that a near perfect chucking storm has been created around Young, with a guy who averaged 13 shots per game last season suddenly finding himself in a situation where the team has been completely gutted by graduations, transfers, and dudes kicked off the team and he has no choice but to shoot constantly, and he's going to love it. He's basically the Kobe Bryant of the Pacific Northwest and it showed on Monday when he shot 7-23 including 1-12 from three (1-12!) with five turnovers (and 4 assists). We'll probably see his name here a few times this year.
4. Wesley Person, Jr, Troy. Oh my god it makes me so happy there's a Wes Person Junior, and even better he made this list. He probably shouldn't quite make the list considering his most chuckery game this year (of 2) was a 5-14 shooting performance where he also made 10 free throws and scored 25 points, but hey, it's Wes Person's kid, he needs to be on here. Also he's shooting a cool 32% on the year, 21 of his 28 attempts this year are from three, and his last game he had 0 rebounds, 0 assists, 0 steals, and 0 blocks in 37 minutes. I'd say he qualifies.
5. Wayne Sparrow, UMBC. This one's great because it's who the Gophers play Saturday night, so maybe we're in for a chucker treat. He put up a fantastic line in their game against Loyola Maryland on Wednesday: 4-19 shooting (2-10 from 3) with 4 turnovers vs. 1 assist. That's quality work. He only took 8 shots in their opener and only averaged 4 shots per game last season so this one was quite an aberration. Fluke game, or birth of a brand new all-star chucker? Hopefully we find out Saturday, and hopefully it's the latter.