The Halftime Show: Ten most disappointing players of the season
There are maybe innumerable ways to disappoint, and probably innumerable excuses for why the disappointment happens. Rarely has there been a more agreed-upon qualifying example of utter frustration than Chane Behanan dynamiting his Louisvile basketball career.
“Away from the lines,” Cardinals coach Rick Pitino told reporters on Dec. 30, when the forward’s dismissal from the program went public, “he just did not do the right things, over and over and over.”
And so Behanan heads the list of the Most Disappointing Players of a 2013-14 college basketball season at its midpoint. Undoubtedly, preseason perception or other forces entirely out of the players’ control can enhance a sense of disenfranchisement where perhaps it is realistically less than deserved. For almost every name on the list, there is some measure of semantic counterargument.
Or, sometimes, players just don’t do what they’re supposed to do, over and over, in multiple senses. Let the debates over which is the case begin, in alphabetical order:
Isaiah Austin, Baylor
Admittedly being tough on a guy averaging 10.5 points, 5.6 rebounds and three blocks for a top 10 team entering this week. But the scoring and rebounding numbers are both down from his freshman year, and didn’t most expect more from the No. 4 overall recruit in 2012?
Kudos to Behanan for visiting with John Lucas in Houston to set himself on a more auspicious course. But a player with difference-making ability still averaged 7.6 points and 6.3 rebounds before ruining his season.
Both averaging 13 points per game, yes. Both have shooting percentages that plunged below 40 percent after more efficient seasons a year ago: Garland from 42.4 percent to 35.8 percent, Duren from 45.5 percent to 37.9 percent.
Jerian Grant, Notre Dame
Nothing wrong with the numbers (19 ppg, 6.2 apg) except this one: Zero, as in number of games played after Christmas thanks to a semester suspension for academics. Kids make mistakes, but a senior undoubtedly should know better.
P.J. Hairston, North Carolina
Pretty easy to disappoint when you don’t even step on the floor thanks to eligibility issues, robbing your team of one of its most explosive assets. Doubly bad when your school won’t pursue reinstatement because the evidence pile against you was so high.
Akil Mitchell, Virginia
From 13.1 points and 54.5 percent shooting in 30.5 minutes per game as a junior to 6.5 points and 44.3 percent shooting in 23.2 minutes as a senior. A baffling tumble.
Alex Poythress, Kentucky
Perhaps shrug-off-able due to the talent elsewhere on the roster, but Poythress was a preseason second-team All-SEC pick and he’s averaging 5.4 points and 5.8 rebounds per game.
Chris Walker, Florida
The No. 6 overall recruit in the nation, per Rivals.com. Zero games played due to NCAA Clearinghouse issues.
Derrick Wilson, Marquette
The Golden Eagles figured to be less guard-dominated, but Wilson was expected to be a suitable, veteran floor leader. Instead averaging just 4.6 points and shooting 35.6 percent in an offense that has been largely a muddle.
SPECIAL DISPENSATION/MOST DISAPPOINTING SITUATION: Mitch McGary, Michigan. Can’t blame a kid for a balky back, not when McGary did all he could to rehab it and play. But a preseason All-American playing just 198 minutes, total, is not what McGary, the team nor any Wolverines fan imagined.