Season in review: Aaron Jordan

Illini Inquirer basketball analyst Sean Harrington breaks down Aaron Jordan's freshman season and sets expectations for his sophomore season.

Harrington's Season in Review columns

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Season in Review

Key stats: 3.3 points, 0.9 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.4 steals, 32.6 FG%, 34.4 3FG%, 82.6 FT%

Aaron Jordan started his freshmanseason with a bang. Jordan notched his season-high in his first game with 14 points. He averaged 8.0 points and shot 10-f-or-21 from three during his first five games. Jordan shot the ball decent from three for a freshmen (34%). He also did a good job of taking care of the basketball with a 2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. Jordan will have to improve on his shooting percentage inside the arc (29%) in order to become more of a dual threat. As expected for a freshmen, Jordan’s number took a hit once he entered Big Ten play and went against better competition and scouting reports.

Offseason Focus

Jordan is a good shooter and that is where he can help this team the most going into next season. He shot the ball well in a catch-and-shoot situations. Every day, he should make 10 three pointers from five spots on spot ups. Also, to continue to gain confidence, he should make five threes in a row from one spot before moving on to the next one and continue this from all five spots.  

Jordan needs to improve his threes off the move. To improve this, he should make 10 threes on the move from four different spots: running from under the rim to both corners and coming off wing curls from both sides.  

Next, he should work on shot fakes followed by one-dribble midrange jumpers. Teams will run him off the three, so he should work on spot-up catches and use a shot fake or rip-and-go working on going left and right. He should make 40 total shots working different spots on the floor each day.  

Jordan did a good job taking care of the ball, but it is always helpful to do some dribbling circuits. This should take up about 15 minutes each day.  

When you take a closer look at Jordan’s numbers, he was excellent against zone defense and just average against man-to-man defense. This makes sense since you will shooting more open shots against zone. But more importantly, you don’t have to read the defense as much. Jordan should watch a lot of film this offseason. He will see the difference between good shoots and bad shots. By watching film, it will help him bring that average up and it will build his basketball IQ of when to pull the trigger and when to pass up a questionable shot.  

2016-17 Expectations

Jordan can see his minutes and playing time increase if he improves his defense and takes better shots. These improvements in his game would help him gain the trust of the coaching staff. Next year, Jordan should shoot close to 40% from the floor and beyond the arc. Just by improving his shooting numbers. he should see his scoring average jump up to 5-6 points per game. Sometimes, it is difficult for freshmen to have a positive assist-to-turnover ratio. Jordan’s was positive so it will be important for that to remain on the positive side.  

Sean Harrington is the basketball analyst for IlliniInquirer.com and also serves as a color analyst for ESPN. He played for four NCAA Tournament teams at Illinois, from 1999-2002. He also served on coaching staffs for Rick Majerus, Bill Self, Rob Judson and Bruce Weber. Follow him on Twitter @smharrington24.


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