Will Marcus be the next Kyle?

A lot has been said about the similarities between Kyle Weaver and Marcus Capers.  From first look, they both have that long and lean body type, with wingspans that stretch much farther than the average person.  As for their skills sets, both (as freshman) possessed a cover-your-eyes awful jump shot and above average on-ball defensive prowess.  As you all know, here at CougCenter, we like to look past the anecdotal evidence and jump into the numbers.

So how do the freshman years of Kyle and Marcus compare statistically?  To my suprise, their minute percentages were not as far apart as expected.  The one MAJOR difference that makes them hard to compare is the usage and shot percentage numbers.  When Kyle was in the game, he had the ball in his hands and was looking for his shot at nearly double the rate Marcus was.  There are a couple ways to explain this.  First, Kyle was just better at creating his own shot than Marcus was.  Kyle could get to the rim and he knew what to do when  he got there.  We've seen time and time again that Marcus can get to the rim, but despite his superior athleticism, finishing has not been his strong point.  Second, Kyle was the only person on that 04-05 team that could break down an opponent when the shot clock was winding down.  Thomas Kelati was largely a jump shooter and relied and screens to get himself open.  For the 07-08 team, there was one man and one man only who had the ball in his hands at the end of the clock, and his name was definitely not Marcus Capers.

How proficient were these guys at putting the ball in the basket when they got a shot off?  Not so great.  Kyle leads the way with a 39.5 eFG%, largely drug down by his 2 for 22 performance (that is what we call "Abe Lodwickesque") from beyond the arc.  Marcus mostly stayed away from the three point line and posted a blistering 31.9 eFG%.  As for free throws, Kyle has a higher free throw rate (because he took more shots overall) and Capers hit his opportunities more often when he got a chance.  Both percentages were nothing to write home about.

How about on defense?   Their block percentages are pretty much equal.  Kyle's steal% is considerably higher and he eventually became one of the best thieves in the nation.  Marcus commits a lot of fouls (4.5 per 40 minutes) and the data was not available to compare to Kyle.  There is not a whole lot else out there statistically speaking to compare defensively.

Additionally, Kyle had a much higher assist rate.  Kyle was an extremely gifted passer and he played point guard quite often as a freshman, so that is something to be expected.

Marcus obviously has the advantage in athleticism.  Kyle was average athletically, which makes what he achieved all the more remarkable.  Marcus is a high flyer and when he figures out what do when he gets to the rim, we are going to see some really exciting things happen.

So will Marcus become the next Kyle?  It may all come down to work ethic.  Kyle obviously put in the time to improve his jump shot and become a highly effective offensive player.  Marcus showed us against St. Mary's that there may be potential there.  Luckily for us, Tony seems to get the most out of his players and their skills sets (see Kyle Weaver, Derrick Low, Aron Baynes, etc.).  I personally am very excited for what Marcus can become once he figures out that the whole purpose of driving to the basket was to put the ball in the basket, not throw it wildly off the backboard.

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