The Numbers Game: With Vikram Bodas '18

by Vikram Bodas | 4/17/16 5:01pm

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Dartmouth men's basketball played at home against Canisius Tuesday night
by Seamore Zhu / The Dartmouth

Each week The Numbers Game will break-down one Dartmouth sport’s statistic.

This week’s #: 17.7 — Evan Boudreaux ’19’s scoring average last season

If you watched any Dartmouth men’s basketball game last season, it was obvious that Evan Boudreaux ’19 was the Big Green’s best player on the floor. The 6 foot 8 inch, 225-pound power forward was the third-leading rebounder in the Ivy League, pulling down 9.4 boards per game on the year. The freshman recorded 10 double-doubles — the most a Dartmouth player has had in 23 years. Most impressively, the Illinois native finished the season as the Ivy League’s second leading scorer by averaging a flashy 17.7 points per game. Boudreaux was deservingly awarded with the Ivy League Rookie of the Year honor at the end of the season, along with winning the A.D. “Dolly” Stark Award as the Big Green’s most valuable player.

Most weeks, this column has delved into stats that are a little less mainstream, so I usually spend a few sentences explaining how the stat is calculated and why it is a useful means of comparison. However, when I was doing my research for the week, I felt that Boudreaux’s year was so impressive that it necessitated a write-up to fully put his season in perspective. His most impressive number from the season was his points per game average — a stat that even the most casual of sports fans are familiar with. The simplicity of this statistic, however, should not take away from how impressive this scoring average is for a freshman.

Out of the top five points per game scorers in the Ivy League, only two were freshmen — Matt Morgan of Cornell University and the Big Green’s Boudreaux. Junior Robert Hatter of Cornell, senior Maodi Lo of Columbia University and sophomore Makai Mason of Yale University rounded out the top five. The presence of only two freshmen among these ranks indicates how rare it is to see a new player like Boudreaux dominating at such an early stage in his career. The most common career path for NCAA Division I players is to use their freshmen and sophomore years to both adjust to the uptick in competition and develop their bodies in terms of strength and conditioning. Boudreaux is the rare breed of player who is capable of contributing in a major way from the get-go.

In terms of all Division I players, Boudreaux ranked as the 101st leading scorer on the season. Although to some this may not seem that impressive, consider the fact that there are 347 Division I college basketball programs and about 4,511 players total. This means that the freshmen Boudreaux ranked in the top two percent of all Division I men’s basketball players as far as points per game is concerned.

Ben Simmons of Louisiana State University, the likely number one overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft, is another one of these players that was able to dominate on the hardwood the moment he stepped foot on campus. Both Simmons and Boudreaux were the only two first year players in Division I basketball to average at least 17 points and nine rebounds a game. Boudreaux’s numbers stack up well even when comparing him to the most talented freshmen in the country, further illustrating how dominant he was last year.

With the announcement that long time head coach Paul Cormier will not return next season, the Big Green basketball program is in a bit of a transition period as we look forward to next year. Whoever takes the reins next season will rely on Boudreaux to not only replicate his sensational freshmen campaign, but also to take the next step in developing his game.