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Northwestern men’s basketball player reviews: Ryan Greer

The sophomore point guard saw his minutes drop despite some positive indicators.

NCAA Basketball: Northwestern at Rutgers Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Last season, Ryan Greer served as a backup guard in a Northwestern backcourt with no depth, and, with a similar situation heading into the 2019-2020 season, the Atlanta native was perhaps expected to show consistency in serving as a deputy to Pat Spencer. Ultimately, the sophomore played less this season than the previous as Chris Collins increasingly relied on a tandem of Spencer, A.J. Turner and Boo Buie.

Stats

The following numbers are taken from KenPom.com

The statistic that perhaps stands out the most is the fact that Greer only saw an average of 8.2 minutes per game this season — playing in 23 of the ‘Cats’ 31 games. That alone makes it tough to evaluate his season from a statistical standpoint. His assist rate surpasses his turnover rate, an improvement from last season. He also raised his offensive rating nearly 30 points from last season, yet only took 21 shots — six beyond the arc, shooting 33 percent.

Shot Distribution

The following stats are taken from hoop-math.com

It’s challenging to evaluate Greer’s shot distribution based on his low number of shots, but his 21 percent (3-for-14) two-point jumper percentage is the lowest from any player aside from Anthony Gaines. As one of the shortest players any time he is on the court, his ability to score will certainly be dictated by his ability to create and convert his own jumpers while emphasizing taking it to the hole more frequently.

The Good

After Boo Buie was sidelined with a stress fracture, Greer recorded a season-high five points and 22 minutes with three assists in the ‘Cats’ 77-68 loss to Minnesota on the road. He shot 2-for-4, including one of the two triples he scored all season long.

Additionally, this season Greer’s greatest value came while handling the ball, an improvement from his negative assist-to-turnover ratio last year. He also only turned the ball over four times all season while having 20 assists (only five fewer assists despite the reduction in minutes).

The Bad

No statistic stands out as particularly bad for Greer, mostly on account of his lack of playing time. Nonetheless, the 6-foot-2 guard is certainly not an offensive threat from the point. He only attempted 27 field goals, and while he did not turn over the ball as much, he is yet to develop the ability to create his own shots against Big Ten defenses.

More importantly, Greer never could establish himself in Chris Collins’s plans. His lack of playing time, dampens the notion that Greer could develop into a reliable guard as he approaches his final two years in Evanston.

Offseason Focus

With Spencer gone, Greer will compete with incoming freshman Ty Berry, Buie, and William & Mary transfer Chase Audige for playing time in the backcourt. He has shown that he won’t turn the ball over, but in order to transcend the role of a backup point guard and contribute on the offensive end of the court, Greer will have to focus on creating his own shot and improving his numbers from the field.

The Bottom Line

This season was a bit of a disappointment from the sophomore. He saw the court much less and did not take any major offensive strides. His improved assist-to-turnover ratio is a step in the right direct, but he needs a good offseason to establish himself as a contributor for Chris Collins’s squad.