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Gavin's Steady Improvement

Although Gavin Grant still has a lot of work ahead of him, the improvements he made between his freshman and sophomore seasons give reason for hope. He got better in just about every category in 2006, and shows encouraging signs that he's on the way to being an efficient, reliable ACC player. (stats glossary)

Gavin GrantO Rtg%Poss%MinPts/40PPWSeFG%TO%%Shots20058823.530.913.00.9544.726.120.62006100.523.455.614.71.0947.623.819.8
Gavin's O Rtg spent most of the season under 100 but he came on strong over the last few weeks of the year and managed to reach the century mark. His overall shooting
"Shoot it!"
improved in 2006, though his 3FG% regressed (from 26.5% to 20%). Gavin takes few enough threes that that's not a big deal, but you'd think he could at least approach 30% with all those open looks. Shoot the J this summer, Gavin. Shoot it a lot.

His 2FG% increased from 46.6% to 53.1%; some work on his range, to go along with better shot selection, could mean that Gavin turns the corner in 2007. He became more patient this season, perhaps because he knew he was going to get more playing time. Whatever the case, he more willingly played within the offense and didn't venture into Gavin's World O' Poor Shots as much as he did in 2005.

The biggest knock on Gavin (aside from shooting) has been turnovers. He had some serious fumblitis last season--his turnover rate was the worst on the team. His 2006 TO% is still high, but he is at least approaching a bearable figure. He needs to handle the ball better, especially if he's going to help Atsur in the backcourt. On the other hand, the turnovers do, I think, reflect an important part of Grant's game: his aggressive dribble penetration. We don't have enough guys with his mindset.

Gavin GrantReb%OR%DR%TOV/40FTA/FGAFT%Rebs/40Asts/40200510.95.616.24.10.4359.67.23.5200612.46.417.53.80.6374.68.34.0
Note the bolded numbers: a FTA/FGA ratio which in 2006 ranked second (to Simmons) among State's seven-man rotation, and a big improvement in free throw percentage. In conjunction, those two things make him a dangerous player when he's not turning the ball over. Had he met the playing time requirement, Grant would've ranked in the top 70 nationally in FTA/FGA. (Ced's in the top 5 nationally.) This is what makes his aggression valuable--assuming he can maintain the free throw shooting. That FT% is a big reason for his improvement in the PPWS category.

Grant's 4.0 ast/40 minutes ranked second on the team to Atsur in 2006. His 8.3 rebs/40 also ranked second on the team.

Gavin needs to become more consistent, but there's a lot to like. He's versatile, he rebounds well for his size (and we desperately need the rebounding), he's improving as a shooter, and he's aggressive. With some luck, we'll see a lot of him next season. Out of want, not necessity.