Former St. John's forward, JaKarr Sampson, looked lost early on in the season for the Philadelphia 76ers. The rookie was sent down to the D-League in late November and when he was playing on the NBA courts, he only averaged 2.3 points per game and 6.5 minutes per game.
Since then, Sampson has improved and seems more comfortable playing day in and day out on the NBA level. In December, Sampson averaged 3.9 points per game and so far this month he has upped his scoring average to 6 points per game.
In the past six match-ups, Sampson has scored in double figures twice including a loss against the Bucks where he also grabbed 7 rebounds and dished out 5 assists.
The most impressive stat on Sampson's line has been his field goal percent. He is not forcing up bad shots or making poor decisions (something that hurt him early) and that has been key to his efficiency. So far this month, the 6' 9" forward from Cleveland is shooting 70 percent from the field and 43 percent from beyond the three point line.
Sampson success could be directly driven to the increase of his minutes as the forward has played 15 or more minutes in 9 of his past 12 games.
In order for Sampson to quickly improve and play consistent minutes, he must continue to get stronger, clean up his free throw shooting and develop a better jumper. The 76ers will give Sampson his fair share of minutes if he can correct his weaknesses, because of their place in the standings.
JaKarr Sampson left the St. John's program early because he felt he could develop much better on the D-League level than staying at college. Instead, he now has an opportunity to finish out the season on an NBA roster.