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 Scout.com. (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.