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Texas Tech's Keenan Evans - Season in Review

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Over the course of the next few weeks I'll be providing my thoughts on the individual seasons in review for key returners to the 2015 squad. I'm focusing on conference play ONLY specifically the first 9 games vs. the final 9. I personally feel stripping out all pre-conference numbers tells a better story for a players season. Ideally you see an improvement from the first 9 to the final 9 conference games.

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

#12 Keenan Evans (Freshman) was a 3-star recruit out of Richardson (Berkner) a suburb of Dallas, TX

Conference MPG FG% 3pt FG% FT% PPG APG RPG
1st 9 games 20 31% 33% 69% 6 1.5 2.6
Last 9 games 22 38% 17% 64% 6.4 2 2.4

While similar in number, the minutes played are like comparing apples to oranges. In the first half of conference his minutes were largely spent in the middle 50% of games against backup competition while filling an ancillary role.  By the end of the season he was playing against starters in much more pressure packed situations and being asked to make plays.

Positives:

Obviously the biggest thing for a freshmen is game experience.  He played a ton of minutes in the best conference in the country.  The conference was littered with both skill and experience at the guard position.  The experience he gained this year will be priceless.  You could see his confidence grow game by game and watching him attack and finish/create was GREAT to see. It's been too long since we've seen a good PG in the South Plains and he appears to have that potential.  A stat I didn't call out above was turnovers.  He had 11 the first 9 games of conference and only 13 in the final 9.  As mentioned above that is pretty remarkable considering the level of competition and the game situations he was put in as the season went on. Additionally, while his 3pt FG shooting suffered in the back 9 his overall FG was up and there was no decline in stats which is again very impressive considering the uplift in competition.

Negatives:

For this year anyways I think we could all see he was pushed around the court at times.  He will need to add weight/strength if he ever wants to be elite at this level.  His drastic drop in 3pt fg% is concerning BUT his attempts were limited so the % moves several points based on every attempt.  More volume may tell a different story and ultimately would have told me if I should really be that concerned.  While the numbers tell you a pretty good story about limited turnovers it was evident he was not very comfortable when opponents applied heavy ball pressure.

Former Red Raider Comparison:

David Tairu was another 6'3 rail thin ultra athletic Tech guard capable of running the point but also playing some shooting guard.  Tairu was more seasoned when he got to Tech and was a better shooter but he had 2 years of maturity and experience.  Evans ceiling is much higher but we need to see what he can do on the court before we think of making comparisons to some of our more recent elite guards:  Jay Jackson, Ronald Ross

2015 Outlook:

Evans isn't a natural point guard and that will cost him a starting position next year.  Tubby brought in Devon Thomas (and potentially another) to run the show and be the floor general.  I see Evans playing a lot of minutes but still being looked at as more of a backup PG/SG.  He could be primed for a huge breakout in 2016.