Monday, January 14, 2008

Vaughn vs. Logan, part 2

It's the latest buzz on the 'net. Deonta Vaughn is the next Steve Logan. Anytime you get to watch a guy like Logan for 4 years, you're going to be quick to anoint this guy or that guy as "the next Steve Logan." Who wouldn't want to see another one? Anyway, Bill Koch made a post about it last week and there's been some talk on the forums, as well. Let's take a look at some numbers and see how they compare.

It seems to me that the first thing we want to compare is Logan vs. Vaughn in their first two years. We can't compare Vaughn to the senior version of Steve Logan, because that just wouldn't be fair. The next problem that presents itself is that fact that Logan didn't play that much in his first two seasons, while Vaughn has been a starter who has racked up a ton of minutes. So we can't just compare raw numbers. Let's take it by the minute ...

Logan as freshman -- as sophomore
2 point fg: 53% -- 42%
3 point fg: 33% -- 42%
Points per 40 minutes: 16.6 -- 14.7
Shots per 40: 13.5 -- 10.9
Rebounds per 40: 2.9 -- 2.7
Assists per 40: 4.1 -- 5.3
Turnovers per 40: 2.3 -- 1.9
Steals per 40: .7 -- 1.1

Vaughn as freshman -- as sophomore
2 point fg: 47% -- 55%
3 point fg: 29% -- 42%
Points per 40: 17.6 -- 21
Shots per 40: 16.5 -- 14.5
Rebounds per 40: 4.2 -- 4
Assists per 40: 4.3 -- 5
Turnovers per 40: 3 -- 3.9
Steals per 40: 2.2 -- 1.1

For the sake of, um, clearity, I left plenty of things out (like free throws, free throw%, etc.). Click on their player cards and check out some other stuff, plus, I'll leave some stuff for another day. Anyway, through their first two years, let's try to make some general comparisons between Logan and Vaughn.

  • they are similar shooters both from 2 and 3
  • Vaughn's a better overall scorer
  • Vaughn is also a much larger part of his team's offense (at least shots-wise)
  • Vaughn's a better rebounder
  • Logan has (or had, whatever) better ball control
  • They are similar in assists
  • Vaughn's a litter better at creating steals

All in all, this seems to look very good for Deonta Vaughn. Over his first two years (or really, year and a half), he's been a comparable, if not better, player than Steve Logan was in his first two years.

The reason I stressed first two years and keep mentioning it is because Logan blossomed into one of the best players in the country over his last two years. You can't expect every above average sophomore to turn into Steve Logan as a senior. But after glancing at these admittedly quick-and-dirty numbers, there's certainly a chance that something like that happens and it wouldn't exactly be shocking if it did. Let's touch on a few other things.

These numbers, besides the fact that they are just numbers, don't account for a lot of things -- like, for instance, the pace of these teams, the teammates surrounding each player, the strength of opponents, the player's role, etc. They also don't account for scouting and/or things that aren't captured in the numbers. Leadership, defense, actual skills are a few examples. Like I said, it's just a quick look.

For Vaughn, sustaining this type of play isn't going to be easy. If he continues to play like this, opponents are going to start focusing on him more and more. Basically, it's tough to keep playing at an above average level and it's a credit to Logan that he was able to do so for so long. That said, if there's anyone that has reminded me of Logan since his departure, it's Vaughn. Be it size, stature, or numbers -- I can see a glimpse of Steve Logan when I watch Deonta Vaughn play, and that's why the comparisons seem so natural. Let me tell you, there isn't anyone who would want to see another Logan in Cincinnati more than me (well, I'm sure there are some people, like Mick for example). Steve Logan is still one of my favorite athletes ever. Who can forget going the length of the court against Memphis. Or the finish at the shoe against Marquette in his senior year ... beating Southern Missisippi by himself (literally). The guy is larger than life to me. And I didn't even really start following UC basketball until Logan's junior year.

Deonta Vaughn has a long way to go if he wants to fill Logan's shoes. But he's off to one hell of a start.

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