Kelly Olynyk had one of the best seasons in college history, so what happened?
Kelly Olynyk's junior season was the greatest college basketball season EVER...according to PER (since 2009 when BasketballReference first began tracking the stat in college). Yes, you read that correctly.
Olynyk's 2012-13 campaign was truly dazzling, as he led the Gonzaga Bulldogs to a 31-2 regular season record and a number one seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Wichita State Shockers eventually knocked out Olynyk and the Zags in the Round of 32, but Olynyk's PER will forever live on.
His per-game stats for the year were as follows:
17.8 points on 63 percent from the field and 78 percent from the line 7.3 rebounds 1.7 assists 1.1 blocks (maybe Kelly is the rim protector we need)
And he did all of that in only 26 minutes per game! Those stats were good enough for an astounding 36.16 PER (Player Efficiency Rating).
Just realized Kelly Olynyk has the best single-season PER in college basketball since @bball_ref started tracking the stat: 36.16. Huh.
Olynyk is ahead of some impressive names. Anthony Davis, Kenneth Faried, DeMarcus Cousins, and Damian Lillard are all great NBA talents. So why hasn't Olynyk's game translated like the names above?
His PER through two seasons in the NBA isn't even close to what it was during his final season in college. That number? 15.6
There are numerous factors that could have caused this severe drop in PER. Olynyk's lack of elite athleticism has forced many of his shots to come from behind the arc, over two per game in the NBA. Olynyk also played in the West Coast Conference in college where his biggest conference foe was St. Mary's, not exactly a college powerhouse.
Whatever the reason, Olynyk has not been able to translate his stellar final college season onto the NBA hardwood, yet.
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