Nebrasketball Player Reviews: Glynn Watson Jr.
Photo Credit: Aaron Babcock

Nebrasketball Player Reviews: Glynn Watson Jr.

March 25, 2017

The NCAA Tournament is still in full swing, but the Nebrasketball season ended when the Huskers fell in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament. With the 2016-17 season in the books, it is time to begin looking back at the positives and negatives from the year as we go player by player and break it down.

Glynn Watson Jr., Sophomore, Guard

Stats: 13.0 PPG, 41.6% FG, 39.3% 3FG, 81.0% FT, 3.0 RPG, 2.6 APG, 1.5 TPG, 1.6 SPG, 31.6 MPG

Season Review

At times this year, the dynamic guard out of Illinois looked like an all-conference player. At others, he was barely a factor, and even worse, at others he struggled enough to bring the team down. Overall, Watson took a big step forward as a sophomore, but for the Huskers to succeed in 2018-19 he is going to have to find consistency.

Watson was a much more dynamic scorer this season than he was as a freshman. He recorded seven 20-plus point games including a career-high 34 in a double-overtime win against Iowa; his high last season was 17, set twice. However, he also had single digits 10 times including four games with three or less.

The biggest reason for Watson’s nearly four-and-a-half-point jump in scoring average was his much improved perimeter shot. After shooting just 26.7 percent from the arc and making less than one per game as a freshman, Watson shot 39.3 percent and made 1.5 3s per game. He more than doubled his total 3-pointers from 20 to 48.

However, Watson did not make much progress inside the arc. After shooting 43 percent on 2-pointers as a freshman, he connected on just 42.9 percent of his attempts as a sophomore. Watson loves the mid-range or long 2 pull-up jumper, but that is one of the toughest and least efficient shots in the game. At a slender 6-feet, Watson also has trouble finishing at the basket at times, although he has improved in that area.

There might not have been a bigger indicator of Nebraska’s success than a good game by Watson. Tai Webster was the rock of the team and Ed Morrow Jr.’s absence was most certainly felt when he had to sit out with his foot injury, but the difference between Watson’s numbers in wins and losses is dramatic.

In Nebraska’s 12 wins, Watson averaged 16 points and 2.9 assists in 30.2 minutes per game while shooting 47.4 percent from the field, 57.1 percent from deep and 85.7 percent from the foul line. In the Huskers’ 19 losses, those numbers fall to 11.2 points and 2.4 assists in 32.5 minutes per game while shooting 38 percent from the field, 30 percent from 3 and 74.3 percent from the charity stripe.

Watson scored more than 15 points just once in Nebraska’s final 16 games as the Huskers closed out the season with a 3-13 stretch.

Watson was the point guard in name, but it was Webster who handle most of the playmaking for the Huskers. Webster’s assist rate actually dropped a bit from his freshman season, and he averaged just 2.6 assists to Webster’s 4.0. However, Watson continued to value the ball with just a minor uptick in turnover rate to go with his larger role. Watson turned the ball over 1.5 times per game, giving him an assist-to-turnover ratio of a solid 1.7.

Best Performance: In a 93-90 double-overtime win against Iowa on Feb. 2, Watson finished with a career-high 34 points on 11-of-18 from the field, 4-of-10 from the perimeter and 7-of-8 from the line with four assists, three rebounds and three steals. Watson went shot-for-shot with the Big Ten’s leading scorer in Iowa’s Peter Jok and carried the Hawkeyes to a victory in front of a raucous crowd at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

Grade: B

Looking Ahead

With Webster graduating, Nebraska will be Glynn Watson Jr.’s team next season, and as such the Huskers can’t afford him continuing to be hot and cold. He is going to have to step up his play and replicate close to what Webster did (and perhaps even more in the assist department). Currently, Evan Taylor, James Palmer Jr. coming off a redshirt and Anton Gill coming off an injury are the only real ball-handlers on the roster, making Watson’s consistent play at the point that much more important.

Nebraska will need something like 16 to 17 points on solid efficiency and four to six assists from Watson every night next year. If he can accomplish that, the Huskers will have a chance to find more success than they did this year. Webster’s loss hurts, but the addition of Georgetown transfer Isaac Copeland as a pick-and-pop power forward and freshman Nana Akenten as a floor spacer could create more space for Watson to go to work.

For Tai Webster’s season review, head over here.

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