Player A: 11 Games, 35.64 Minutes Per Game, 0.52 Points Per Minute, 54.80% Effective FG%, 0.65 Free Throw Rate, 65.50% Free Throw%, 11.70% Offensive Rebounding%, 26.50% Defensive Rebounding%, 1.70% Block%, 1.40 Steal%, 11.50% Assist%, and 11.30% Turnover%.
Player B: 11 Games, 25.36 Minutes Per Game, 0.52 Points Per Minute, 57.30% Effective FG%, 0.57 Free Throw Rate, 82.40% Free Throw%, 15.40% Offensive Rebounding%, 22.70% Defensive Rebounding%, 6.00% Block%, 1.00 Steal%, 3.20 Assist%, and 21.10% Turnover%.
Pretty similar players, huh? What if I told you, that Player A, was a McDonald's All-American and was a top 5 recruit coming out of high school? What if I also told you, that Player B, was none of those things. That Player B was only offered a scholarship by smaller school's out East. Would you believe it? Can you guess who these two mystery players are?
If you guessed Player A was the Big 10's top freshman this year, Jared Sullinger, then you guessed correct. Now, can you tell me who Player B is? Since this is a Hawkeye blog, that should give you an idea. It's none other than the Hawkeyes own, and Fran McCaffery's prized recruit, Melsahn Basabe.
Those stats above are what these two players have accumulated in conference play so far. I was shocked to find that they were so similar.
As you can see, since conference play has kicked off, Basabe has put the ball in the basket at the same rate (0.52 points per minute) as Sullinger. He has also shot the ball better, 57.30% effective FG% to 54.80%. Sullinger gets to the free throw line more often, as his free throw rate (free throw attempts per field goal attempts) is 0.65 compared to Basabe's 0.57. However, when Basabe has gotten to the line he has made 82.40% of his free throw's in Big 10 play, compared to Sullinger's 65.50%. Sullinger has about a 4% edge in defensive rebounding, while Basabe has about a 4% edge in offensive rebounding. Basabe has also blocked about 4.5% more shots than Sullinger has.
Now, I'm not saying that Basabe is better, or that he is a lottery pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. Obviously, Sullinger is the better player. Basabe turns the ball over about 10% more often than Sullinger, while dishing out about 8% fewer assists. Plus, Sullinger's numbers are very impressive, when you consider he plays about 10 minutes more per game than Basabe on average.
This is only an 11 game sample, so there could be a lot of random chance in here. But, it is 11 games against very good competition, and since they are in the same conference, it is against the same competition. What this does though, is give you an idea of just how good Basabe has been over the past month and some change. I think what this also shows, is that if Iowa fans aren't already excited about Melasahn Basabe, they should get excited. Because he looks like the real deal.