Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope Santa brought you some good NC State swag despite adidas' efforts to make this next to impossible. For me, more of the recent production we've gotten from Calvin Leslie is all I really need for a gift. Austin Johnson outlines Leslie's performance over the last five games, and the numbers are impressive. He's scoring the ball a lot more efficiently, and he's getting to line a lot more often as well.
Over the first six games of the season Leslie was averaging less than four free-throw attempts a game – since Michigan he’s yet to go to the line less than five times in a game and has double-digit attempts in two games. He’s attacking the basket, getting better shots and getting rewarded with trips to the charity stripe. He’s also improving his free-throw shooting, hitting above 70 percent in the Pack’s last two contests.
Overall he's hitting 65% from the stripe over these past five games, and if he can continue to hit 65-70% with an increased FT rate, then his value becomes quite a bit greater.
Generally speaking, I think Leslie is benefiting from a smaller workload. He took at least a quarter of State's shots while on the floor his first two seasons, but this year that's down around 21%, and his two-point accuracy is way up. State has been really balanced so far, with Warren, Purvis, Brown, Leslie, and Howell all in the same neighborhood in terms of how often they're shooting while on the floor.
Leslie still could stand to cut down on turnovers, though. Its the giveaways and FT shooting that's really hurt his efficiency so far.