In a new feature this season, The Eagle’s Taylor Eldridge will hand out grades for each player after watching a replay of the game and studying more than just the stats in the box score.
The grading scale is from 1 to 10, with 10 being the best performance possible. Players begin each game at a 6, so that is considered an average performance. Grading at anything over an 8 and below a 4 is extremely hard to do.
Here is how Eldridge graded out the Shockers following their 71-58 loss to Louisiana Tech at Koch Arena on Tuesday night:
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Erik Stevenson (8) Caught fire from the outside and ended up with four three-pointers. He was more aggressive looking for his shot than he was in the preseason, and it paid off. Even showed he could score off the bounce, with two nice finishes at the rim. Had his fair share of freshman mistakes but more than balanced those out with very solid defense and rebounding.
Jaime Echenique (7.5) Had a great stretch where he won position for an easy offensive rebound putback, then drew a charge on the other end on the next possession. Very good in the pick-and-roll game as the roller. Scored once and could have another time, but often winds up in good position for rebound (minus one missed boxout). Played an overall great game: 8 points, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1 steal.
Jamarius Burton (6.5) After playing like a senior in the exhibition, Burton finally showed some freshman moments on Tuesday. Two careless turnovers and some spotty defense at times. But overall, he’s still a strong defender and playmaker for the Shockers. Passes well out of the pick-and-roll and finished with five assists. All three of his shots were great looks and he converted all of them.
Asbjorn Midtgaard (6) Played a great defensive game and was an excellent rim protector for WSU. Strongly contested six shots, including one block, and made La Tech think twice about driving when he was on the floor. But missing back-to-back bunnies inside was killer. If he starts finishing those putbacks, watch out.
Rod Brown (5.5) When locked in, he’s very good defensively and has the ability to lock people up on the perimeter. Undersized but does well to consistently battle down low. Needs to find more than one rebound in 10 minutes if that’s his main priority. Had a few mishaps defensively that led to miss boxouts and closeouts.
Ricky Torres (5.5) Played 10 minutes, but didn’t make much of an impact. Made a nice pass as a BLOB inbounder for an assist and came up with an offensive rebound that could have led to a three. Pick-and-roll defense is still a work-in-progress.
Chance Moore (5.5) Only played five minutes and only showed up in the box score once: a missed three-pointer. Had one defensive lapse in transition, otherwise did not make much of an impact.
Samajae Haynes Jones (4.5) Found decent looks when he attacked, but missed all eight of his jump shots and struggled through a 2-for-13 shooting performance. Played great defense in stretches of first half. Used quickness to come up with three steals and quick hands saved a couple of baskets in transition. WSU can’t afford many games when its senior leader and go-to scorer has an off-game like this.
Dexter Dennis (4.5) After missing all of his shots in the exhibition, started hot with two early threes to get his confidence up. Attacked more and drew seven fouls. Just a poor shooting game. Missed five of nine free throws and his other six shots on top of three careless turnovers. Still a few too many defensive lapses, but has the athleticism to be lock-down when engaged.
Markis McDuffie (4.5) Shots just aren’t falling for him. He’s getting great looks when he slips screens and pops to the perimeter, but missed 6 of 7 jump shots that were graded as good looks. Just needs those shots to start falling. Looked good attacking basket in transition when WSU beat the press. Shots not going in likely led to him pressing more, which resulted in a handful of low-percentage looks. Had a defensive lapse or two, but overall solid defensively.
Morris Udeze (4.5) Limited to eight minutes, but a forgettable game. Missed both of his free throws, committed a turnover against the press and gave up a three-point play on defense. For his motor and size, needs to grab more than just one rebound in eight rebounds.
Isaiah Poor Bear-Chandler (4.5) Harsh grade for playing less than five minutes, but he gave up three offensive rebounds while he was in the game and once again failed to grab a rebound. Rushed a three on his only shot. Love how hard he rolls after setting a screen. He’s an active cutter who should be a foul magnet if his defense and rebounding pick up.