Sunday, July 13, 2008

Tim Jarmusz

In early March my friend Ryan and I were driving to a lunch in honor of a co-worker who had taken a job in a different part of the company. Ryan was asking me a few questions about Badger hoops, and as is my nature, I was rambling.

In particular, I was rambling about Tim Jarmusz, who had just been getting some legitimate playing time in the wins at Illinois and Ohio State. If memory serves, I called Tim a "Kirk Penney type" who would at some point in his Wisconsin career be a versatile scorer from both the perimeter and in the post.

What do y'all think of that statement? Upon immediate reflection, it seemed like a fairly unreachable projection. But thinking about it further, I could see him developing into a Penney type. Consider Penney's yearly scoring averages:

Freshman: 3.7 ppg for the Final Four team
Sophomore: 11.2 ppg
Junior: 15.1 ppg after becoming the main man on Bo's first team
Senior: 16.2 ppg as he becomes an elite player

Jarmusz didn't play much last year, and probably will not break 15 minutes per game as a sophomore, and with Pop, J-Bo, Landry, and Krabby back his scoring will not skyrocket. But it's not a stretch to see him averaging double-digit points per game as a junior and senior, using his 6-6 frame to post up smaller wings and his nice outside shot to hit about 35-40% of his 3-point attempts. In other words, a guy fit for the Swing.

Will he become an all-conference player like Penney? I'm not ready to put money on that, but consider that Penney played on a leaner roster with less scoring options than Jarmusz will.

Jarmusz's emerging playing time in the last quarter of the season was one of the more unexpected developments from the 2007-08 team, and when he was presented the opportunity, he did not show that he was incapable of contributing. Aside from a three-turnover stinker in the Big Ten clincher at Northwestern, he was strong with the ball, and took the open looks that came to him.

Will Tim Jarmusz become another Kirk Penney? Probably not, but that's not to say Tim won't become an all-around, versatile scorer every bit as valuable to a winning program as Penney was. If he can get to Kirk's sophomore year production at some point in his career, I'll be satisfied with his development.

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