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Jawun Evans’ Season Has Been More Impressive Than It Seems

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Kyle mentioned that Jawun Evans has some eye-popping per-40 minute stats this season. Evans is playing just 28.8 minutes per game which is actually fewer than he played in an injury-shortened freshman season (28.9).

Here are his per-40 minutes numbers for his freshman and sophomore years. 

Let’s see how these compare to other OSU players in the post-Hamilton era.

26 points, 8.7 assists, 4.6 rebounds — it’s a great stat line. In fact, this sophomore season from Evans will go down as one of the most prolific seasons by any OSU player since Eddie stepped back onto campus in 1991. Let’s see how he stacks up to other OSU players over the last 27 seasons. I’ll list five players in each category or as many as it takes to get to Jawun.

Points per 40 minutes

1. Byron Houston ‘91 – 26.8
2. James Anderson ‘10 – 26.2
3. Jawun Evans ‘17 – 26.0
4. Bryant Reeves ‘95 – 24.8
5. Bryant Reeves ‘94 – 24.4
6. Jeffrey Carroll ‘17 – 24.1

It is truly impressive to have two players from the same team in the company of Houston, Anderson, and Reeves. It is no wonder that this team has the No. 1 offense in the country according to KenPom.

Assists per 40 minutes

1. Doug Gottlieb ‘99 – 12.3
2. Doug Gottlieb ‘00 – 11.9
3. Doug Gottlieb ‘98 – 8.9
4. Andre Owens ‘95 – 8.7
5. Jawun Evans ‘17 – 8.7

This category is really “Doug and everyone else”, so for Evans to be dishing out assists at the same rate as Andre Owens did during a Final Four season while contributing on the scoreboard as well is pretty remarkable.

Owens was a great passer, but he only averaged seven shots per 40. At 8.7 assists per 40, Evans moved past Eaton’s great 2009 season (7.2) – not to mention all of the other great point guards we’ve had at OSU.

Rebounds per 40 minutes (PG only)

1. Mo Baker ‘02 – 7.3
2. Marcus Smart ‘14 – 7.3
3. Mo Baker ‘01 – 7.2
4. Marcus Smart ‘13 – 7.2
5. Anthony Hickey ‘15 – 5.6
6. Brooks Thompson ‘93 – 4.9
7. Brooks Thompson ‘94 – 4.7
8. Byron Eaton ‘09 – 4.6
9. Jawun Evans ‘17 – 4.6

I love seeing Baker — one of my all-time favorite Cowboys — and Smart battling it out for the best rebounding point guard in OSU history. Evans is not an elite rebounder at the PG position by any stretch, but for his size he does pretty well.

By the way, Carroll is 19th overall in this category — all players included. The four players surrounding Carroll are Mason ‘98, Boggan ‘07, Mason ‘99, and McFarlin ‘04.

Now let’s look at some areas where Evans can improve.

FGA per 40 minutes

1. Jawun Evans – 20.1
2. James Anderson – 17.6
3. Mario Boggan – 16.2
4. Byron Houston – 16.1
5. Byron Houston – 16.1

There is no doubt Evans can put the ball in the bucket, but he’s not one of the most efficient scorers we’ve seen at OSU. He’s averaging 2.5 more attempts from the field per 40 than any other player in the modern era. His eFG% (47%) does not hold up well against his peer group:

eFG% (PG only)

1. Sean Sutton ‘92 – 63%
2. Mo Baker ‘01 – 61%
3. Brooks Thompson ‘92 – 59%
4. Sean Sutton ‘91 – 59%
5. John Lucas ‘05 – 57%

16. Jawun Evans ‘17 – 47%

eFG% adjusts FG% to account for the extra point you getting for making a three-pointer. Evans shoots 37% from the 3-point line – not bad, but not great either; about average in this group of OSU point guards.

His free throw shooting is very solid at 82%. So why isn’t his eFG% figure higher? One more stat and then we’ll discuss it further. Before we move on, though – Jeffrey Carroll is 4th among *all* OSU players in this category at 61.5% (Sutton-Chianti-Reeves-Carroll). His season really deserves its own post, but back to Evans…

Points / FGA (PG only)

1. Sean Sutton ‘92 – 1.62
2. Byron Eaton ‘09 – 1.56
3. Mo Baker ‘01 – 1.56
4. Byron Eaton ‘08 – 1.52
5. Marcus Smart ‘14 – 1.44

15. Jawun Evans ‘17 – 1.29

To excel in this category, you either have to get to the free throw line a lot (Evans does) or be a great shooter (Evans isn’t). Sutton made 60% of his 2-point shots. Baker made 61%. Evans makes 45%.

This is not terrible (Doug, I’m looking at you: 36%), but it’s well below average in this group of OSU point guards. Evans does a nice job of getting to the line and he puts up a lot of shots in this OSU offense — which has helped him become a very prolific scorer, but it’s scary to think how good he could become if he could become a better shooter and/or finish at the rim more often.

Maybe next year?

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