Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Paschal Chukwu's Big Numbers Against Duke

Paschal Chukwu had arguably the best game of his career in Syracuse's upset win over Duke on Monday night.  The 7'2" center pulled down 18 rebounds, scored 10 points, and made two clutch free throws down the stretch to ensure the win.  He did that against a Duke front line that had Zion Williamson and R.J. Barrett.  Both those gentleman had big nights too; Chukwu wasn't stopping them.  But he was impacting the ability of the rest of Duke's players to drive the paint.  They had to be content shooting from the perimeter, and the Orange pushed them back and dared them to beat them from there; Duke failed.
Would you believe...
Paschal Chukwu
Paschal Chukwu

...that Paschal Chukwu has had twelve games at Syracuse with 10+ rebounds?
Chukwu has definitely regressed this season; I think we would all agree he isn’t playing at the same level as he did last year.
Yet, if you look at his productivity per 40 minutes, it is up this year:
8.6 points vs 7.9 points
12.8 rebounds vs 10.0 rebounds
3.7 blocks vs 3.6 blocks
65% FG shooting both years
63% FT shooting both years

7 steals vs 1.0 steals
His turnovers and his fouls are both up this year. 
2.3 turnovers vs 1.6 turnovers
6.8 fouls vs 4.6

His is maddeningly inconsistent, last year and this year. He misses so many shots he should make, and has more turnovers than he should for as little as he touches the ball. 17 turnovers this year and 31 field goal attempts. Just maddening.
Yet, in many ways he’s been productive at times, particularly in the rebounding and shot alteration capacity. He’s never met the expectations I think we had, but he’s also far from a bust.

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