Being a freshman is hard

March, 4, 2010
3/04/10
3:20
PM ET
And being a freshman point guard is even harder.

Concerned with evaluating Michigan's own freshman playcaller, the inconsistent-but-promising Darius Morris, UMHoops charted the performance of 16 froshes charged with leading college teams in their first years on the job. The result? Unless your name is John Wall or Tommy Mason-Griffin, you've had a bit of a rough time this season:
There are only three freshmen point guards who are scoring in double figures and two of them play on the same team. There are only four freshmen with a higher assist percentage than turnover percentage. Finally, over half of the top 100 freshmen point guards in the group are shooting under a 50% effective field goal percentage on the year.

The group that I would call successful includes John Wall (UK), Eric Bledsoe (UK), Tommy Mason-Griffin (Oklahoma), and Michael Dixon (Mizzou). In the end, the “average” top 15 freshman point guard has more turnovers than assists, doesn’t shoot the ball very well and isn’t all that efficient. The average stat line is 21 min, 6.5 ppg, 47.1 eFG, 97.9 Ortg, 20.6 A%, 24.4 TO%. And that’s including freshman phenom John Wall, removing him knocks everything down a point or so.

This is not unexpected, because adjusting to college basketball is difficult for every player. Even John Wall, for as good as he's been, has faced rough patches this season. Kentucky's guards have done sporadic things in big games. Tommy Mason-Griffin has been the lone bright spot on a truly disappointing Oklahoma team. There is no quarter for even the best of freshman points; all of them succumb to difficulties sooner or later.

That said, it's something to consider when filling out your bracket. With the exception of truly great freshmen, whether at point guard or not, youth has a way of hounding teams in big games. How will your No. 3 seed's frosh handle the tournament atmosphere? Can you trust the validity of your bracket -- which is vital to your chances of beating that guy three cubes down from you who lets his children fill out his bracket for him -- to an inexperienced bunch? Don't go overboard, but yeah, it's something to keep in mind.

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