Freshmen A vs. Freshmen B

I have done a complete 180 on Bryce. I admit it. Through the first 20 games, I thought nepotism was the only reason Bryce was getting minutes. As the season went on, I started to see why Bryce deserves minutes. That being said, he still only deserves 10-14 minutes a game, not 22+. My brother asked me an interesting question the other day that I presented to the community. He asked me, "If Byrce last name was Johnson, would you hate him?" I pondered this for awhile. Sure, there would be moments when I would get angry for him jumping in the air to pass to no one or shooting a floater in the lane with 15 seconds still left on the shot clock. These are freshmen mistakes. These are things that can be fixed.

Bryce Alford and Zack LaVine were both voted onto the all Pac-12 freshmen team this year by the Pac-12 coaches. Some assume that the other Pac-12 coaches voted Byrce onto the team so his father would continue to play him in the upcoming seasons or that the other coaches are just stupid. I took a look at their season stats and was surprised by the similarity in their stats. I ask those reading to look at the stats below and try to decipher who is who without looking up the answer.

Freshmen A:

Games Played: 36

Games Started: 1

Minutes: 880

Average Mins/Game: 24.4

FG-FGA: 125-281

Percentage: 44.5%

3Pt FG: 48-125

Percentage: 38.4%

Rebounds: 92

Average Rebounds Per Game: 2.6

Personal Fouls: 72

Assists: 66

Turnovers: 41

Assist to turnover ratio: 1.6

Total Points: 344

Average Points/Game : 9.6

Freshmen B:

Games Played: 36

Games Started: 1

Minutes: 834

Average Mins/Game: 23.2

FG-FGA: 82-211

Percentage: 38.9%

3Pt FG: 47-120

Percentage: 39.2%

Rebounds: 65

Average Rebounds Per Game: 1.8

Personal Fouls: 45

Assists: 100

Turnovers: 48

Assist to turnover ratio: 2.08

Total Points: 293

Average Points/Game : 8.1

I have agreed with most that Zack's development may have been hindered by Bryce's minutes. This is pure conjecture as we cannot say with certainty that Zack would have performed at a higher rate in a different setting. I definitely would have liked Alford to prove the conjecture one way or the other. I don't think Alford explored enough playing LaVine with Adams, Anderson, and Powell. This is on Alford. That is one freakishly athletic lineup and probably our most talented group since the FF years.

I have also read in the last few days that LaVine is unhappy. Has Zack himself said this? Has his body language or words implied this? I see a kid who is unhappy with the way he is playing. Looks like he is facing adversity on the court for the first time. I have heard some say that he if he bolts to the NBA, it will be a clear sign he is unhappy with Alford. Couldn't we assume that he wants to go to the NBA because he feels he is ready and wants to get paid for his talents? Or maybe he doesn't like the student part of being a student-athlete. When Jrue was unhappy it was clear it was Howland. When Norman Powell was unhappy, it was clear to me it was Howland. When Tony Parker was unhappy, it was clear to me it was Howland. I don't see the same body language from LaVine as I did with Jrue, Norman, and Tony.

Let me be clear, in no way am I saying that Zack and Bryce are close in talent or athletic ability. Zack definitely has the higher ceiling and is a better basketball player. This isn't a question of choosing one or the other. Both have had a good season and both have had some head scratching moments. Both are horrendous on defense. With as much crap (and rightfully so) we give Bryce on defense, Zack has not been particularly better.

So what is my point:

One of the above players is going pro after this season or the next. The other will be here for 3 more years. Have I become a Princess for starting to like the one staying for 3 more years and think he will be a serviceable Pac 12 guard? I have been able to separate the father from the son. I believe that Bryce is a Pac-12 player.


<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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