Monday, December 26, 2016

Howard and P5 Games

I have been simply baffled by the Jekyll and Hyde performance of Syracuse point guard Franklin Howard this season.  His performance against P5 schools is dramatically worse than his performance against non-P5 schools.  

I understand that it is a tougher level of competition.  However, his performance against non-P5 schools is simply outstanding.

In the seven wins the Orange have against non-P5 schools, Howard has averaged 24.5 minutes of play. In that time he has game averages of:

8.9 points per game
9.1 assists per game
2.1 turnovers per game
3.2 rebounds per game
2.3 steals per game
4.3 assists/turnover ratio
9-17 three point shots (52.9%)

In the five games against P5 schools, all losses, Howard has averaged 22 minutes of play.  His averages are:

5.6 points per game
2.8 assists per game
2.8 turnovers per game
1.4 rebounds per game
1.8 steals per game
1.0 assists/turnover ratio
2-13 Three point shots (15.4%)

It's not like there is a one game aberration distorting the statistics.  He has played poorly in all five P5 games, and well to outstanding the remaining games.

Frank Howard - Orange Point guard
Frank Howard
Clearly he has the physical tools to excel.  Four games with 11+ assists is not a fluke.  

In part his stats would be dragged down with his teammates also underperforming.  Of course, we get into issues of cause and effect there. Are Howard's stats down because his teammates are underperforming, or are Howard's teammates stats down because Howard is underperforming.  Obviously... it's both, but to what extent?

The 'cupcakes' are easier games.  I understand that.  But keep in mind that this year's team has scored 90+ points against four of those cupcake teams.  The 2015-2016 team never scored 90 points.  Nor did the 2014-2015 team.  The 2013-2014 and 2012-2013 teams each did it only three times  The last Orange team to score 90+ points in 4 games was 2011-2012, and that was a very special team.

So this year's team has the potential to be very special on offense, but they aren't delivering routinely.

I am hoping Howard can improve and grow into strong play against P5 teams. The ACC schedule starts after the next game, and that will be all he sees for the remainder of the year.