best counter

Your Ad Here
Just The Sports: Mustafa Shakur Spotlight

Just The Sports

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Mustafa Shakur Spotlight

"Finally" has to be the word on the lips of both Mustafa Shakur and Arizona Wildcats basketball fans everywhere. Finally, the player who arrived on Arizona's campus in 2003 as the top point guard prospect in the nation looks like he is in danger of living up to his promise. Finally, Mustafa Shakur looks like a player who is worthy of a second-round draft pick. And it only took him until his fourth year to get off to the best start (in this case, start is synonymous with the first 14 games of the season) of his collegiate career.

What has made Shakur's journey to NCAA stardom so arduous is the fact he never progressed as a point guard and looked like someone whose potential would always outweigh his output. Up until this season, Shakur's freshman season held the honor of possessing both his best start to a season and his best overall statistical campaign. There is nothing wrong with a player's freshman season being his or her best as long as said player immediately jumps to the professional level after completing his first two semesters of college. Since Shakur did not do that, there was something very troubling about him using his middle two years at Arizona to regress, not progress, which to his credit, he did very well.

To start his freshman year, Shakur had a 57.4% true shooting percentage, an assist rate (assists per 100 possessions) of 28.9 and turnover rate (turnovers per 100 possessions) of 18.5 and finished the season with a 60.6% true shooting percentage, 29.8 assist rate, and 18.8 turnover rate. He did not better these overall numbers in either his sophomore or junior years.

Luckily for both he and the Arizona Wildcats, Shakur, through the first fourteen games of the season, has put it all together in impressive fashion. While he has increased his shooting and scoring touch, currently sporting a 66.5% true shooting percentage and averaging 14.3 points per game, which would both be career highs should he be able to maintain his level of play, that is not even the most important improvement to Shakur's game. Most notably, Shakur is taking better control of the ball and making better decisions on the court, as evidenced by his assist rate of 36.2 and a turnover rate of only 14.7. Those two numbers would represent Shakur's career high and career low, respectively, in those two categories.

It has taken a while, but now Wildcats basketball fans can stop asking themselves why Lute Olson went all the way to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to recruit Mustafa Shakur. He is showing them right now.



Post a Comment

<< Home