Illini Wonk
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
  Trent Meacham v. Jon Scheyer
There's one thing we've clearly established: Bruce Weber can't recruit. He may be able to land locals like Jamar Smith, Trent Meacham and Bill Cole, but he can't get Jon Scheyer, Derrick Rose and Sherron Collins. Under Weber, Illinois better get used to the shadow of Big Ten recruiting powerhouses like Ohio State and Michigan State. Right?

Well, let's look at this season so far. Let's compare the unheralded Trent Meacham with the celebrated Jon Scheyer. Through Four Games, here are Meacham's stats:

PPG: 14.8
AST: 3.5
A/T: 1.56
STL: .5
FG%: .486
FT%: .833
3P%: .556

Here are the stats for Scheyer over his first four games:

PPG: 10.8
AST: 1.5
A/T: 1.0
STL: 1.0
FG%: .481
FT%: 1.000
3P%: .563

So, despite playing similar minutes (35) to Scheyer (32.5) and shooting a similar percentage, Meacham is averaging four more points and two more assists than Scheyer. Meacham also has a better assist/turnover ratio and has been to the free-throw line three times for every one of Scheyer.

It may be early in the season, but perhaps Weber isn't as bad of a recruiter as we all assumed? Maybe he's looking for guys who fit his system rather than players who want the spotlight for one or two seasons before they jump to the NBA? Just a thought.
I'm a *huge* fan of Meacham's. I watched him play last year at the scrimmage and I was amazingly impressed. I'm not surprised that he's playing so well. And I'm confident that he's going to get better.

I trust that Weber can pick good players even if that means it's not what conventional wisdom says.
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