With the season wrapped up, it's time to provide the bookend for the Player Previews we wrote to start the season. We'll take a look back at what we thought about each of the Marquette players back in November and see if we did a good job of prognostication. We continue our climb up the list of minutes played this year by moving on to sophomore forward Jamil Wilson.
Hit the jump!
|2011 - Jamil Wilson||34||24.1||2.8||6.2||44.8||0.3||0.9||34.5||1.2||1.7||70.7||1.7||2.4||4.1||1.1||1.1||0.7||1.4||2.8||7.1|
What We Said:
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. In case you're too lazy to click the link, here's what I'm talking about:
After two years at Marquette, "ODB" transferred to UNLV. He believed that leaving MU would get him a better role and closer to the NBA. This was a miscalculation, as he did not get drafted, and missed Marquette's Final Four run.
I was mulling this review over in my head yesterday and had presumed that it was going to be largely positive. But as pleased as I was with Mr. Wilson's season, it would appear that it didn't quite live up to the thought processes laid out in the preview that we wrote in November. But when we take the full view of Jamil's season, I don't think anyone's disappointed with it.
Things clearly got off to a slow start for Wilson this season. Even after a year of practice with the team in his rear view mirror, it seemed that both Jamil and Buzz were trying to figure out how Jamil fit in to the structure of the team. Buzz clearly wasn't ready to rely too heavily on him and Wilson was clearly not trying to push the issue on offense. Wilson's play on the court actually reminded me of what I saw of him in the Milwaukee Pro-Am last summer: Clearly paying attention and clearly a gifted athlete, but not entirely involved and not appearing to be trying to make an impact on the game.
And then Chris Otule got hurt.
That's when Jamil Wilson's role on this team became clearly defined. He became the more defensive minded option for post defense relative to Davante Gardner's offensive minded option. A clearly defined role led to more regular minutes which led to a clearly more comfortable Wilson. And when Gardner went down with injury, Wilson stepped into the starting lineup and became an even more important and valuable cog in the Marquette machine.
One of the most interesting contributions from Wilson were his blocked shots. He finished the season with 47, which is just eight blocks short of the top 10 single season blocks total that Otule posted in 2010-11. Wilson said during the season that Otule was helping coach him to get to more blocks and Buzz admitted that he would tell Wilson during time outs that Jamil was missing opportunities for blocks. With Wilson likely taking up Jae Crowder's starting spot next year, how many blocks can Otule and Wilson end up with when they get to play together?
Best Game: I'm going to go with the road trip to Providence. Wilson went on a 9-2 run against the Friars all on his own across 3:30 in the second half to push the game from a 57-57 tie to a 66-59 lead at the under 8 minute media time out. That stretch was key in getting Marquette from a 1 point halftime deficit to picking up their first Big East road win of the season with a seven point margin by the end.
Season Grade (1 is Worst Nightmare, 5 is Minimum Expectation, and 10 is Wildest Dream): While we made the comparison in the preview to Dwyane Wade, I think it's a slightly different Golden Eagle with a 3 on his uni that we can draw comparisons for Jamil's season: Jimmy Butler. Think back tosophomore season with Marquette: Took a while to figure out his place on the team, didn't need to be the focus on the offensive end, made his biggest contributions on defense, excelled at playing defense on much larger players. Any of that ringing any bells?
For the purposes of issuing a grade, I have to compare it to what we set out to start the season. Wilson's season long numbers don't hit that minimum expectation, but his numbers after moving into the starting lineup (9.2ppg, 5.3rpg) are right on target. So I'll give him credit for that and I'll give him a bonus point for figuring out his place within the team and another bonus point for not actually feeling like he only did the minimum and give Jamil's season a 7.