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Northwestern men’s basketball 2020-21 player reviews: Miller Kopp

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A disappointing goodbye to Evanston’s three-point shooter.

Having played for Northwestern for three years, Miller Kopp had become one of the leaders of Chris Collins’ squad. He played big minutes, he was top-two in scoring and was a go-to guy to hit threes.

However, with the recent news of his plan to transfer to another program, his impact on this team is apparent, as now, there is a large Kopp-sized hole that needs to be filled in Evanston.

Stats

The following numbers are from KenPom.com

Kopp started the season off by averaging 13.7 points per game through the first 15 contests, but then, he hit a wall. He was poised to be the leader of this team, coming off the previous season in which he led the team in scoring, but something changed after the January 31 Rutgers game. In a five-game stretch, Kopp was unable to record more than three made field goals in a game. It appeared as if he got it back in one of the season’s closing games against Minnesota, but he followed that 15-point performance with an 0-for-11 showing against Maryland.

Nevertheless, Kopp’s 34 made three-pointers were good for third on the team behind Chase Audige and Boo Buie, and no one played more minutes (31.5 mpg) than him. He finished the season averaging 11.3 points per game in a season in which he did not shoot particularly well. Wildcat fans have seen him perform and shoot well, so we know that he is capable of doing so; however, Kopp did not live up to expectations given to him from last year with his 39.6% field goal percentage and 36% three-point percentage.

Shot Distribution

Miller Kopp is undeniably a shooter. His 15% of shots at the rim make that pretty obvious. Other than that, his two- and three-point jumpers are pretty split, from his percentage of shots to his make percentage.

Another notable stat is that he relies heavily upon catch-and-shoot threes, as evidenced by his 91.2% assisted threes rate. So long as he improves his percentage to where it was in the 2019-2020 season, Kopp should be able to fill that role as a quick-release three-point shooter on any team he chooses.

The Good

It’s easy to look at this year’s season, compare it to last year’s, and think that this was an unsuccessful year for Kopp. Although Northwestern fans were expecting a bit of growth and improvement from him, he still had a good season. He was second on the team in scoring, and he played significant minutes. Kopp did exactly what he was expected to do: shoot the ball. It may not have gone in as much as one would like, but he shot the ball and delivered in certain situations. Discrediting the impact he had on the team this year would be criminal.

The Bad

The second half of his season did not feature Kopp’s best play, especially in terms of shooting, but the real bad for Northwestern here is that he is leaving. Whether or not he played his best ball this year, Kopp is undeniably a leader for Northwestern and has played a crucial role on the team for three years. For a team that already struggles to find an identity, losing its star player won’t help the situation and calls Collins’ future into question once again. His presence will certainly be missed.

The Bottom Line

Miller Kopp has been good to Northwestern. Fans had expected a better season with a better overall shooting performance this year (having made 32 fewer threes this year), but he still delivered meaningful minutes and buckets. Similarly, Kopp delivered three meaningful seasons at Northwestern, and his presence will be missed in Evanston.