Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Marcus Colbert's Development

Marcus Colbert is in year three of what is shaping up to be an interesting career at Montana State. He has started most of the games in his career, and was very good for the first two years.

He established himself as an excellent shooter (he shot 40% on threes as a freshman, and a still good 37% as a sophomore with more attempts. Last season, he turned the corner on his efficiency closer to the rim, shooting 50% inside the arc. He also increased his Assist Rate to 23.2, while keeping his turnover rate steady. In short, he was an average distributor who was extremely efficient when he did shoot the ball.

This year, some things have changed, both for good and bad.

One positive is that his Assist Rate has skyrocketed! It is up to 41.8, which is good for sixth in the nation. In per game numbers, he is averaging 5.5 assists per game, up from 3.0 per game last season. This has come with a slight uptick in his Turnover Rate, but you'll take that for such a big increase in getting baskets for his teammates.

He is also looking to take the ball to the rim a lot more this season, as his rate of drawing fouls is up significantly as well. Already he has taken more two-point shots than he did all of last season, another sign of his increased aggressiveness. In general, this is a good thing.

However, this extra aggression and distributing seems to have come at the expense of his efficiency scoring the basketball. His three-point percentage is way down... He is 13/48 on the year, or 27%. This could be just a random small sample blip (certainly a couple hot games could turn that percentage around), or it could be that he is seeing increased attention from defenses. Inside the arc, that aggression going to the hoop and drawing fouls isn't also giving him easy baskets... his two-point shooting percentage is 40%, down from his big sophomore year jump.

The upshot is this... If Colbert can combine his junior year playmaking and aggression with his sophomore year shooting efficiency, then all of a sudden the Bobcats have an all-conference guy on their hands. It might not happen this year, but obviously the talent is there for him, and he will be a good building block for Brian Fish as a senior next season. There aren't a ton of reasons to watch MSU this year, but Colbert is one of them.

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