January 22, 2013

Borton's Blog: Freshman report

Nobody has called them Fab anything, and they aren't all five starting. But Michigan's freshmen have exerted a far greater impact on the fortunes of the No. 2 team in the land than rookies around the league have managed.

The Wolverines have scored 1,428 points so far this year. U-M's quintet of freshmen have accounted for 619 of those, or 43.3 percent of the total.

No other group of Big Ten freshmen have come close to making their point(s) as rookies in that fashion. Purdue's frosh have contributed 475 points to the Boilermakers' effort, and the rest of the combined freshmen efforts on the scoreboards follow in this fashion: Iowa (367), Michigan State (340), Wisconsin (318), Northwestern (221), Nebraska (171), Penn State (153), Indiana (132), Ohio State (27), Illinois (19) and Minnesota (10).

The Wolverines' freshmen have pulled down 283 rebounds thus far, again leading the league for rookies. The Boilermakers follow once again with 266, then Iowa (195), Wisconsin (193), Michigan State (143), Nebraska (97), Penn State (92), Indiana (72), Ohio State (16), Minnesota (five) and Illinois (two).

Michigan certainly maintains a presence in the rookie top fives around the league. Here is a spot check of some important categories for freshmen:

Top Five Scorers

1. Nik Stauskas (Michigan), 12.6
2. Gary Harris (MSU), 12.6
3. Glenn Robinson III (Michigan), 12.1
4. A.J. Hammons (Purdue), 10.3
5. Sam Dekker (Wisconsin), 9.6

Top Five Rebounders

1. A.J. Hammons (Purdue), 6.3
2. Glenn Robinson III (Michigan), 5.8
3. Mitch McGary (Michigan), 5.4
4. Adam Woodbury (Iowa), 5.4
5. Shavon Shields, (Nebraska), 4.9

Top Five Minute Men

1. Glenn Robinson III (Michigan), 31.9
2. Nik Stauskas (Michigan), 30.1
3. Ronnie Johnson (Purdue), 28.8
4. Gary Harris (Michigan State), 28.2
5. Yogi Ferrell (Indiana), 27.6

Top Five Shooters (20-shot minimum)

1. Mitch McGary (Michigan), 60.8
2. Glenn Robinson III (Michigan), 57.7
3. Adam Woodbury (Iowa), 53.6
4. Raphael Davis (Purdue), 52.2
5. A.J. Hammons (Purdue), 51.5

Top Five Three-Point Shooters (15-shot minimum)

1. Nik Stauskas (Michigan), 49.5
2. George Marshall (Wisconsin), 43.9
3. Caris LeVert (Michigan), 42.9
4. Sam Dekker (Wisconsin), 42.2
5. Kale Abrahamson (Northwestern), 39.6

Top Five Free Throw Shooters (15-shot minimum)

1. Nik Stauskas (Michigan), 82.6
2. Gary Harris (Michigan State), 78.8
3. Yogi Ferrell (Indiana), 78.7
4. Mike Gesell (Iowa), 76.3
5. Denzel Valentine (Michigan State), 72.7

Most Assists

Yogi Ferrell (Indiana), 86
Anthony Clemons (Iowa), 74
Ronnie Johnson (Purdue), 62
Mike Gesell (Iowa), 55
Denzel Valentine (Michigan State), 52

Here are some other quick notes on freshmen around the league…

-- Michigan's Spike Albrecht has yet to miss a free throw on the season. He's 7-for-7 at the line.

-- Michigan State features two of the league's top four rookies in terms of steals. Iowa's Gesell has 24, while Valentine has 23, Johnson 20 and Harris 18.

-- Indiana's Ferrell is the top rookie assist man thus far, but has not shot the ball particularly well. He's 37-for-106 (34.9 percent) from the field, and 8-for-33 (24.2 percent) from three-point range.

-- Ohio State has just one freshman playing - former Michigan recruit Amedeo Della Valle, who is averaging 8.4 minutes, 3.0 points and 1.8 rebounds per game. He is 7-for-19 (36.8 percent) on three-pointers.

-- Minnesota and Illinois are also playing just one freshman each, while Purdue is putting five on the court, along with the Wolverines. Wisconsin, Northwestern and Iowa are each playing four true freshmen.

-- The Boilermakers almost feature a pair of freshmen double-figures scorers, like the Wolverines. Hammons is averaging 10.3 per game, while Johnson averages 9.1.

-- Northwestern's Alex Olah is shooting better from the field (42.4 percent) than from the free throw line (13-for-13, 41.9 percent).

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