Is Thomas Dziagwa Set for a Breakout Sophomore Season?

Written by Kyle Cox

Bleacher Report recently came out with a list of ten unheralded freshmen from the 2016-17 season that are poised to make a splash as sophomores. And wouldn’t you know it? Our favorite sharpshooter-in-waiting landed at No. 7 on the their list.

A little explanation on the criteria. It was pretty specific.

In order to qualify, a player had to meet the following:

• Was a freshman in 2016-17. (Players who were freshmen in 2015-16 and missed last season due to transfer or medical redshirt were not considered.)

• Was neither a 4-star nor 5-star recruit, according to (It’s kind of hard for a player to fit the “unheralded” description if everyone wanted him.)

• Scored at least three points per game, but no more than six. (The minimum is to keep us from guessing whether the guy is capable of scoring, and the maximum is to keep us from including those who would need to score 15 points per game to break out.)

• Plays for a nationally relevant program that might make the 2018 NCAA tournament. (Sorry, but breakout stars don’t play for Boston College, Rutgers or Washington State.) Bleacher Report

“Dizzy” falls into each of these and has the further qualifying argument that Mike Boynton will be looking to replace the majority of his team’s made 3-pointers from a year ago.

Phil Forte, the 3-point king, has ended his reign in Stillwater. Leyton Hammonds and Jawun Evans are also gone. Those three accounted for 407 of the 732 3-pointers attempted by the team and 158 of the 294 makes from deep (54 percent).

But Thomas Dziagwa is one guy who could immediately help plug that gap. He only played 176 minutes – most of it during the nonconference portion of the season—but he averaged 12.0 three-point attempt per 40 minutes and connected on 43.4 percent of those attempts. BleacherReport

So the sample size is small but the point is taken — and we knew as much.

Dziagwa’s main sales pitch was his shooting stroke from deep. What came as a bonus was his Nick Young-level swagger. When he wasn’t staring down whichever Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lion was trying to guard him, he was slapping the butt of opposing wings as he celebrated his own made 3s.

Will Swaggy D’s gusto translate into a starting role next season as the article suggests? I’m not quite sold on that one. I think Davon Dillard, Lindy Waters and maybe even Tavarius Shine may have something to say about that.

After averaging 12 minutes per game during the non-conference portion of the schedule, Dziagwa departed the pine for just 3.7 minutes a game once Big 12 play started. His minutes decreased even further down the stretch. Over the last 17 games, he had more DNPs (six) than points (five) and played virtually all of his minutes in garbage time.

Is that to say that he can’t have a significant role on this team? No. There will be plenty to replace on the wings. OSU just lost two of its better guards to ever suit up in orange. If Dizzy can be serviceable on defense, any long-range shooter is valuable.

How big of an “if’ is that? We honestly don’t have a great sample size to work with. KenPom doesn’t even care about his defensive metrics because of how little he played against Tier A and B competition.

But that’s the point of BR’s list — the player not many will see coming.

We still don’t know exactly how OSU’s offense will look. But whether Brandon Averette or Zack Dawson is the lead playmaker, another shooter to stretch the floor can’t hurt.

And neither can a little swagger.

  • preaching the truth

    Sorry Dizzy, I do not think you will get the minutes… not athletic/strong enough to check Big 12 guards.

    • spokepokes

      As a true freshman maybe. Another year with Glass will definitely improve on that. His shooting percentages have been incredible so far and he’s a lot taller than Phil was.

      • Ryan

        Glass doesn’t train the basketball team.

        • spokepokes

          lol yep too used to referring to Ole Rob Glass. Regardless, another year training and in the weight room should help with his defense.

        • Brannon Ramos

          Who does train the basketball team? I wish you could see if his impact is anywhere near what Glass does

          • EdmondPoke

            His name is Jake Manzellman. the guy who transformed Byron eaton from 248 to 205. Also the guy who took Marshall Moses from 215 to 255 of muscle. Helped good ol LeBryan gain 15 pounds of muscle in 3 months. Dude is as solid as Glass in his field

          • Brannon Ramos

            Cool, appreciate the info

        • BBQ Poke

          Isn’t coach glass in charge of the Strength and Conditioning dept. though? He may not work directly with the basketball team but they still train in his House right? #bodybyglass

    • Doc Holliday

      I’m more worried about his quickness..I think he has to see the floor some because of his stroke. Without him we kind of run out of pure shooters

  • Tyler

    I’m gonna guess no.. Wing is gonna be this teams strength. Carroll, Shine, Waters, Dillard. Dawson can probably play some wing as well. Even Averette played a ton with Juwan.

    • Doc Holliday

      Is Shine coming back? I’ve heard rumors he’s not going to be with the team next year

      • Tyler

        Heard its bad too but still that puts him behind at least 2 guys if you view Dillard more of a 4. Dawson, Averette, Carroll, and Waters are going to play a lot. Dizzy could get minutes but not enough for a “breakout” season.

        • Doc Holliday

          I think we see about as much of him as we did this year..maybe a couple more minutes just because he might be the purest shooter we have..close between him and Carroll

  • David Einstein

    He’s got a smooth stroke. Smooth as anyone in college. We’ll see.

  • No sir

    There is so much specific criteria to make that list lol. Not really impressed that he’s on it. Honestly idk why we gave him a scholarship. We might lose glover purely because we have these lower tier role players taking up scholarships. I don’t mean disrespect to the man an, role players are important but not more important than bringing in more talented players. Wish we didn’t give dz an offer

    • Shanewill3

      He definitely warrants the offer we gave him, and he’s not a lower tier player. He’s actually the best shooter on the team. In regards to Glover, he is most likely a non-qualifier.

    • EdmondPoke

      who is this guy? Dizzy can shoot the lights out man. Name me a team that OSU had that didn’t have his type of player recently? If Phil Forte can be a good college player, Dizzy can be too.