With the next 2-3 weeks really nothing but meaningless games it's doubtful I'll be writing any game previews or recaps. When somebody goes rogue transfer like Martin I'll hit it and when/if Diedhiou becomes eligible that's post worthy, but there probably won't be a whole lot of Gopher specific stuff until a wrap up/preview before conference play starts. For now, I'll do more fun stuff, and what's more fun than checking in on our chuckers for Power Ranking #2. Last week's rank in parenthesis.
1. TRE DEMPS, Northwestern (1). Demps remains the master, shooting 7-27 in his last three games with a 1-7 and 1-8 mixed in. On the season he's now taking 29% of Northwestern's shots when he's in the game with a 37% hit rate on 2s and 29% on 3s. His 2-1 assist-to-turnover rate is the only thing holding him back from being one of the most perfect chuckers in history. He's fifth in the conference in missed shots, and only attempts 11 per game. That's impressive. Bonus points because he usually becomes super good towards the end of close games. It's quite a super power.
2. MIKE WILLIAMS, Rutgers (8). I had no idea who Williams was at the beginning of the year, but he's really growing on me. Just a freshman, he burst onto the scene shooting 7-29 in his first four career games, and he hasn't gotten much better, shooting just 33% on twos and 24% on threes on the season. He's taking 25% of his team's shots when he's on the floor on a team with two clear senior leaders (Myles Mack and Kadeem Jack), and he's averaging more shots per game (8.8) than points (7.3) which is pretty fantastic. From the volume shooting to the inability to make any baskets, Williams is a really strong contender. And we get three more years. [2-6 on Tuesday. Don't get shy, Mike.]
3. TERRAN PETTEWAY, Nebraska (7). It's time to talk about Petteway. Fantastic player, obviously. He's averaging 21 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, a steal, and a block per game this year, outstanding numbers. Make no mistake though - he's a chucker. He's taking 35% of the Huskers shots when he's on the floor (which ranks 24th in the entire country and 4th among major conference schools) and hitting 47% from two and 36% from three which puts his eFG% under 50%. He's also turning the ball over nearly 4 times per game, and threw up a game where he shot 5-18 and turned it over 8 times earlier this year. So yeah, he's a fantastic player, but he's also a big time chucker. Never forget.
4. CARLOS MORRIS, Minnesota (4). Morris has an unfair advantage because I get to watch almost all his games, but he definitely belongs. A couple of really efficient games have bumped his eFG% up to 46% which is getting a little too close to respectability for my tastes (combined 13-19 shooting in his last two is no good), but his refusal to pass the ball is as strong as ever. He does average 2.0 assists per game, but that's against 2.4 turnovers and considering he's a wing on a team that ranks 9th in the country with an assist on 66% of their made baskets that's not very impressive. Plus, just watch him sometime. [5-9 Monday. Continues to be efficient. Not going to drop him much until I see it against a good team, but we could really use more chucking here.]
5. KENDALL STEPHENS, Purdue (NR). I said at the beginning of the year that Purdue was set up to have at least one guy on this list, and right now it looks like Stephens is the guy. I had Bryson Scott on here for both of my first two lists, but he just doesn't shoot enough (though a 1-6 in 12 minutes recently is nice). Stephens, however, is starting to look like a more than worthy replacement. His shot percentage is a solid 26%, and though his eFG% is higher than I'd like at 52% he's started to put up much better chucker looking numbers with a 1-9, 2-11, and 2-7 in his last three outings. Add in that 70% of his attempts are from three and somehow he's shooting an insane 19% from two this year (4-22) and I think he's the Boiler for the job. [5-11 Monday. Good shot amount in 22 minutes. Could be a high riser.]
6. KADEEM JACK, Rutgers (NR). Jack has always been a high usage player for the Scarlet Knights, and he's kept it up this year (31% shots) but he's added a new wrinkle to his game - he can't make anything. He missed the first two games of the year but has made up for it with some seriously prolific chucking including an 8-23 performance against Vandy and a ridiculous 3-15 vs. Seton Hall, leading to a 37% shooting percentage and a scoring average more than 2 points lower than last season. He's never been much for passing (his average of 1.5 assists per game this year is a career high) but his season total of 9 assists vs. 17 turnovers is worth noting. If his shot doesn't come back he could challenge for the crown. [3-9 Tuesday with 7 turnovers to boot. Something could be brewing here.]
7. BRYANT MCINTOSH, Northwestern (9). When I put McIntosh on here last time I said I figured he wouldn't last long. So far, at least, I was wrong. Since my last post (5 games) he's shot 15-48 including a 1-10 game against Georgia Tech, and I just can't ignore that kind of non-production no matter how good he is at passing - and he is, averaging 5 assists per game (against 2.5 TOs) with an assist rate ranking in the top 40 in the country. He's still taking 23% of his team's shots when he's on the floor, and as long as he keeps up that volume while being unable to actually put the ball in the basket it'll be tough to keep him off this list. There are plenty of good distributors who are terrible shooters, most of them don't heave the ball at the hoop this often. And that's why he's a chucker.
8. KAMERON CHATMAN, Michigan (NR). Another freshman who just DGAF, the most impressive thing about Chatman is how he's 6-7 and he just hates the paint. Loathes it. Treats it like my kids treat the floor when they do that thing where the floor is hot lava. I say that because I perusing the sweet site hoop-math.com, and Chatman has taken 6% of his shots at the rim this year. I will just tell you that is insanely low. For reference there is no Gopher under 10%, and no other Wolverine under 15% - it's a really low number, especially for someone who is 6-7. I also noticed that 100% of his baskets at the rim are assisted, which means he never drives, he just stands around and chucks jumpers, like when he shot 0-6 in their hilariously awesome loss to NJIT. On the season he's now at 34% on twos and 21% on threes, and if he continues to be allergic to the rim he could be one to watch. [0-2 Tuesday. [Shot amount is unfortunate, but at least he missed them both.]
9. BRANDON TAYLOR, Penn State (NR). Taylor's actually similar to Chatman in that he hates scoring in the paint too (10.5%), but he has fewer excuses. He's not a skinny freshman like Chatman, he's a 6-6, 225 lb. junior who averages 6.4 rebounds per game, so it's not like he's incapable of playing in the paint, he just doesn't want to. Now, granted, this can be a valid plan and has worked for many players in the past. It does not, however, generally work when you're shooting just 29% from three (15-51) especially when you're taking more threes than twos. Nothing new for Taylor since in his three seasons he's averaged 3.5 or more 3 attempts per game each year and failed to ever break better than 32% accuracy. I really should have had him on the list earlier.
10. JARROD UTHOFF, Iowa (NR). Uthoff likes to shoot (25% shot percentage) and he's not particularly horrible at it (40% twos, 39% threes) but his eFG is still just 48% so he qualifies, and he deserves mention on this list because of that horrendous 40% twos for a 6-9 player. I checked a handful of other teams and the only other guy who combines that kind of volume and ineptitude with that height is Kadeem Jack, number 6 on this list. Special shout out to his 2-13 game against North Carolina, though in fairness he also grabbed 11 rebounds. I don't see Uthoff sticking on this list for very long, but I wanted to recognize him while he's not hot. [6-11 Tuesday. Vs. Alcorn State. So meh.]
Notable feats in chucking around the country:
1. CAZMON HAYES, Delaware. If we are looking for the best chucker in the nation, we might not have to look any further. Just look at this line: 15.4ppg, 29% field goal percentage, 0.7 assists per game. Glorious. He has a 3-18 and a 4-21 shooting on the year. Also a 6-21. His best shooting game he went 4-9 and I assume he must have been in foul trouble to only get off 9 shots. He has five assists the entire season. He's shooting 9 threes per game despite hitting just 29%. Even better, last year he only averaged 10 minutes and two shots per game. Get yours, Caz, get yours.
2. KYLE WILTJER, Gonzaga. Wiltjer transferred from Kentucky in order to get out under the shackles of a tightly called and tightly run Calipari offense, and he's certainly had free reign to chuck away since becoming a Zag (35% shot percentage). Never was that more evident than against Georgia when he put up 26 shots. It's really hard to shoot 26 times in one game, especially when your team shoots 52. Some quick math tells me that's half the team's attempts, which I don't think is how most offenses are supposed to be run. He did make 14 which is not chucker like, but when you take half your team's shots and put up the second most attempts of any player in a game this year (behind DJ Newbill who took 33 in a 2OT game) it's worth noting.
3. DAMON LYNN, NJIT. This is a pretty good one, because Lynn had a god awful chucker level game against Marquette not long after the last Chucker Update, shooting 4-20 with five turnovers in a game the Highlanders lost by just five, a game they might have won if Lynn makes a few more shots. Then came the big upset win over Michigan which was pretty awesome, and Lynn is the hero, hitting 7-16 (6-10 on threes) and coming up huge, nailing that huge, soul crushing, monster three pointer with about two minutes left when Michigan looked like they might be about to retake the game. Chucker redemption at its finest.
4. MARCELLUS BARKSDALE, IUPUI. Though he did put up back-to-back performances worthy of a call out (4-14 and 2-11 shooting), he's mainly just here because I saw his name pop up in my top secret chucker formula and actually said "holy shit" out loud. What a sweet name. Marcellus Wallace and Avon Barksdale had a baby, and he loves throwing the ball in the basic direction of the hoop. Also, I love Pulp Fiction (duh) and I just finished season 4 of The Wire so I'm still in that "holy crap you guys The Wire is so good I can't believe I never watched it" mode. Seriously though, holy crap you guys The Wire is so good I can't believe I never watched it.
5. PHIL FORTE, Oklahoma State. Phil has carried on the Forte tradition of being an excellent college basketball player started by Joe and Jason and probably Matt. He's not here because he's a terrible shooter, because he's generally pretty good. He is, however, a 3-point bomber with two thirds of his shots coming from behind the arc at a clip of over 8 attempts per game. He's around a 40% shooter from there in his career so he's a pretty valuable weapon. However with a weapon like that, occasionally things can go drastically wrong. Forte fell apart against South Carolina on Saturday, going 1-14 from the field and 1-10 from three as the Cowboys got blasted 75-49. It was pretty much disaster all around as the team shot sub 25% for the game. It is hard to win that way.