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Northwestern basketball 2016 player reviews: Jordan Ash

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Jordan Ash got limited minutes in 2016 and didn't do a whole lot with them.

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Jordan Ash wasn't asked to do a whole lot in his first year as a Northwestern Wildcat. And he didn't do a whole lot.

Ash played in almost every game for the Wildcats this year, but averaged about 5 minutes per contest. Northwestern certainly needed a backup ballhandler, but they didn't need one badly enough to give Ash serious minutes. But he did dunk on a dude from UMass-Lowell. That was dope.

Stats

The following numbers are taken from KenPom.com

Ash stats

Jordan Ash didn't play much, didn't shoot a whole lot when he played, and didn't convert a lot of shots that he took. In conference play, he scored just 12 points. He scored 18 combined points against Sacred Heart and Chicago State, which was fun, but at this point in his development, he's still a very raw, fairly limited player on the offensive end.

Shot Chart

Jordan Ash shot chart

There are no takeaways here. The sample size is too small.

The Good

Jordan Ash was in on maybe the most important defensive play of the year, on the full court press at the end of the game against Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament. Jordan Ash's man didn't get the ball, so he did his job. Jordan Ash is a pretty good defender already, at least from the limited minutes we've seen. There's room for defense-first guards in lineups. Ash has decent size at 6-foot-2, so he could absolutely develop into a useful defender.

The Bad

Jordan Ash is not a Big Ten-level offensive player yet. He's not a sure enough ballhandler to beat people off the dribble, and he's not a good enough shooter to make people respect him on the perimeter. Again, backup ballhandlers do not need to be scoring threats, but Ash needs to improve his all-around offensive game if he wants to play serious minutes in the future.

Offseason Focus

Next year, Northwestern needs someone to spell Bryant McIntosh and handle the ball. Ash doesn't need to become a three-point marksman next season. What he does need to do is tighten up his handles and be someone who can penetrate. All Northwestern needs of him next year is to be an off-brand Khalid Lewis, a pass-first point who can get inside if you forget about him. If he became an heir to Tre Demps overnight, that would be fantastic, but that's not a reasonable expectation.

The Bottom Line

Jordan Ash played 156 minutes last year, half of what Gavin Skelly played. It's hard to make any earth shattering observations based on that sample size. He did fine in the role that he was given. But if he wants to have a more integral role, he has to round out his offense in a dramatic way.