Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Jason Bohannon

Every year in college hoops, you look at your favorite team, look at who's not on the team anymore, and wonder who is going to make up for all the points that just graduated. If you've got a strong program, it takes care of itself. Bo's done it after losing Kirk Penney, Devin Harris, Alando Tucker -- he'll figure out how to replace Brian Butch and Michael Flowers.

Who sees his scoring average jump the most in 2009? My bet is it's Jason Bohannon. Which isn't a total upset pick by any means, but you have to wonder: If he's such a sure thing, why didn't he average more than 8.2 points per game?

Two words: Opportunity and consistency. I think Jason has the arsenal of offensive moves and shots to get the job done. He's a good 3-point shooter, but he also makes good cuts to get himself open for layups and has a nice runner/floater. He's also our best bet for closing out games at the free throw line. And while at the beginning of last season many of us were fretting about his ability to create his own shots, that no longer worries me.

The opportunity for more shots will be there. Butch and Flowers took almost 18 field goal attempts between them, and I see Landry and J-Bo assuming the lion's share of those. Of course, this also means he'll be facing the other team's best perimeter defender. The nice thing is, the Swing makes it harder for teams to focus on a certain guy, like we did with, say, Drew Neitzel.

Consistency is the big thing. J-Bo scored in double figures 13 times in 36 games last season. He also scored five or fewer points 11 times. The nice thing is, he finished strong: eight of his double-digit games came in the Badgers' last 14, and most of his clunkers came in the early non-conference schedule, when it was speculated he was battling an injury.

The key number to me is 69. Sixty-nine percent of J-Bo's field goal attempts last season were 3-pointers. If he can bring that number closer to 50% by working more off the ball and maybe developing a post-up move or two, he'll be much more effective.

Lots of things worry me: gas prices, the Brewers' bullpen, whether Jim will ever propose to Pam on The Office. Jason Bohannon? Not worried about him.


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