I think we've all been pleasantly surprised by the performance of Durrell Summers in this year's NCAA tournament. He has provided more scoring punch in the tournament than any other player on our roster. This comes as a surprise because he had what could only be described, given his undeniable talent, as a somewhat inconsistent regular season. My recollections from last year's tournament were that he made a somewhat similar jump. In order to confirm the accuracy of my recollections, I compiled his two-point shooting percentage, three point shooting percentage, and overall offensive rating for last year's and this year's NCAA tournament games. For comparison, I've also included the same percentages/ratings for the corresponding Big 10 seasons. Without further ado, here are the stats:
|2009 Big Ten Season||0.487||0.317||101.3|
|2010 Big Ten Season||0.51||0.32||105.8|
|2010 NCAA (to date)||0.583||0.533||131.7|
He has clearly made across the board jumps in both shooting and overall offensive performance in both NCAA tournaments, when compared to the Big 10 season. The jump in 3 point shooting percentage is particularly dramatic. Given that we now have 10 tournament games worth of stats to work with (basically half a Big 10 season's worth of games) thanks to two years straight of deep tournament runs, I would hardly call this performance "fluky" at this point. There just seems to be something about the tournament that brings out the best in Summers. I have been somewhat critical of him this year, but he definitely has a knack for stepping up his game when the lights are brightest.
Just from eyeballing things, it looks like some other guys have stepped things up during the post season. I don't have the time to compile the stats to look at whether someone else, either this year or last, should wear the crown of Mr. March - i.e. the guy who most outperforms his regular season averages in the NCAA. I think it is safe to say, though, that Summers should certainly be in the conversation.