Wednesday, March 18, 2009
In what can best be described as a remarkably frustrating basketball season, there is plenty to be excited about in the immediate future of Ole Miss basketball, not the least of which was the emergence of Terrico White as a legitimate star. He’s the best freshman guard we’ve had since… well, Chris Warren the year before. Andy Kennedy is really bringing in the talent.
As a whole, Chris’ numbers are gaudier than Terrico’s for their entire freshman seasons. Chris stepped onto the court as a starter with the departure of a trio of senior guards in Todd Abernethy, Bam Done, and Clarence Sanders. Terrico arrived with more hype, but most expected a reserve role playing behind wing guards David Huertas and Eneil Polynice. Three bum knees later and Terrico is our starting PG a few games into SEC play.
Here's how their freshman years compared in SEC games only:
Surprisingly, Chris scored a higher percentage of his points (16.4%) from the FT line than Terrico did (12.5%). Some of that had to do with Terrico's FT% being so poor, but it's something he can work on for next season - posting up smaller guards and taking slower ones off the bounce. Not surprisingly, Chris scored a higher percentage (54.9%) of his points from behind the arc that Terrico did (46.7%), meaning Chris was either jacking up threes or ducking his head and getting to the rim.He only scored 28.5% of his point from 2-point range, while Terrico scored 40.6%. When Terrico starts getting to the line more and starts hitting them more, he'll be an absolute beast.
All this adds up to what should be one of the best backcourts in the conference next season. With an added scorer and a viable inside presence, Warren should be much more effective than he was before tearing his ACL against Louisville this season. Watching him play, it’s easy to see that he feels that – at times – he’s the only viable scoring option we have. That led to a lot of questionable shots this year and last. With Terrico providing a more consistent scoring option than David, Chris' shots should be reduced/smarter, which normally spells success for the Rebels.
Last season, in conference games, we were 6-1 when Chris took 14 shots or fewer and just 1-8 when he up 15 shots or more. In our 3 NIT victories over UCSB, Nebraska, and Virginia Tech, he shot 13 times or fewer. Against Ohio State, he put up 17 shots, and we lost.
Regardless, the way I see it, David is the odd man out next year in regards to the starting lineup. He and Terrico never really gelled as a unit and David’s attitude took a severe nose dive as the season wore along. If we’re going to achieve everything we’re capable of next season, we’ll definitely need him to play well and within the system. But for now, he and his whining will most likely be on the bench, with EP starting at the 3. Terrico will certainly handle the ball a lot, but the primary PG duties will shift back to Chris and EP.
I can’t find the numbers to back this up, but I’ll say this… We return four guys who have hit seven 3s in a game before: David (2x), Chris (2x), EP, and Trevor Gaskins. I doubt any other team in the country can say that.
(H/T to the ever awesome statsheet.com for the researchability)