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One month impressions: Tariq Owens

Multi-faceted defensive stopper?

Wendell Cruz

Chris Mullin sees Tariq Owens as a defensive game changer, and so far, despite the foul trouble, he has not disappointed in that role. Owens has been like a spider’s web - sticky, hard to get around.

And for what it’s worth, the on-court estimation of his defensive effect on the floor has him highly rated. The team is allowing opponents to score 83 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor, which is incredibly good defense. Only Justin Simon has a better defensive rating.

Tariq Owens joins Kassoum Yakwe as a formidable defensive bench combo, though they lack size and bulk. They make up for it with their athletic ability. Owens also is developing that long range jumper.

After watching the big men on Missouri hitting three pointers with consistency (and after watching Owens unable to establish position in the post), maybe there is a role for Owens hitting the jumpers, even at three point range. He tried one over the weekend (which missed, but not my much).

Still, the shooting percentage has been low so far this season, and he has not found the offensive rhythm on pick and rolls...

By the numbers

Best game (arguably?): vs. Nebraska, 6 points (2/4), 9 rebounds, 6 blocks, 4 fouls, 24 minutes

Leaderboards: Leading Big East in blocked shots overall with 69, and in block percentage (18.6% of opponent attempts)

Tariq Owens is averaging four points, five rebounds, three blocks on 37% shooting inside the arc.

We should also point out that Owens is 11/12 from the free throw line. He’s been a good free throw shooter, but that is impressive in the early going.

Also quite impressive: Owens is currently averaging just under five fouls per 40 minutes. Not the greatest number, but that’s viable - meaning, he is not getting himself in the kind of foul trouble that will limit his availability throughout the game.

The interior scoring is more of an issue, though part of that is going 1/5 against Molloy. Owens does need to find his offense - whether it’s pick and roll, jump shooting (the shot looks better this season) or simple rim-running for dunks.

Certainly, his offense will look better if the team can fast-break with better efficiency/ more frequently.

What has Owens done that has impressed you?