Hey, it's not all bad. Specifically, we have a couple of sophomores who have made some good progress this year:
The difference for Wood this season is in his improved three-point shooting and turnover rate, and to a lesser extent, his free throw shooting. He was pretty good as a three-point specialist last season, but this year he has become lethal in that regard. Not bad considering all the threes he forces up once we're behind in the last few minutes and start panicking.
While the good outside shooting has carried over into league play (42.2%), his isn't getting as many looks as he was earlier in the year. His percentage of the shots is down around 13.0, which is lower than we'd like. Conference opponents have done a better job of taking him out of games, but we also tend to forget about him. Need that to change down the stretch.
Howell is benefiting nicely from a healthy season and the opportunity presented to him when Tracy Smith got hurt. The rebounding numbers are still impressive if down some at the defensive end, while he's taking better care of the ball and hitting more twos. That he's been able to play more efficiently with a high workload is encouraging. He isn't killing as many possessions with turnovers or bad shots. With the time left in this season, he needs to work on becoming a more consistent presence. Prior to his 9-11 shooting performance at Duke, he was 1-4 against Virginia Tech and 0-5 against Carolina. Next year he's going to have to be a reliable producer in the paint.