[quote=“tjb, post:1, topic:177”]The stats guys at Big Ten Geeks have looked at something that has intrigued me for a long time: how much do players improve from year to year?
I think kid or someone made this point here, but the biggest improvement comes from freshman to sophomore years.
By that standard, Illinois and Penn State, who had big contributions from sophomores (Talor, DJ, Drew in our case) and who improved dramatically last year, are poised to be at the other end of the spectrum this year.
We are junior and freshman heavy. BTG points out that Indiana, Michigan and Minnesota have the most returning freshman minutes.[/quote]
Yes, I think that writer is dead right. Freshmen often make or break a program, and if they stay around, really excel in their second year if they’re strong in their first year. In recent players, Jonny Flynn, DJ Augustin and Blake Griffin were great as freshmen, but even better as sophomores. And Curry didn’t improve in his 3rd year over his second. I don’t agree that DJ had a big contribution as a sophomore. He played less minutes per game than his freshman year. On Andrew, I believe he will improve, as he was sorta clumsy as a freshman(note the fouls), less so last year, and that should continue to be less an issue.
As always, I think the freshmen will be the difference this year, between mediocrity and success. I originally thought it would be Frazier and Sasa, but from posters reports and comments by Ed, sounds like Edwards may play a more important role than Sasa. Of last year’s frosh class, I expect Babb to step up as he only got 10mpg, and showed some great shooting late. I think he had a trey in his last 9 games. Of returning juniors, I only expect Jones and Battle to increase their scoring per minute, Jones cause he continued to improve his footwork during the season and he should be able to continue to do some this year, and Battle will come up with something to increase his scoring maybe up to 20ppg, out of necessity for team points. He may just shoot more.