This is the fifth installment of a series of player-by-player look-backs at the 2008-2009 Wildcats basketball team. Click the links to see previous installments.
I'll just make this simple and plain. I love Fogg's stat page at DraftExpress.com.) There were more highly regarded freshmen in the Pac10, but few (if any) were more efficient or productive on a per possession basis than Fogg. (I'm looking at you Jrue Holiday, and you too Demar DeRozan.) Fogg shot 60% from the field using True Shooting Percentage, which accounts for the marginal impact of three-point and free throw shooting. For a frontcourt player 60% is very good. For a guard 60% is outstanding. Fogg shot a healthy 38.3% from the arc, but also got to the free throw line on 43% of his possessions. Fogg was a low usage player, easily the fourth option among the starters. He used only 8.5% of the team's possessions, which was not surprising given the focus on the Big Three of Hill, Budinger, and Wise. Yet he scored a robust 1.11 points per possession, making good use of his limited possessions. He was a net contributor on offense, but without dominating the ball. Fogg also showed a solid floor game. Though he could disappear at times, he wasn't especially turnover prone (just two TOs per pace-adjusted 40). He passes the ball reasonably well (1.4 assist-to-turnover ratio), though I'd like to see him develop that aspect of his game more. He also chipped in 4.1 boards per pace-adjusted 40 just for kicks and giggles.. His game, his build, and his on-court mannerisms remind me so much of Reggie Geary* it's kinda frightening. Fortunately for current Wildcat fans, Fogg will likely be a better offensive player. (You can see
What initially caught my eye about Fogg, however, was his defense. It was a buddy of mine who first planted the Reggie Geary bug in my ear. Arizona had played its first couple of games before I got a chance to see them, living as I do on the East Coast. My man was like, "Even though he's not that tall he's got arms that drag the floor. He's thicker across the chest and through the trunk and thighs than a lot of guys who play his position--just like Reggie. And, he likes to get up in a ball handler's ass--just like Reggie. Hell, he even looks like Reggie." Fogg's combined steals and blocks were only 1.6 (per pace-adjusted 40), though much of that owes to Arizona's reliance on zone defense. I think we saw Fogg's value in harassing shooters and dribblers in the tournament vs. Utah and Cleveland State when Arizona extended the defense a bit more. I fully expect the stats to catch up to what Fogg brings to the table defensively in Sean Miller's system.
The outlook for Fogg is bright. In some ways I think Reggie Geary is his floor, not his ceiling. Fogg's freshman year was better statistically than Geary's, and compares favorably to Geary's junior season. It certainly compared favorably to the seasons produced by some of the conferences more heralded freshmen. Although he outperformed many of these more heralded Pac10 freshmen, I doubt that the NBA lottery is necessarily in his immediate future. I certainly wouldn't put it past him, but the profie of a 6'1" lottery-bound combo guard typically looks a lot more like Jeryrd Bayless's than Kyle Fogg's. Nevertheless, I see Fogg developing into a "stat sheet stuffer supreme" to borrow a phrase from the inestimable Clark Kellogg. Fogg puts something in every column. He does a lot of things to help a team win, but does them without dominating the ball. I anticipate that he will make the transition to Sean Miller's system quite well, and that coach Miller will fall in love with him just like I did.
* I can hardly blame Sean Miller for bringing in his own staff, but it pained me to see Reggie go. That guy gave his soul to Arizona basketball, and he's a heck of a young coach who helped lay the groundwork for the exodus from USC to UA that we are seeing right now. Good luck at SMU Reggie.