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PGU Player Preview: Kyle Fogg

September 17th, 2011 News No Comments

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Pras Murthy

Keep an eye on the front page of PointGuardU.com in the weeks leading up to the basketball season for more player previews. Make sure to check out the ones you missed.

Kyle Fogg enters his senior season as the most experienced player on the roster, with 104 games played and 85 started. And yet, Fogg is one of the most questioned players on the team. Fogg is looking to close out his Arizona career as a leader on and off the court.

While inconsistent, Fogg’s career has been solid. After starting 27 games as a freshman, Fogg was an honorable mention for the Pac-10 all freshmen team. And last year Fogg was an honorable mention for the Pac-10 all defensive team. If Fogg shows the same improvement he has in the past, he should be in the conversation for all Pac-12 honors.

One of the most confusing aspects of Fogg’s season was his inconsistency shooting the ball. While he shot better than 50 percent ten times, he also shot worse than 30 percent twelve times. Fans could never be sure what they would get from Fogg, but when he was on, like at ASU, his scoring could elevate Arizona’s offense to another level.

With Derrick Williams and Momo Jones gone from last year’s team, there will be a number of shots available for the remaining players. Williams and Jones were the leading two shot takers, by a large margin. Together they accounted for more than a third of the team’s total shots.

Fogg is expected to get many of those shots. However, his shooting percentage has decreased each season, and Fogg had the lowest shooting percentage of anyone who saw significant minutes last year. Fogg will need to develop more consistency in order to be efficient. Despite the low shooting percentage, Fogg did lead the team in three pointers made.

An under rated aspect of Fogg’s game is his passing ability. Fogg led the team in assists and had the best assist to turnover ratio. Derrick Williams was on the receiving end of many of those assists, and Fogg’s ability to get the ball to Arizona’s post players in good position will be key to their offensive efficiency.

According to coach Miller, Fogg has worked harder than any other player in the off season. Fogg tried to improve his shooting inconsistency by putting up over 40,000 shots this summer. Fogg recently told Jim Rome that he made around 28,000 of them. The Wildcats will need Fogg to be a reliable scoring threat in order to open up the court for the other players.

Fogg will also look to lead the team on the defensive end. Maligned by coach Miller for his individual defense two years ago, Fogg has shown a commitment to defense and helped contain a number of opposing shooting guards. With a lot of youth and inexperience in the backcourt, Fogg will be called upon to limit opposing guards.

Fogg also needs to contribute in the locker room, using his experience to help teammates through tough times. Fogg’s ability to respond to adversity, particularly rough shooting nights, will be a large part of Arizona’s attitude as a team. Fogg needs to lead by example, doing the little things night in and night out.

We expect Fogg to improve in points, shooting percentage, and three pointers. A lot more plays will be run for Fogg, and he will need to be consistent with his jumper. Otherwise, defenses will be able to pack the paint, reducing the space for Arizona’s other play makers.

If Fogg can contribute 14 points a game, while shutting down opposing guards and consistently hitting open jumpers, Arizona will get what it needs out of the shooting guard position.

Plenty of players will get a chance to prove themselves in the clutch, but of the current roster, Fogg has the most experience with the ball in his hands at the end of a game. It seems likely that crunch time plays will be drawn up for him, although he did seem to have trouble last year on set shots out of timeouts. Fogg’s percentage on these kinds of shots will go a long ways towards determining how Arizona fairs in close games.

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