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Progress Check

The freshmen at the midway point:

ORtg %Poss %Shots eFG% OR% DR% Ast% TO% FTR
Harrow 111.6 25.8 27.8 45.1 1.6 3.9 30.7 15.2 34.2
Brown 101.0 20.7 19.2 49.6 3.9 9.8 22.6 25.4 31.0
Leslie 95.6 27.4 26.0 45.8 12.7 22.0 8.2 18.7 55.1


Way back in July, I had a guess at what sort of production we might see from each freshman and also laid out a few benchmarks.

Harrow: For someone his size, a 2FG% in the mid-to-high 40s would be a success. ... moreso than points I'll be looking at his assist and turnover rates to gauge where he's at.  I think the goals should be 25%+ assist rate (that is, he assists on a quarter of his teammates' made baskets) and a turnover rate less than or equal to 25%.  Guys with assist rates in that range are doing a good job distributing, and that's the main thing.  (Though scoring's good too.)  Turnover rate might be the best barometer for a point guard transitioning to college.

Harrow is exceeding expectations in those respects--he's shooting almost 50% inside the arc and both his assist and turnover rates are excellent.  His low turnover rate (15.2%) is one of the most impressive things about his season to date; reports of his ability to handle the ball were not overblown, that is for sure.  It's nice to have a point guard whose mistakes are going to be of the decision making rather than oops-my-stupid-foot variety.  When he gets into trouble he can just make the ball disappear behind his back or through his legs and fire up on of those floaters.

The jump shot isn't there yet, and that's the main knock on his efficiency, but since he creates his offense from fifteen feet and in most of the time, that's not a huge deal.  When that outside shot does come around, and it will, look out.  When defenders have to worry about the dribble drive and respect his shooting ability at the same time?  Yikes.

Brown: Ideally, a modest-usage, opportunistic high-efficiency guy, at least at first.  Play under control, take what's given, feast off the attention drawn by Leslie, Smith, and Harrow.  That means somewhere between 18-22 percent of the shots and threes made at the moderate (say...35%?) rate we need.  This also puts him in a position to keep the turnovers down, which is a requirement for the 2G.

His workload is right in that range, and his three-point percentage is close (33%).  He hasn't been the high-efficiency role player I envisioned, largely because of his turnover rate.  We can cut him some slack here since he's like half point guard, half shooting guard.  But that does need improvement.  Like Harrow, his two-point field goal percentage is right around 50%, which is plenty good enough.  I'd like to see him become a more frequent three-point shooter because we could use it and I think he has a good stroke.  That would also help him cut down on giveaways.

Leslie: Figures to be the most heavily involved of the three because of his talents and demeanor.  He's the guy I worry most about playing out of control.  If he takes more than 25% of the shots, that's probably too many and likely comes too much at Tracy's expense, which for now would have to be considered a bad thing.  His usage and TO% will be good indicators of how he's operating within (or without) the offense.  I figure his turnover rate will be a bit high, and that's okay so long as he's supplementing that with decent shot selection and a 2FG% in the high 40s/low 50s.  And however many offensive boards/putback slams he can get his hands on.

Leslie has had a difficult time creating good offense for himself and finishing around the rim.  I say good offense because he has no trouble creating in general, if you count the ability to fire up a contested shot around the rim.  Between his low offensive rating and 2FG%, and, you know, watching games, it's clear that he is using too many possessions and pushing his skills a little too far.  His secondary skills--rebounding and shot blocking--are very good and mean a lot to the team, but it's hard to say whether those benefits outweigh the cost of so many missed shots.  If he can dial back the shooting and work more patiently within the offense, he'll really start to take off.