Tuesday, March 22, 2011

2010-2011 Season in Review: Devon Archie

At 6'9" 225 lbs, Devon Archie looks like a man that was born to play basketball. He has long arms and a very good vertical for a guy his size. However, that athletic ability hasn't quite translated into basketball talent. He's like that prospect in every baseball fan's farm system, that has the tools to be a good player but he just never develops. He is like the prospect that can hit the ball a mile long when he makes contact, the problem is he doesn't make contact very often. For those very knowledgeable in baseball, Archie is like Greg Halman (Mariners farm system, Google him if you don't know).

Archie will be a redshirt Senior next year, and after four years of college ball (two years at Iowa), the only thing that has developed is his knack for grabbing rebounds. In his 8 minutes per game this year (only 23 games played), Archie pulled down 24.87% of the opposing team's misses, and corralled 18.06% of Iowa's misses. Those are pretty insane rebounding numbers, even if they are only in 8 minutes stints. Other than the rebounding, Archie has flashed the ability to make a nice post move or block a few shots, but nothing real consistent. Going into next year, Archie is probably a bigger question mark than Brommer is. Like I mentioned with Marble and May, Archie has the tools, he just needs to put them together. The difference is, that unlike the other two, who have multiple years remaining, Archie only has next year to do it.

  • Rebounding- This is the biggest tool in Archie's arsenal. The problem is, that only playing 8 minutes per game limits him from racking up more than about 2 or 3 rebounds per game. If he would have put up the same defensive rebounding rate and offensive rebounding rate, but played more minutes per game, Archie would have finished first in the Big 10 in offensive rebounding and third in defensive rebounding. If he were to increase his minutes to 20 minutes per game, and still grab rebounds at the same 0.36 rebounds per minute pace, he would average 7.17 rebounds per game. That would be pretty valuable for Iowa. The main question is can he do enough in practice, to make Fran get him some playing time? Because his rebounding ability is pretty useless on the bench.
  • Free Throw Shooting- Saying Archie is bad at shooting free throws is an understatement. A more descriptive adjective would probably be something more like horrendous. Of his 23 attempts from the free throw line this year, he made only 6 (26.09%). Even more than that, he also had two airballs from the free throw line. One in partciular, I think during the last game vs Purdue, he had one that not only came up short of the rim, but it looked to be wide right of the rim also. If I remember correctly, it was so bad that it made Sportscenter's Not Top 10. Ummm.... So, yeah. Work on that Devon.

Not surprisingly, Archie's shooting and scoring both took a hit once Big 10 play started. His eFG% also dropped from 56.25% to 43.75% in conference play. Not that Iowa ever depended on him for offensive output, but when conference play started, the little offensive game that he had, got even worse.

Of Archie's 32 field goal attempts this year, 22 of them came in the paint. The other 10, came on two point shots outside of the colored area. As a result, he got close to 80% of his offensive value in the paint. Considering, Archie made only 6 free throws on the year and those were still 10% more of his offensive value than two point jump shots were, you can pretty much assume he was a very bad shooter from outside the paint.

Yep. Archie shot 1-10 on two point shots outside of the paint. In the paint, he was much better, making 15-22. Both of those combined led to a 50% eFG% (16-32) on the year. As was mentioned above, Archie was terrible from the free throw line. Moving on.

Archie's offensive rebounding rate dropped considerably in conference play. He was so terrible, that it dropped to 14.40%, which would have been bad enough for second in the Big 10, had Archie played the minimum amount of minutes to qualify. So, even when his rebounds took a hit, they were still at the top of the league and just slightly behind Basabe.

His defensive rebounding actually got better. Increasing, by almost 2%. His blocks also went up, as he went from 1 block in 79 non-conference minutes played, to 6 blocks in 105 Big 10 minutes played. Both of which, are very good signs.

Expectations for Next Season:

Archie has shown the ability to be a big asset rebounding the ball. That would certainly be a big help for Iowa. However, next year he needs to take a big step forward in understanding what Fran expects of him. The talent needs to catch up to the athletic tools. Archie will never be an offensive-minded player. But, he could be a big defesive-minded player that blocks shots and pulls down rebounds. He also possesses the ability to run the court, and end up on the receiving end of some alley-oops.

Archie is very intriguing to me. I see his rebounding stats, and I want him on the court more. Then, he has times where he just doesn't look like a Big 10 basketball player, and I want him back on the bench. Brommer is the early favorite to see a big minutes increase with the departure of Cole, but if Archie can put it together in the offseason, he could also see an increase in minutes. The tools are there, but will they develop into basketball talent? I hope so, but time is running out for Archie.

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