We are now closing in on conference preview 11 of 32, the Big West Conference. I will be looking at three players that you need your undivided attention on this College Basketball season and in the future NCAA Tournament, the NIT, the CIT, etc. Enjoy!
Deishuan Booker, Guard, Long Beach State
- Thus far, Booker is up in points per game since last season, but his shooting percentage from inside the 3 point line has declined by about 11% which is substantial. The reason why that doesn’t bother me, is the strength of schedule Long Beach has played in 5 of their 11 games has been against the Power 5, which is not the competition he will be playing consistently in Big West play.
- He has been exceptional from the free throw line (91%) which is 6% higher than last season. His free throw shooting will be needed if Long Beach wants make a run at the NCAA tournament or the NIT, which I think is a possibility.
- Booker is a feeder when it comes to passing. His passing ability is second to none and I think it needs to be utilized more by the 49ers.
Max Heidegger, Guard, Cal State-Santa Barbara
- It may be a bit premature choice, but Heidegger was a 1st Team All Big West last season. Played his first game this season last night after missing the first nine games due to a Concussion. He was able to put up 22 points in his first game of the 2018-2019 season, which is a good start. Will need to improve his shot selection as he only shot 37% last year overall, I would like to see that number get over 40%.
- I would like to see Max get more catch and shoot opportunities this season. Based on what I have seen, he gets a lot of dribble drive opportunities and dribble and shoot shots. I think it could improve his shooting percentage with more catch and shoot type of shots.
- The Gauchos are projected to be the top team from the Big West to get into the NCAA tournament this year. Heidegger’s play will be crucial to get the Gauchos in the field of 68 in this NCAA tournament.
Khalil Ahmad, Guard, Cal State-Fullerton
- Khalil continues his very impressive career with the Titans while adding just under 19 points per game this year. His driving to the basket ability in the Big West is what separates him from the others in the conference.
- His two point shooting is up over 55% which is a step up from being the under the 50% mark from last season. This will be a factor in getting the Titans back to the tournament, as they have had a lackluster start this season (3-7)
- Although 40% of his games have been over 20 points, he has shown a knack for scoring efficiency against the Power 5 teams (Arizona State and Wake Forest) but less efficient against Sacramento State and Loyola Marymount. I want to see how that factors in when Big West play comes around, as the Titans are not in a good state right now although Ahmad is playing at the top of his game.
Next up: The Colonial Conference
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