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The Incredibly Efficient Richard Howell

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Richard Howell leads NC State in scoring this season despite being sixth in minutes played, which is a testament both to his efficiency and his increased workload. Howell has made 69% of his two-point attempts through the first seven games, and he's taking about a quarter of State's shots while he is on the floor. That's currently the highest workload on the team, and I don't think anybody saw that coming. And the 69% shooting is impressive under any circumstances.

Granted, this is all subject to change, especially when Lorenzo Brown (38.0 eFG%) breaks out of his scoring slump, but Howell has been good enough this season to almost carry the Pack to two victories, and it goes to show the kind of player he can be when he isn't saddled with a bunch of fouls.

Richard Howell ORtg %Poss %Shots eFG% OR% DR% TO% Fouls/40 FTR
2013 126.6 25.3 24.0 69.0 17.6 19.9 13.3 4.7 56.9
2012 103.3 23.5 22.5 48.9 15.8 22.7 18.3 5.0 40.9

And that, of course, is the catch. Howell is averaging 4.7 fouls per 40 minutes played, which is why he's sixth in minutes on the team. That foul rate is pretty much the same as it ever was--he's always averaged around five fouls committed per 40 minutes, and it doesn't look like that's changing this season. Still, he's been the MVP so far, and it's worth noting the incredible effort he's given the team in the early stages of the season.