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Thread: My All-Time Utah Pure Assassin Team

  1. #1
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    My All-Time Utah Pure Assassin Team

    Taken purely from shooting percentages.

    Thinking about Brandon Taylor and the ensuing topic of getting to the line, I took my obsession with stat geekdom a step further, and put together an all-time Utah team for pure shooters, dating back to the 1986-87 season, when the 3-point shot was introduced full-time into the college game. So here goes:

    Point guard: Johnnie Bryant. He's the only Utah player with three seasons of 40 percent or better from 3. He's the all-time school leader in 3-point percentage (.440). Two of this three seasons rank in the top 10 single-season marks. And in his senior year, he was three FGs away from becoming the second 50-40-90 man in Utah history. That's 50 percent from the field (.492 for Bryant), 40 percent from 3 (.443) and 90 percent from the line (.922). That last mark would also be a Utah single-season mark except he didn't reach the 100 attempts needed to qualify, with only 64. Given the rarity of having a 100 FTA man on your team, I think it's an excessively high benchmark.

    Shooting guard: Marc Jackson. Another player who flirted with the 50-40-90 mark, shooting 50-45-84 in his sophomore season of 2002-03. Even with a year off, returned to shoot 45-45-85 as a senior. Unlike JB, Sparc was a prolific FT shooter, with 253 FTAs in his final two seasons. His career .438 3PT is second in school history and his .844 FT is third all-time.

    Small forward: Shaun Green. Green is the only single-season 50-50 player in school history, turning the trick in his sophomore year in 2006-07. He's also the only player to shoot 50 percent from 3 for a single season, making 64 of 125. His career .412 from 3 is good for 7th all-time and is just .001 behind Alex Jensen for the top career mark by a frontcourt player at the U.

    Power forward: Josh Grant. I give Grant the edge here for one reason: the distinction of being the only 50-40-90 player in school history. And Grant didn't squeak into earning this distinction -- he destroyed the standard by going 53-44-92 as a senior. Side note: Jimmy Soto went 46-42-83 and had more FTAs than Grant, making this probably the greatest/most prolific shooting tandem in this era. Grant also flirted with this mark as a sophomore, going 52-41-80.

    What about Keith Van Horn? Quite honestly, you could put KVH here and not be wrong (You could also accuse me of overcompensating on Grant's behalf for consistently underrating his career). KVH nearly hit the 50-40-90 mark as a true (52-44-78) as a junior (54-41-85) and as a senior (49-39-90). There is plenty of evidence to back both players.

    Center: Andrew Bogut shot a better percentage. Luke Nevill shot an even better percentage and made it to the line more times to boot. But neither had Michael Doleac's inside-outside game. Doleac might be, in addition to Bryant, the second player with three 40 percent 3PT shooting seasons, but the website from which I got a lot of these stats -- http://www.sports-reference.com -- does not have Utah's single-season stats from Doleac's sophomore year. Otherwise, he shot 44 and 41 percent as a junior and senior, with obviously fewer attempts than JB. He was a 200-plus FTAs as a senior, making just under 81 percent of his attempts, while shooting 78 percent in a 170-plus FTA junior year.

    Interesting Rivalry Sidenote: Jimmer Fredette never shot better than 50 percent from the field for a single season, and only shot better than 40 percent from 3 (his junior year) once. He was an 88 percent FT shooter, but never broke 90 percent. His best year was his junior year, when he shot 46-44-89. Fredette could do some incredible things with the ball, and his range within these players is superior. But when you consider from an accuracy standpoint that Fredette falls behind every Utah player mentioned here in multiple categories over multiple seasons, save for those involving a 7-0 center, it puts more into perspective Fredette's career.

  2. #2
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Thanks, SCP. I did not appreciate how good Josh Grant was. I thought he was great, but didn't get the magnitude. (Partly because in those days it was hard to see the Utes a lot on TV, and I couldn't make it to many games.)

    I have fond memories of Soto too. One game in particular stands out. It was a close game against BYU and Jimmy was fouled in an incredible pressure-packed situation. I think he had a 1-and -1 with only a few seconds to go, with Utah down 1 or 2 points. Soto was practically beaming. He knew he'd make the shots, and he did. I wish I could recall the details. I loved the guy's heart and was always glad to see the ball was in his hands.

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  3. #3
    It really points to how bad of a coach that Giac was when you consider he had Nevill, Green, and Bryant during his two lost seasons.
    “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarid in Cedar View Post
    It really points to how bad of a coach that Giac was when you consider he had Nevill, Green, and Bryant during his two lost seasons.
    Offense was definitely not our problem under Ray. But defense was, and in his final year he couldn't win a close game to save his life.

  5. #5
    Great post, Pat. I do think that you need to give a little extra consideration for volume. For example, KVH averaged about 75 more shots per year than Grant, which is going to result in lower percentages. That's also why it's probably not fair to compare Jimmer to these guys. I'd be shocked if Jimmer in his prime couldn't shoot circles around Jackson, if they were taking the same shots.

    Again, great post and great research. For someone who grew up watching these guys, I really appreciate the analysis.

  6. #6
    Where would Nick Jackobon fit into your equations, socalpat? I loved that guy.

    Also, as far as intangibles go, Andre Miller was off the charts, IMO... Majerus was also "off the charts" WRT intangibles, I think -- I loved that guy so damn much.
    Last edited by scottie; 03-19-2013 at 01:02 AM.

  7. #7
    I once made out with Doleac's girlfriend. Not sure how that adds to the discussion but there really isn't a forum to share that jewel very often.

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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Scratch View Post
    Great post, Pat. I do think that you need to give a little extra consideration for volume. For example, KVH averaged about 75 more shots per year than Grant, which is going to result in lower percentages. That's also why it's probably not fair to compare Jimmer to these guys. I'd be shocked if Jimmer in his prime couldn't shoot circles around Jackson, if they were taking the same shots.

    Again, great post and great research. For someone who grew up watching these guys, I really appreciate the analysis.

    Dont know about your Jimmer assertion. He really has one year of large volume, his senior year, and he shot 39.4% From beyond the arc. His first 3 years were 128, 136 and 175 for 3P attempts. His last year 313. Those first 3 years he goes 33.6, 38.2 and 44 %. His best overall FG% was 48% his sophomore year. He never broke 46% his other 3 seasons.

    He seems to be a player who doesn't really have a big change in accuracy depending on shoot volume, it just changes his points as he has more chances.

    Compare his first 3 years to Bryant's 3 years and Bryant has more makes, more attempts and a higher percentage.

    Jimmer's senior year is an outlier for many reasons, most notably his ability to hog the ball

  10. #10
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diehard Ute View Post
    Jimmer's senior year is an outlier for many reasons, most notably his ability to hog the ball
    He may have also been the most indifferent defender in the history of D1 basketball.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
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    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post
    The thing that made Fredette more than just another undersized gunner was his ability to get to the line. He shot 250+ FTs as a junior and as a senior. He could shoot fine, but there are always short white guys who can shoot. His gift was getting to the line.
    Absolutely. The long-range shots would get fans excited, but Jimmer's strength of his game was 15-feet in. I can't believe I missed the FTAs stat. That is absolutely sick for a guard. At Utah, those figures would rank 2nd (senior year) and 4th all-time single season, with only Billy McGill and Mike Newlin ahead of him, and they both played without the 3-point line. The only players Utah has in single-season FTAs top 10 are centers (Doleac, Nevill). And contrary to most, Jimmer's FT percentage went up the more he went to the line, as his career-best single season FT% of .894 came on a career-high 282 attempts.

    I think Diehard was being TIC to some degree, but with that kind of efficiency, why would you let anyone else shoot unless they had a wide-open layup? Yeah, his defense was non-existent, but Utah never had a player who could get his shot off in the 3-point era like Fredette.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scottie View Post
    Where would Nick Jackobon fit into your equations, socalpat? I loved that guy.

    Also, as far as intangibles go, Andre Miller was off the charts, IMO... Majerus was also "off the charts" WRT intangibles, I think -- I loved that guy so damn much.
    Jacobson comes in right behind Jackson, and although the differences are slight, they are noticeable. Nick shot 44-43-81 for his career; Jackson 46-44-84. Also, Jacobson had the benefit of four continuous years of play. Jackson NEVER played in consecutive seasons.

    I might add that this thread is exactly why statistics don't always tell the whole story. They're good for a magazine takeout piece or short story, but never an entire book.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scratch View Post
    Great post, Pat. I do think that you need to give a little extra consideration for volume. For example, KVH averaged about 75 more shots per year than Grant, which is going to result in lower percentages. That's also why it's probably not fair to compare Jimmer to these guys. I'd be shocked if Jimmer in his prime couldn't shoot circles around Jackson, if they were taking the same shots.

    Again, great post and great research. For someone who grew up watching these guys, I really appreciate the analysis.
    Agreed on KVH and volume, but he also didn't serve a mission or suffer a season-ending injury that he had to rehab from, either.

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    Administrator U-Ute's Avatar
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    Maybe I'm just being sentimental, but I'd take Soto over Bryant at the PG.

    Bryant may have the numbers, but Soto was one hell of a PG. He understood the game.

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    Administrator U-Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoCalPat View Post
    Jacobson comes in right behind Jackson, and although the differences are slight, they are noticeable. Nick shot 44-43-81 for his career; Jackson 46-44-84. Also, Jacobson had the benefit of four continuous years of play. Jackson NEVER played in consecutive seasons.

    I might add that this thread is exactly why statistics don't always tell the whole story. They're good for a magazine takeout piece or short story, but never an entire book.
    I think Jackson was a better defender too. For all his offensive heroics, Nick had lead feet on D.

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    Quote Originally Posted by U-Ute View Post
    Maybe I'm just being sentimental, but I'd take Soto over Bryant at the PG.

    Bryant may have the numbers, but Soto was one hell of a PG. He understood the game.
    Not sentimental, just forgetful of the criteria I'm basing this on.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by SoCalPat View Post
    Taken purely from shooting percentages.

    Thinking about Brandon Taylor and the ensuing topic of getting to the line, I took my obsession with stat geekdom a step further, and put together an all-time Utah team for pure shooters, dating back to the 1986-87 season, when the 3-point shot was introduced full-time into the college game. So here goes:

    Point guard: Johnnie Bryant. He's the only Utah player with three seasons of 40 percent or better from 3. He's the all-time school leader in 3-point percentage (.440). Two of this three seasons rank in the top 10 single-season marks. And in his senior year, he was three FGs away from becoming the second 50-40-90 man in Utah history. That's 50 percent from the field (.492 for Bryant), 40 percent from 3 (.443) and 90 percent from the line (.922). That last mark would also be a Utah single-season mark except he didn't reach the 100 attempts needed to qualify, with only 64. Given the rarity of having a 100 FTA man on your team, I think it's an excessively high benchmark.

    Shooting guard: Marc Jackson. Another player who flirted with the 50-40-90 mark, shooting 50-45-84 in his sophomore season of 2002-03. Even with a year off, returned to shoot 45-45-85 as a senior. Unlike JB, Sparc was a prolific FT shooter, with 253 FTAs in his final two seasons. His career .438 3PT is second in school history and his .844 FT is third all-time.

    Small forward: Shaun Green. Green is the only single-season 50-50 player in school history, turning the trick in his sophomore year in 2006-07. He's also the only player to shoot 50 percent from 3 for a single season, making 64 of 125. His career .412 from 3 is good for 7th all-time and is just .001 behind Alex Jensen for the top career mark by a frontcourt player at the U.

    Power forward: Josh Grant. I give Grant the edge here for one reason: the distinction of being the only 50-40-90 player in school history. And Grant didn't squeak into earning this distinction -- he destroyed the standard by going 53-44-92 as a senior. Side note: Jimmy Soto went 46-42-83 and had more FTAs than Grant, making this probably the greatest/most prolific shooting tandem in this era. Grant also flirted with this mark as a sophomore, going 52-41-80.

    What about Keith Van Horn? Quite honestly, you could put KVH here and not be wrong (You could also accuse me of overcompensating on Grant's behalf for consistently underrating his career). KVH nearly hit the 50-40-90 mark as a true (52-44-78) as a junior (54-41-85) and as a senior (49-39-90). There is plenty of evidence to back both players.

    Center: Andrew Bogut shot a better percentage. Luke Nevill shot an even better percentage and made it to the line more times to boot. But neither had Michael Doleac's inside-outside game. Doleac might be, in addition to Bryant, the second player with three 40 percent 3PT shooting seasons, but the website from which I got a lot of these stats -- http://www.sports-reference.com -- does not have Utah's single-season stats from Doleac's sophomore year. Otherwise, he shot 44 and 41 percent as a junior and senior, with obviously fewer attempts than JB. He was a 200-plus FTAs as a senior, making just under 81 percent of his attempts, while shooting 78 percent in a 170-plus FTA junior year.

    Interesting Rivalry Sidenote: Jimmer Fredette never shot better than 50 percent from the field for a single season, and only shot better than 40 percent from 3 (his junior year) once. He was an 88 percent FT shooter, but never broke 90 percent. His best year was his junior year, when he shot 46-44-89. Fredette could do some incredible things with the ball, and his range within these players is superior. But when you consider from an accuracy standpoint that Fredette falls behind every Utah player mentioned here in multiple categories over multiple seasons, save for those involving a 7-0 center, it puts more into perspective Fredette's career.

    Terrific post. Makes you appreciate how good Jackson, Grant and Soto were. Makes you also appreciate how underrated Green and Bryant were. Note that 3 of your top 5 were local kids. We are good when we get good local kids.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    Thanks, SCP. I did not appreciate how good Josh Grant was. I thought he was great, but didn't get the magnitude. (Partly because in those days it was hard to see the Utes a lot on TV, and I couldn't make it to many games.)

    I have fond memories of Soto too. One game in particular stands out. It was a close game against BYU and Jimmy was fouled in an incredible pressure-packed situation. I think he had a 1-and -1 with only a few seconds to go, with Utah down 1 or 2 points. Soto was practically beaming. He knew he'd make the shots, and he did. I wish I could recall the details. I loved the guy's heart and was always glad to see the ball was in his hands.

    Plus, Soto's assist to turnover ratio was unreal. Behind Andre, he and Jackson were the best point guards in my life time who played at the U.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Two Utes View Post
    Plus, Soto's assist to turnover ratio was unreal. Behind Andre, he and Jackson were the best point guards in my life time who played at the U.
    2.54-1 as a senior to Miller's 1.98-1.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by U-Ute View Post
    I think Jackson was a better defender too. For all his offensive heroics, Nick had lead feet on D.
    I'm pretty sure Jackson came in second in voting for conference player of the year the last year he played for Majerus. And yet, Majerus chased him. Big Rick's reign on the Hill was clearly coming to an end at that time.

    Jackson might be the most underrated player of all time to play at the U.

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    Message Board Vagabond UteBeliever aka Port's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by U-Ute View Post
    I think Jackson was a better defender too. For all his offensive heroics, Nick had lead feet on D.
    Overall, I agree, but by his senior year, Nick had developed into a pretty decent defender. I think saying he had lead feet is a bit harsh.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Two Utes View Post
    I'm pretty sure Jackson came in second in voting for conference player of the year the last year he played for Majerus. And yet, Majerus chased him. Big Rick's reign on the Hill was clearly coming to an end at that time.

    Jackson might be the most underrated player of all time to play at the U.
    He was second-team all-MWC and was widely regarded as the top sixth man in the country. Agreed on how this was a clear-cut signal the sell-by date on Rick had arrived, but while Jackson's percentages were outstanding, his total numbers were not nearly good enough (9.3 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 2.3 APG) to warrant such high honors as POY.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Two Utes View Post
    I'm pretty sure Jackson came in second in voting for conference player of the year the last year he played for Majerus. And yet, Majerus chased him. Big Rick's reign on the Hill was clearly coming to an end at that time.

    Jackson might be the most underrated player of all time to play at the U.
    From what I've heard, Jackson may have done more harm to the U's program than any other singular individual in the past 20 years. He was actively doing all that he could to create discontentment on the team, with recruits, with parents, boosters, etc. He decided that he was going to take Majerus down because Majerus didn't appreciate him enough, and he didn't care what impact that had on the program.

  24. #24
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by U-Ute View Post
    Maybe I'm just being sentimental, but I'd take Soto over Bryant at the PG.

    Bryant may have the numbers, but Soto was one hell of a PG. He understood the game.
    Soto had the intangible ability to make the rest of the team better. Andre was the master at that. Jackson was good at it too.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scratch View Post
    From what I've heard, Jackson may have done more harm to the U's program than any other singular individual in the past 20 years. He was actively doing all that he could to create discontentment on the team, with recruits, with parents, boosters, etc. He decided that he was going to take Majerus down because Majerus didn't appreciate him enough, and he didn't care what impact that had on the program.
    I have to believe these rumors are exaggerated. Otherwise, why would a first-year coach in Giacoletti -- who would have had better knowledge of Jackson's past, as related to him by others close to the program -- bring back such a cancerous element into his locker room? Also, Jackson's play on the floor was hardly that of a me-first player.

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Scratch View Post
    From what I've heard, Jackson may have done more harm to the U's program than any other singular individual in the past 20 years. He was actively doing all that he could to create discontentment on the team, with recruits, with parents, boosters, etc. He decided that he was going to take Majerus down because Majerus didn't appreciate him enough, and he didn't care what impact that had on the program.
    That's not what I heard. I heard he met with Majerus after the season and asked him to stop calling him a c***. Majerus responded by telling him that he was a c*** and to take a hike.

    Jackson came back after one year and led us to the sweet sixteen with Bogut. I'm having a hard time believing he torched the program and then agreed to valiantly return a year later. I do know that Run DMC was not happy with him (but that likely had a lot more to do with the fact that Drisdom wanted Jackson's minutes than anything else).

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Two Utes View Post
    That's not what I heard. I heard he met with Majerus after the season and asked him to stop calling him a c***. Majerus responded by telling him that he was a c*** and to take a hike.

    Jackson came back after one year and led us to the sweet sixteen with Bogut. I'm having a hard time believing he torched the program and then agreed to valiantly return a year later. I do know that Run DMC was not happy with him (but that likely had a lot more to do with the fact that Drisdom wanted Jackson's minutes than anything else).
    Whatever. The global outpouring of love for Majerus when he died was stunning, and this 2013 St. Louis U. team is a monument to his genius. Meanwhile, all the wusses who hated him are forgotten except by us geeks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeattleUte View Post
    Whatever. The global outpouring of love for Majerus when he died was stunning, and this 2013 St. Louis U. team is a monument to his genius. Meanwhile, all the wusses who hated him are forgotten except by us geeks.
    Nobody affiliated with the U. would ever question Maji's coaching acumen. He was brilliant.

    But he had also worn out his welcome at Utah. Coaches are hired to be fired is a cliche, but it's also gospel truth. We wanted Rick to be our Lavell Edwards, but let's face it -- Rick could never be our Lavell. We're talking about two entirely different types of personalities. If that's "hating" Majerus, so be it. But I think most reasonable people see the conclusion I'm trying to draw at, and the departure of Jackson largely underscores that. When you start experiencing a talent drain in your program, you have to make a change at the top.

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by SeattleUte View Post
    Whatever. The global outpouring of love for Majerus when he died was stunning, and this 2013 St. Louis U. team is a monument to his genius. Meanwhile, all the wusses who hated him are forgotten except by us geeks.
    He was a basketball genius and I don't hate him. However, as he progressed at Utah he became more abusive to everyone around him and I think it's nearly impossible to refute that.

    That doesn't change the fact that he was a basketball genius. I also have to think that the 2013 St. Louis team is indeed a reflection of him except that on ohffense, they are playing a lot looser than he would generally allow--really the best of all worlds.

    I'm simply relaying the story I heard.
    Last edited by Two Utes; 03-19-2013 at 10:24 AM.

  30. #30
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    I loved Majerus and what he did and I love looking at his sweater hanging there in the JMHC. I don't miss antics like his annual flirtations with other jobs, his taking a season off to care for his mother, and his resignation in mid-season based on a phony health claim. As SCP says, it was time. I wish RM could have stayed for the rest of his career but he chose not to.

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