We’re starting a “Year In Review” series, in which we review how awesome or horrendous or spectacular or spectacularly frustrating each player’s season was. And no, we did not copy Anonymous Eagle’s “Player Reviews” series. Okay, maybe we did. WE’LL MAKE SOME CHANGES ALRIGHT!?!? Anyways, we’ll go by ascending class order, and by alphabetical order in those classes. We already went against the rules and did Dylan Flood first, so I guess now would be the time to get back with the system. Thus, we begin with freshman point guard John Dawson.
Stats: 10.2 MIN, 2.0 PTS, 1.0 AST, 1.1 REB, 0.1 STL, 0.0 BLK — 36% FG, 27% 3PT — 1.6 PF, 0.7 TO — 0.7-2.1 FGM-FGA, 0.3-1.1 3PM-3PA
Hint: It’s not the stats that tell the story.
A Lengthy Summary: ‘Twas the night before the Xavier game, and not a sound was heard in the Bradley Center (literally — we weren’t at home). The Golden Eagles had flubbed their way to a lackluster 9-6 record through the first fifteen games, and lack of production at the point guard position had much to do with that. Fans clamored for starting point guard Derrick Wilson to be nailed to the bench (or deported, if it was possible), and some even dared to suggest that we give freshman John Dawson an opportunity to share time with Wilson. However, the romantic relationship between Buzz and Derrick seemed nearly unbreakable, so most of us just groaned, ate our vegetables and shut up. But on January 9th, the freshman from New Mexico finally got his chance to shine in a road matchup against conference opponent Xavier — and although the game was tallied up as simply another loss, the impact John showed at the point guard position was something that could not be mistaken nor ignored.
He played seventeen minutes and scored six points. “Wow, big effing deal,” is likely what you’re thinking. But there was something about the offense and overall flow of the game whenever Dawson brought the ball up. It was smoother, snazzier, more productive, and, uh, just… better. That notion proved itself credible as we later calculated (in this article) that Marquette outscored the opponent 31-30 with Dawson on the floor, and was beaten 56-48 with Derrick running the point. While a number of factors played into these stats, the bottom line is that we won the game with Dawson on the floor. His six points, two-three pointers, and two assists weren’t the flashiest numbers of the night, but they certainly showed a potential that most of us had never noticed. Dawson’s stock was rising, and it garnered him another opportunity a few games later against the almighty Georgetown Hoyas.
That night, Dawson played 31 minutes, eleven more than his season-high — and not to mention nineteen minutes more than Derrick Wilson. John scored 12 points on 4-7 shooting, including two threes and two huge buckets in overtime to seal the win. So not only was the freshman on the court in the most important game of the year at that point, but he was producing offense that kept us in the lead and eventually won us the game. With this remarkable performance, and more importantly, apparent trust from Buzz, Dawson seemed to have finally cracked the rotation. There was now a potential solution to Marquette’s point issues… Right?
Yes, correct. But the amount of trust we assumed Dawson had from Buzz was dead wrong. From that point on, Dawson averaged 7.5 minutes per game, including two DNP’s against Creighton and… Xavier. Sure, Dawson had his occasional mental lapses, and I get that Derrick was more easier to trust as a ball handler, defender and rebounder — but that doesn’t take away the fact that he’s arguably the biggest offensive liability in the pool of starting college basketball players. Defenders typically camped out about five feet away from Wilson, nearly begging on their knees for him to shoot the ball, and this extra defender murdered our offensive flow. I know, Buzz is gone, Duane is healthy, and Dawson will be a sophomore next year, but Buzz’s baffling distribution of minutes was something we needed to address. From the outside looking in, it doesn’t make any sense, and judging from the whole Steve Taylor “injury” situation and Todd Mayo’s recent comments, frustration and confusion seem to have been common themes on the inside as well. Whether Buzz was tanking for Wiggins, not 100% committed, or just pissed off at everything, his ambiguous, confusing tactics nonetheless resulted in a lost opportunity in which a young point guard from New Mexico could’ve used to expand his game, help the team, and increase contentment among himself, the program, his teammates, and yes, even his coach.
(Wooooooahhhh, so formal! Ewwwwww! No worries, #mubb fans. Cue the fun stuff!)
Best moment: This game, for all the reasons listed above. Begin at 0:30 if you want only Dawson highlights. (But I mean, who doesn’t like seeing Stu Jackson and Justin Kutcher talking to an empty arena and most likely a dreadfully low amount of television viewers? #FoxSports1Swag).
Season in a Word: LostOpportunity. (I seem to be overriding my own rules here).
Season in a Picture:
Season in a Rascal Flats Song:
LIFE IS A HIGGGHHHWAYYY!! JOHN WILL PLAAAY ONE DAAYYYY OHHHHHHHHHHH
Scale of 1-10: When he had the full opportunity to play, he was an 8. Everything else? 1. Sorry John. Your sporadic production was more of a testament to your lack of opportunities than to your skills. Can’t wait to see your improvements over the offseason, because you’re going to quickly develop into a key rotation player.
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