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). Today we take examine the season of Jamil Wilson.
#0 - Senior - 6'7" - 230lbs
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.
Coming into this season, one could have made the argument that Marquette's 2013-2014 season would hinge on how well Jamil Wilson played. And if you did make that argument, it would be pretty much impossible for anyone to tell you that you were wrong.
Jamil was the player that MU needed to make the leap from Robin to Batman this season. For the previous three seasons, we've watched Jamil and taken note of the immense talent that seemed to be waiting to be unleashed. We said, "Man, if he can ever put it all together, look out." And towards the end of last season, it seemed as though he might in fact be "putting it all together." His performances down the stretch and in the NCAA Tournament had people believing that this would be the year that Jamil finally emerged as the dominant player that we all thought he could be.
But instead, Wilson had an up and down, hit or miss season that perfectly mirrored the one turned in by the team as a whole. There were moments, where you thought just maybe, Jamil was going to get on track. But unfortunately those moments were far too rare.
To be fair, Wilson came up big a couple times this season. He almost single-handedly brought MU back to steal the game from Wisconsin, in Madison. He was exceptional in the road win against Seton Hall. But all too often he was a non-factor. Starting with his 3 points on 1-9 shooting against Ohio State. Then there was the 5 points in 12 minutes in the loss at Xavier. The epic 1 point, 13 minute clunker (complete with benching and/or injury) at St. John's. All the way up to the 5 point, 1-4 shooting, disappearing act in the loss at Villanova.
Frequently, Jamil would prevent himself from ever getting going in a game, by picking up early (and often unnecessary) fouls. He led he Golden Eagles in total fouls with 94 - that's 10 more than the next closest player (which was Jake Thomas, surprisingly). He fouled out five times - no other player had more than two. Also, I have always felt that Jamil relied too heavily on the jumper. This year he was 2nd on the team in 3-point attempts, but shot just 32.7%. There was also some discussion about the possibility that Jamil was playing hurt for the latter part of the season. We do know that he had a knee sprain towards the end of the non-conference season, but we didn't hear much about it after that, so it's hard to know if that had any lasting effect on his play for the rest of the season.
So whatever the reason (fouls, shot selection, injuries, coaching, etc.) the fact is that, much like the team's, Jamil Wilson's season can be summed up in one word: Disappointing.
Best Game: It was clearly the game at Seton Hall. Jamil scored 25 points, on 8-14 shooting, 4-5 on 3-pointers, and 5-5 on free throws. He dominated the glass - grabbing 10 boards. But most impressively he played under control, with poise and patience. This was the Jamil Wilson that Marquette needed to see more of this season.
Season Grade: Looking at where we set the minimum expectation bar for stats, Jamil was in the neighborhood. He started every game, so there's that. And rather than going for 13/5/2, he went for nearly 12/6/3. That's close enough for me. And the 5.9 rebounds per game, did lead the team. However, the shooting percentages were another story. His 42.8 FG%, 32.7 3PT% and 67.0 FT% were all the lowest in his Marquette career. But since there were moments when Jamil was clearly more than a complimentary player, I think he's above the Worst Nightmare scenario - but not by a lot - so we will give Jamil Wilson a 2 for the season. Unfortunately we needed him to be about a 9.