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Northwestern women’s basketball player review 2020-2021: Jordan Hamilton

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If only the first quarter of Louisville could have lasted forever.

Syndication: The Indianapolis Star Robert Scheer/IndyStar via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Jordan Hamilton’s Northwestern career will always be one that is underappreciated. As part of a senior class that won the Big Ten her junior year and reached the NCAA tournament season in her senior year, Hamilton was a key part of one of the most successful classes in NU basketball history. Although she was not the star of the group, Hamilton always delivered in clutch moments.

Hamilton entered Northwestern as an ESPN top-100 recruit. In her freshman season, Hamilton averaged an impressive 7.7 points per game and 4.6 assists per game. While Hamilton’s assist numbers never quite reached her freshman year marks again in her NU career, she improved 8.4 points per game in her sophomore season. In her junior year, Hamilton’s minutes were nearly cut in half in comparison to her freshman year, which resulted in her averaging just 5.0 points per game. Hamilton had her best scoring season this past year, though, averaging 9.0 points per game.

When Hamilton strugged offensively, she usually stepped up on the defensive side of the floor. Her and Veronica Burton helped form one of the best defensive backcourts in all of college basketball the past two seasons. Hamilton amassed 160 steals and 60 blocks in her Northwestern career.

Stats

The following statistics are courtesy of herhoopstats.com.

Hamilton served as a core member of Northwestern’s roster by starting in all 25 of her games played as a senior. Hamilton’s bread and butter was on the defensive end of the floor. Averaging 1.7 steals per game, Hamilton finished in the top 8% of all college basketball players in terms of steals. Possibly even more impressive as a guard, Hamilton finished in the top 20% of college basketball players with 0.6 blocks per game.

Offensively, Hamilton struggled throughout the year. She shot just 26.4% from three, and if Hamilton could have been more efficient from three, Lindsey Pulliam would have received a lot less attention. As a whole some better marksmanship from Hamilton could have juiced an at times dormant offense.

Either way, Hamilton’s most memorable moment of the season came in the first quarter against Louisville in the NCAA tournament. Hamilton scored 12 points in a historic first quarter and finished with 17 points in the game.

Shot Distribution

The following statistics are courtesy of herhoopstats.com.

Hamilton’s advanced shooting statistics reflect what has already been said — she struggled offensively this past season. Her 0.70 points per play finished in the bottom third of all college basketball players.

From a positive standpoint, Hamilton did an awesome job taking care of the basketball. While not reflected in this graphic, Hamilton’s 19.3% assist rate was in the top 17% among collegiate players. Even better, her 1.48 assist to turnover ratio ranked in the top 12 percentile collegiately.

The Good

Hamilton was a reliable player that Northwestern could always count on in defensive situations. She did an excellent job applying pressure and generating turnovers on this end.

Beyond her defensive prowess, Hamilton provided senior leadership and helped carry the load when Lindsey Pulliam had an off night. Hamilton often contributed in the clutch and performed best in marquee Big Ten games (Iowa and Indiana). She offered a diverse skill set that will be hard to replace should Hamilton decide against returning for a fifth season.

The Bad

As previously mentioned, Hamilton simply did not shoot efficiently enough from the field. Additionally, while Hamilton did a solid job racking up assist numbers and generating turnovers on the defensive side of the ball, she often coughed the ball up offensively. She finished the season averaging over two turnovers a game.

The Bottom Line

If Jordan Hamilton’s Northwestern career is over, she will be remembered as one of the players that helped change the trajectory of the program. Her grittiness was essential to the success of the team on a nightly basis. Whether she calls it a career or returns to Evanston for a fifth and final season, her time at Northwestern should be considered a massive success in every way.