Ken Pomeroy released his individual player stats on Tuesday morning. There is a lot to digest there and a many of the numbers won't hold up for a full season, but here are three interesting things for each team.
- John Shurna is shooting the lights out. -- Shurna ranks fourth in the nation in effective field goal percentage at 74.6 percent and sixth in the nation in true shooting percentage at 75.5 percent.
- Michael Thompson is already playing too many minutes. -- Yes, he's great, but Northwestern desperately needs someone to be a confident backup point guard. The Wildcats have played in one game in which the final margin was within 10 points. Still, Thompson has played 92 percent of the team's total minutes, 20th in the nation.
- JerShon Cobb is not immune to freshman struggles. -- Cobb is the only player on Northwestern that doesn't have an offensive rating greater than 100 points per 100 possessions. He has the highest turnover rate on the team at 23.9 percent of possessions and he has the second lowest shooting percentage on the team in front of only Mike Capocci. Still, Cobb's value this season has come more from his hustle and defense, so this probably doesn't mean he'll lose his starting spot anytime soon.
- Tony Freeland is drawing a lot of fouls. -- Freeland, probably mostly due to the game against Northern Illinois, ranks 52nd in the nation with 7.2 fouls drawn per 40 minutes. Now, if he could shoot a little better at the line than his 64.6 percent, it'd go a long way.
- Brandon Young is one rare freshman. -- Remember that stuff I just said about JerShon Cobb? Well, it doesn't apply to Young apparently. True point guards in general have transitioned well to the college game - think John Wall, Derrick Rose, etc. - but no one expected this from Young. He's 108th in the nation in effective field goal percentage at 62.7 percent due to his ability to hit from outside and finish strong at the rim. The only thing that belies his youth? His 21.7 percent turnover rate.
- Cleveland Melvin's athleticism is showing through in his stats. -- Defensive stats like block percentage and steal percentage are largely based upon athleticism. That's why it's no surprise that Melvin leads the Blue Demons in block percentage at 10.5 percent and is second in steal percentage at 3.2 percent.
- Terrance Hill's statistics are unsustainable. -- It may look like Hill has turned a corner offensively, but his 120.1 offensive rating is being propped up by an unsustainable 58.1 percent shooting from three-point range. He's still taking too many hard shots, as evidenced by the fact that he's shooting just 38.1 percent inside the arc.
- There's a reason Loyola misses Walt Gibler. -- Gibler is a beast on offense. His 119.8 offensive rating will probably rise as more of his three-point attempts go in. It's propped up by his incredible ability to get to the foul line. He's drawing 6.3 fouls per 40 minutes, 153rd in the nation, and he knocks those free throws down. He also never turns the ball over, ranking 38th in the nation with a turnover rate of 6.9 percent.
- Ben Averkamp is perfect for Jim Whitesell's system. -- Averkamp has all the skills you'd want in a forward for Loyola. He's shooting a high percentage, doesn't turn the ball over (7.2 percent, 44th in the nation) and changes things on the defensive end (a 7.7 block percentage, 87th in the nation). If there's one knock on Averkamp it's that he could be more assertive at times.
- Robo Kreps plays a lot, but there's a reason. -- Kreps is 24th in the nation in minutes percentage at 91.5 percent. It's to his credit though that he's averaging 1.3 fouls per 40 minutes (57th in the nation), which allows him to stay on the court.
- Paul Carter is UIC's offense. -- The transfer from Minnesota has immediately become the go-to-guy in the Flames' offense. He's using 26.1 percent of the team's possessions, 264th in the nation and first on the team. He's also doing a good job of rebounding the basketball. His defensive rebounding percentage of 20.7 ranks 202nd in the nation.
- Where is the offense going to come from? -- Kreps is the only play on the Flames with an offensive rating above 100 points per 100 possessions. Someone else is going to have to be more efficient in order for UIC's offense to really break out and help the team win games in the Horizon League.
- Antonio Lofton is getting to the free throw line. -- Lofton is eighth in the nation in free throw rate at 118.8 percent. That's a ton of free throws. He's only made 61.4 percent of his attempts from the charity stripe though. Part of this is that Lofton doesn't shoot too much, as he's only 89th in fouls drawn per 40 minutes at 6.9.
- Where is the offense going to come from? -- I just used this for UIC, but the Cougars are in even more dire straights. Victor Scott (offensive rating of 90.6) and Carl Montgomery (offensive rating of 90.2) are the only players over 90 points per 100 possessions. That's really rough.
- Christian Wall will pick your pocket. -- I don't believe Wall is really 6'1, but he's an excellent on ball defender. His steal rate of 3.8 percent is 158th in the nation. He, like many of the Cougars, needs to work on not committing so many fouls so that they can stay on the court longer.