Here at Anonymous Eagle, we're hip to all the latest trends on the internet... or so we tell ourselves. We know how much the kids today like to keep in touch and communicate through social media. In particular, we're big fans of the service known the world over as Twitter. Each week, we'll bring you a tweet that we found particularly interesting/funny/thought provoking/ridiculous that has some kind of Marquette connection to it.
Last week was the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament. For those of you that aren't familiar with the PIT, they annually invite 64 senior college basketball players that have essentially zero hope of getting selected in the NBA Draft (for example, Doug McDermott was not invited), split them up in to teams, and have a four day tournament.
NBA scouts do attend the PIT because it does give them a chance to see the players in action against slightly tougher competition. It's definitely a step up for guys like Towson's Jerrelle Benimon and Davidson's De'Mon Brooks, and even guys like Jamil Wilson and Davante Gardner, who both played in this year's PIT, get a slightly sterner test, as we're talking about 64 of the most experienced college basketball players in the country.
So that leads to NBA scouts saying things to journalists like Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times:
A veteran NBA scout said he expects "1, maybe 2" guys at PIT being drafted.— Gery Woelfel (@GeryWoelfel) April 19, 2014
1 of those 2 potential draft picks is Marquette's Jamil Wilson. Said scout: "He's helped himself here. He's been much more aggressive."— Gery Woelfel (@GeryWoelfel) April 19, 2014
In three games in the PIT, Jamil Wilson averaged 18 points, 6 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 0.7 steals, 1.3 blocks, and 2 turnovers. He made 52.3% of his shots, 36% of his three point attempts, and all four free throws he attempted went down.
His team also lost all three games: 79-77, 95-75, and 87-69.
In 101 games in three seasons at Marquette, Wilson averaged 9.4 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.9 blocks, and 1.5 turnovers. He shot 43.9% from the field, 34.4% from behind the arc, and 70.4% from the free throw stripe.
The scout that talked to Gery Woelfel LOOOOVES himself (or herself) some Small Sample Size Theater. That scout also needs to be fired immediately.
Here's our Player Preview expectations for Wilson's sophomore year:
Minimum Expectations: This is a very difficult question to answer, given three things: (1) the (well-earned) pub Jamil got in high school; (2) the failure to live up to the pub in his freshman year in Eugene; and (3) the pub Jamil got during his redshirt year last season, when there were whispers that Wilson was the best player at Marquette's practices. In light of Items (1) and (3), I was about to set the Minimum Expectations bar at 12.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg. In light of Item (2), I'm ratcheting the bar down to 10.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg. But that's a minimum. Capiche?
In My Wildest Dreams: This question is also hard for me to answer, but for a different reason: I don't know when it happened, exactly, or why, or even how, but at some point along the line, I did a 180 on Wilson. You might remember that I was skeptical as hell when news first broke that Jamil was coming to Marquette. Now? He was the only player I was watching during Marquette Madness. I've drunk the Jamil Wilson Kool-Aid, and I've gone back for seconds and thirds, so I'm going to get a little nutty here:
The last time I heard the kind of "he's the best player in practice, and it's not even close" talk we heard about Jamil Wilson last year was in 2000-'01, when an unknown freshman named Dwyane Wade was sitting out the season as a partial qualifier.
Yeah. I went there.
In My Worst Nightmare: This one's easy: in my worst nightmare, Jamil Wilson is the second coming of Odartey Blankson.
And junior year:
Minimum Expectation: Wilson ended up with 9.2 points and 5.3 rebounds per game after he was inserted into the starting lineup following Davante Gardner's injury last year. 10 and 6 should be the basement here.
Wildest Dreams: Wilson's a gifted athlete and clearly a tough minded guy, given that Buzz was getting on him last year about blocked shots that he missed out on. Getting to play with a healthy Otule & Gardner frees Wilson up to do more on the court and get pushed by Buzz to maximize his potential. Those bits combine to turn Wilson into an All-Big East First Teamer by the end of the season. Yeah, that's right: I'm calling for The Leap.
Worst Nightmare: The light doesn't go on for Wilson and he has a pedestrian season.
And senior year:
Minimum Expectations: This one's kind of weird. First: start every game. According to Buzz Williams at yesterday's media availability, that's still up in the air. There's no reason why this can't be a thing, because I refuse to believe Buzz isn't going to start his senior with the most returning minutes on the team. Moving on to more usual items, Wilson fell just short of averaging a 10/5/2 last season, so really, 13 points/5 rebounds/2 assists can't be that outrageous, really. Any improvement on his 44/36/74 shooting line would be nice, but it's not that important. Those are pretty good numbers.
Wildest Dream: 16 points, eight rebounds, two assists, three blocks against a Miami team that had the 29th most efficient defense in the country according to KenPom.com. He can do it. This can be a real thing that happens on a regular basis. We'll take a bit of the edge off and say 15/7/2/1? That's still going to have him in Big East Player of the Year conversations.
Worst Nightmare: He is what he is: An excellent complimentary player that can be called upon for a moment or two, but can't corral his athletic ability into dominance on the court.
Go ahead and take a Xanax break. I understand. This is the internet, we'll still be here when you get back.
We gave Wilson grades of 7, 6, and 2 respectively for those seasons. What on God's green earth can possibly make you think that you are getting anything other than the player you have seen for three years at Marquette here?
Oh, and by the way? Guess who was named the MVP of the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament after his team won the whole damn thing?
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