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Just The Sports: Raymond Felton's Successor

Just The Sports

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Raymond Felton's Successor

Due to Bobby Frasor's foot troubles early in the season and Ty Lawson's possession of superior athletic talent, Lawson has emerged as the winner of the race to find out which point guard would be the long-term successor to one of UNC's most exciting point guards, Raymond Felton. Even better news for UNC basketball fans than the fact that UNC has found a worthy point guard of the next few years is freshman Ty Lawson is slightly ahead of where Raymond Felton was during his freshman season back in 2002-03.

The largest advantage Lawson holds over Felton is in his shooting efficiency. Not having fallen in love with seeing himself launch three-pointer after three-pointer has aided Lawson in surpassing Felton's 52.4 TS% and 1.05 points per shot attempt with his own 60.5 TS% and 1.21 points per shot attempt. Therefore, Lawson's 10.0 points per game, while lower than Felton's freshman average of 12.9 points per game, is actually the more impressive statistic because he has averaged his points on fewer shots.

More importantly than the shooting numbers for point guards, though, is how well they dish out assists while at the same time avoiding turnovers. After a rough start to the season, Lawson has bounced back and now has a 34.0 assist rate, higher than Felton's 29.6, and a 14.2 turnover rate, lower than Felton's 16.4 mark. Indublitably, one reason behind Lawson's impressive assist rate is a reflection of playing along with two very good low-post scorers in Tyler Hansbrough and Brandan Wright; Felton had to play most of his freshman season without even one as Sean May decided to break a bone in his foot during that basketball year.

If Lawson continues to improve, we will soon be asking ourselves who will be a worthy successor for Ty Lawson.



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