Have We Been Too Critical of Bryce?

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

-Bumped. BN Eds.

Consider the following statistics from the first three games, compiled for all players who’ve played more than 20 minutes per game:

Efficiency (EFF)

Kyle Anderson: 0.88
Tony Parker: 0.73
David Wear: 0.66
Jordan Adams: 0.66
Zach LaVine: 0.59
Norman Powell: 0.46
Bryce Alford: 0.24

As you can see, Bryce’s EFF is substantially lower than every other player averaging more than 20 minutes per game. By comparison, Noah Allen’s EFF (based on 2 games) is 0.45. If you only look at games that count, Bryce’s EFF is 0, which is the same contribution we would get if we put a turnip on the court instead of Bryce. And to be honest, the turnip might play better defense than Bryce.

But here are some arguments I’ve heard in defense of Bryce’s playing time:

1. We need to develop Bryce as a point guard!
The stats so far don’t support the idea of Bryce playing point. Here is the Assist-to-Turnover ratio for our guards through the first 3 games:

Kyle: 3.14
Zach: 4.00
Norman: 2.25
Jordan: 1.00
Bryce: 0.88

In other words, Bryce has more turnovers than assists—not good for someone who claims to be a point guard.

2. Bryce is a three point specialist. We need him on the court for his scoring!
The stats say otherwise. So far, Bryce is 0 for 9 on three point shots. To date, he’s made only 7 of his 22 shots. Those aren’t the stats of someone who has earned 20+ minutes of playing time per game.

3. We need someone to cover the opposing point guard. That’s Bryce!
I feel sorry for anyone who believes this. Based on his performance in our first three games, Bryce is the worst defender I’ve seen at UCLA, ever. Worse than Dragovic, even. I’m sure Bryce can improve his defense, but that’s what practice—not game time— is for.

I think we’ve been very fair to Bryce. He may not be responsible for the minutes he’s being given, but he’s responsible for his bad decisions on the court, his dreadful defense, and his poor shooting. We’ve been honest about Bryce’s shortcomings. He needs to improve substantially before he’s ready to play major minutes in games that count.


Here are the updated EFF and Assist-to-Turnover stats after tonight's game against Oakland.

Efficiency (EFF)

Kyle Anderson: 0.81
Tony Parker: 0.81
David Wear: 0.58
Jordan Adams: 0.72
Zach LaVine: 0.53
Norman Powell: 0.55
Bryce Alford: 0.25

For the sake of comparison, Noah Allen's EFF is 0.59. Allen played 10 minutes tonight, compared to 20 minutes for Bryce.

Assist-to-Turnover ratio

Kyle: 2.55
Zach: 5.50
Norman: 2.75
Jordan: 1.00
Bryce: 1.10

Finally, Bryce has improved his three point shooting percentage from 0 to 0.077, and his field goal shooting percentage from 0.32 to 0.33.

In my opinion, then, the statistical case against Bryce remains unchanged. And for what it's worth, I thought Bryce's defense tonight was once again pretty dreadful.

<em>This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of BruinsNation's (BN) editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of BN's editors.</em>

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