With the 2013-2014 season now in the books, we take a moment to look back at the performance that each member of YOUR Marquette Golden Eagles this year. While we're at it, we'll also take a look back at our player previews and see how our preseason prognostications stack up with how things actually played out. We'll run through roster in order of total minutes played (lowest to highest). That brings us to today's final review...
#12 - Junior - 6'1" - 215 lb.
Minimum Expectation: In the eyes of this internet ranter, the bar for Derrick Wilson is pretty low. There HAS to be some sort of improvement in the "putting the ball through the hoop" department, right? In last year's preview, we hoped for baby steps. "Maybe he'll improve free throws" we mused. Nope. He actually shot 2 points lower from the strip in his sophomore season. In fact all of his percentages declined with his expanded role last season. That can't bode well for this year, when he appears primed to get starter's minutes. So, I guess the minimum expectation for Derrick this year is that he doesn't play any worse.
In My Wildest Dream: I'm not even going to talk about the idea of some quantum leap forward in Derrick's offensive prowess. That ain't happening. What I really hope for is for someone else to emerge and relieve Derrick of the need to be the lead guard for this team - whether it be John Dawson, Duane Wilson (after some laying of hands and anointing with oils), Todd Mayo, or whoever. Then, Derrick can go back to being the defensive stopper, role player type that he seems to be best suited for. And if, in this dream scenario, Derrick can take a few of those offensive baby steps, then he would increase his value as a contributor off the bench.
My Worst Nightmare: Derrick plays poorly... and plays A LOT. Buzz Williams has shown that he will reward guys that put in the work, and stick with it over time. Based off what he has said in the past, I have no doubt that Derrick Wilson is one of those guys. I believe that Buzz feels Derrick has earned his shot this season. And I am terrified of how things will go if Derrick plays like he did last season, but Buzz decides that he's his guy and we're going to sink or swim with Derrick at point guard.
Welcome to The Derrick Wilson Apologists Hour! I'm your host, Brewtown Andy.
Today, we're going to be acknowledging the massive flaws that should probably have hindered Wilson from getting to the point where he played more minutes than anyone else on the team, while pointing out his significant strengths that benefited the team while he was on the floor.
Ok, first things first: Derrick Wilson is a horrible shooter. If 39/7/44 isn't the worst shooting splits for a starting guard in all of Division 1, I'd like to see the record of the team that started a guard that shot the ball worse than Wilson.
I wanted to get that out of the way because it was important to lay that on the table. I know he was a terrible shooter, I know his terrible shooting led to him not wanting to shoot the ball, and I know that him not wanting to shoot the ball led to a massive snarl in the rest of the offensive game plan.
But, I present to you the following table, taking advanced statistics from KenPom.com:
Since you're all smart people, I'm not going to try to hide the mystery on you. A glance at the 11.6 in the %Shots column, or the percentage of a team's shots that the player took, will make it fairly obvious to you that Player B is Derrick Wilson in the 2013-14 season. So the question becomes: Who are Player A and Player C?
Player A is Junior Cadougan's junior season, while Player C is Junior Cadougan's senior season.
You'll see that Wilson's Offensive Efficiency Rating drops neatly inbetween the two seasons from Cadougan, and he did that while playing more of Marquette's minutes than Cadougan ever did. Wilson's effective field goal percentage this year was nearly the same as Cadougan's junior year, his offensive rebounding was twice as good as Cadougan's ever was, while his defensive rebounding was nearly the same as Cadougan's senior year. Wilson never had the assist rate that Cadougan did, but Wilson did finish #217th in the country this season in percentage of his team's baskets that came from a pass by him. Wilson was much better at taking care of the ball, and just slightly better than Junior at taking it away from the opponent. That steal rate had Wilson ranked #393rd in the country this season. The Free Throw Rate is slightly skewed by Wilson's unwillingness to shoot the ball, but he drew fouls at essentially the same rate per 40 minutes played as Cadougan did in either season.
Yes, the shooting is a massive flaw. But Derrick found lots of other ways to contribute on the floor, and in a lot of ways, measured up to the output that Marquette fans had seen over the past two seasons from the native of Canada.
Did Derrick's shooting cause major mismatches on the floor because of how he was defended? Sure thing. But that doesn't mean that he didn't deserve to be out there. If you want to make the argument that he shouldn't have been playing as many minutes as he did because there was a viable offensive option behind him on the bench, I think you'll find that I agree with you. But Derrick was a dependable and reliable hand in most facets of the game. He just isn't good at the one that's the most important: putting the ball through the rim.
Best Game: 14 points, four rebounds, and seven assists for the junior certainly sounds like the best game of the season. Unfortunately, those are Wilson's numbers from the game at Arizona State, and that game ended with the 6'1" Wilson taking it to the rim against the 7'2" Jordan Bachynski. Double unfortunately, there's not a lot else here that's exciting. 14/2/2? The Super Bowl Saturday loss to St. John's. 13/6/3? The overtime loss to Butler. 2/6/9? Double overtime loss to St. John's on Senior Day. So, even though it featured arguably the worst shot of Wilson's season, the full 40 minute effort against Arizona State was the best game of the season for him.
Season Grade (1 - Worst Nightmare, 10 - Wildest Dream): Here's the deal: Derrick shot the ball three times more per game than last season and he had the highest FG% of his Marquette career by a wide margin. He shot four and a half times as many free throws as the year before, and his FT% only fell by eight thousandths of a point. No, they're not very good numbers, but they are good for Wilson, and they are improvements. I don't think I can go any higher than a 6, because Wilson never developed into anything dangerous offensively and no one else on the team measured up in Buzz Williams' eye to take Derrick's spot away from him. This was not a bad season when taking everything into account. It just wasn't any good.