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2017-18 Marquette Basketball Player Review: #2 Sacar Anim

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The redshirt soph had a quietly pretty great year.

NCAA Basketball: Seton Hall at Marquette Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

I’m pretty impressed with the way the Marquette basketball fan community comes up with nicknames and catchphrases. #TheThing is the obvious one that comes to mind, since it appeared on multiple national broadcasts on multiple networks, but we also have The Milkman and its variations, Theology John baptizing fools that he dunks on or blocks, The Condors, things of that nature. There is, however, one painfully obvious nickname that the Marquette faithful have not latched onto.

Why is Sacar Anim not called Scar?

I’m normally against wedging a nickname like this, but it’s been a year you guys. We need to speed the process up. It’s a perfect match and frankly I’m disappointed in you all. Typing in “Scar” into Twitter’s gif search bar gives you ample material to work with, plus Be Prepared is a perfect song choice for when Anim starts to heat up.

This is something to consider as I now present the Top 5 Disney Villain Songs.

5. Poor Unfortunate Souls - The Little Mermaid

The song itself is a little meh. If we’re being honest the movie overall has a subpar soundtrack by Disney standards, but this makes the list because of the scene it occupies. It’s really well done.

4. Hellfire - The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Very underrated villain song in part because it’s just about a horny archdeacon who wants to bang a gypsy but also might kill her instead. Disney probably had to cut out a buttload of R rated material from the original novel to make this movie, but there was somehow no way they could cut that out.

Crass oversimplifications aside, the song does a great job at portraying the haunting nature of Frollo’s feelings. The choir in the background makes anyone feel like whatever they’re doing at the moment is a mortal sin.

3. Gaston - Beauty and the Beast

So damn catchy.

2. In the Dark of the Night - Anastasia

Yes I know it’s not actually a Disney movie. This is also, at some point, going to become a post about basketball, so maybe be aware of how little of a shit I give about writing structure before coming at me with those Twitter fingers.

I actually had this at 1 originally, partially out of my desire to make people as angry as possible, but also because this is such a great song. By far the best chorus of any villain song and maybe the best big finish. It’s just not as well known because the movie itself isn’t really good enough to get over the hump created by it not being a Disney movie.

Fun fact: neither Jeremy Irons, who voiced Scar, nor Christopher Lloyd, who voice Rasputin, sang their villain songs. Both were sung by Jim Cummings. I don’t know anything else about him.

1. Be Prepared - The Lion King

I can’t find any fault in this song. The slow buildup to a full on Nazi parade is done to perfection and the lyrics are just a tremendous blend of evil and clever. If Scar were to rap battle against Kendrick Lamar, then K Dot is being rolled out in a gurney after Scar drops a devastating one-liner comparing him to an East African Oryx or something. The bridge of the song is also perfect because at the exact time Scar is transforming to a full-blown psycho killer there’s also a tectonic plate shift unlike anything the world has seen in a scientific coincidence only matched by the parting of the Red Sea.

Where were we? Oh, right, basketball.

Sacar Anim

Redshirt Sophomore - #2 - Guard - 6’5” - 210 lb. - Minneapolis, MN

Sacar Anim Traditional Stats

Games Min FGM FGA FG% 3PT M 3PA 3P% FTM FTA FT% OReb DReb Reb Ast Stl Blk Fouls Pts
Games Min FGM FGA FG% 3PT M 3PA 3P% FTM FTA FT% OReb DReb Reb Ast Stl Blk Fouls Pts
35 27.0 3.0 6.2 48.1 0.2 1.0 23.5 1.5 2.3 62.2 1.3 1.7 2.9 1.6 0.8 0.1 2.7 7.6

Sacar Anim Fancy Stats

ORtg %Poss %Shots eFG% TS% OR% DR% ARate TORate Blk% Stl% FC/40 FD/40 FTRate
ORtg %Poss %Shots eFG% TS% OR% DR% ARate TORate Blk% Stl% FC/40 FD/40 FTRate
104.5 16.5 15.6 50.0 52.4 5.8 7.8 10.3 17.2 0.2 1.7 4.1 3.2 38.0**

** - denotes KenPom top 500 ranking

What We Said:

Reasonable Expectations

Anim didn’t play all that much as a freshman because of the roster construction in front of him at the time. He got a whole year off from playing in order to hone his craft, and now he finds himself on a roster where the biggest hole in the lineup is trying to figure out who is going to play on the wing.

The wing, aka: exactly where Anim fits best. At 6’5”, he’s not a prototypical power forward, and while he may have come into college with a bit more of a physical presence than your average 18 year old, it’s probably not the best spot for him. Stretch four, maybe, small ball five? Nah, not really. Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens talks about needing a lead guard, a wing player, and a big, and then figuring out the other two spots in the lineup around those three. Anim can be that wing for Marquette.

I’m not saying that he’s going to lead the team in scoring, I’m not saying that he’s going to turn into an all-Big East level performer. I’m saying there’s a bunch of open minutes in the lineup for a guy who plays the way that Anim plays, and the timing has never been better for him to reach up and grab the brass ring and succeed for head coach Steve Wojciechowski.

Jesus that was really accurate. Props to Our Lord and Savior/Cult Leader Brewtown Andy for that. This prediction was aided a little by Haanif Cheatham’s departure, but that probably did more to help Jamal Cain’s minutes than it did Anim’s. Still, he went from a “It’d be a nice surprise to get some quality minutes from him” guy to a starter in the blink of an eye. He answered the call right off the bat with very good performances against some inferior competition, but good nonetheless.

His calling card is slashing. I had a roommate at Marquette who was big on guys who can create their own shot and I’ve taken a little bit of that for my own evaluative purposes. When defenses were dry humping Markus Howard and Andrew Rowsey, Anim was able to either draw defenders into the paint where he could kick out for better shots, or finish at the rim. It’s not like he was jaw-droppingly great at those parts of the game, but he was good enough to keep defenses worried about him. It led to games like at Creighton and DePaul in the Big East Tournament he was able to take over when no one else would.

Also don’t look now, but he kinda sorta became an effective three point shooter towards the end of the season. After starting the year 1-17 from deep (I can’t really type it out, but imagine I’m saying “Yuck” in the way that Pusha T does), he hit 7 of his last 17 trey balls. This team usually lacks an effective long range shooter, so any developments would be very welcome.

On the flippity flip (Great phrase, Ben. The youths will love that one), he could go unnoticed at times, and I don’t mean in the “hey, he was quietly great” way, I mean in the “wait, he was on the floor?” kind of way. In the overtime win at Georgetown, he played 33 minutes and took 2 shots. That’s probably going to be a running theme with most of these players, but I’ve got my eye on Scar (See? So easy to implement) to see how he reacts to more opportunities next year. Sam Hauser will definitely get more usage, but there’s a ceiling considering he insists on breaking the world record for heaviest basketball shoes on a nightly basis.

Defensively, I’d say he was the most complete player on the team, but that’s on a similar level of Derek Dietrich being the Marlins leadoff hitter. His worst moment was at the end of the DePaul BET game where he trusted Rowsey to do the right thing for some reason and it ended up giving Max Strus a wide open three at the buzzer. Then again, it’s always fun to see an athlete reacting the exact same way that the fan watching at home is reacting, and we got that out of the end of that game. We’ve got that going for us, which is nice.

If you remember the home Villanova game, you might remember that as the game Jalen Brunson took over and you’re really not wrong about that. He also made 9 of his 17 shots from inside the arc. Given how ridiculous he is and how small Howard and Rowsey are, Brunson should’ve made 18 of those, but Wojo put Anim on Brunson for like an 8 minute stretch in the second half that vaulted a Marquette run. He didn’t do anything special; he just stayed in front of Brunson and didn’t let himself get backed down. Then Wojo took him off Jalen and Villanova scored like a million points, but that was just the solid defender Anim was.

Best Game

Anim played with some real sauce in Omaha. When Markus Howard went out for the game with an injury and Marquette was down double digits by halftime, Sacar Anim of all people just dragged the Golden Eagles to a win over Creighton. He ended up with 26 points on 11 of 15 shooting. Cannot be understated how huge that performance was for Marquette’s tournament hopes at the time (#DontLoseToDePaul). It made us all realize the true star potential and heart this guy has.

Season Score

I’m going to go with an 8, mainly because of what most of us expected from him at the start of the year. He ended up being the 4th best player on the team pretty comfortably.

In terms of how I view teams, I’m not particularly high on how many players a coach puts on the court in a particular game, but I am pretty big on teams that aren’t just stars and scrubs. Last year’s Oklahoma team is a clear example of how that goes poorly, and some of the early-2010s Los Angeles Dodgers teams and the pre-tank Chicago White Sox exemplify that as well if you like cross-sport references.

My worry with the team coming into the year was that the Treys Amigos (another great nickname) were going to be expected to do absolutely everything for them to win. For the most part they ended up doing everything, but they really didn’t need to. The contributions from the freshmen and Anim really made the gap from the best player to the worst not as big as one would expect. It makes me a lot more comfortable going into next year that Anim can help fill Rowsey’s shoes as one of the primary options on offense with the added ability to play defense.