P.J. Tucker and Lamarcus Aldridge were announced among the thirty finalists for the Wooden Award this year. Last week we pointed you to Andy Katz's final thirty for the award, which also included Daniel Gibson. While the larger point we were making in that post (about Texas' deep pool of stars) stands, I think Gibson's omission from the official list is fair.
Gibson is shooting a lackluster 43% from the floor this year, 39% from three point land. Those percentages aren't anything to be too embarrassed about, but Gibson has now attempted 159 threes on the year. Only eighteen players in all of the country have attempted more. Fortunately, Gibson isn't bricking at the rate of Gerry McNamara of Syracuse, who has hit a pathetic 32% of his 198 threes attempted, but this belies the fact that Gibson isn't a one-trick pony, like G-Mac.
Last year, when Tucker and Aldridge went away, Gibson had to play a more all-around game. Recalling his best games of the year, he was driving to the basket far more frequently. This year, with better low-post scoring options, Gibson seems to be standing around on the outside waiting to shoot a three. He, and the team, would be far better off if he'd start penetrating with more regularity. Not only would he help his own offensive game, but he'd create better opportunities for Gibson and Tucker. By standing around on the outside, he negates what makes him such a great all-around player. If you don't have to be Gerry McNamara, don't.
Gibson remains a strong, productive player for the Horns, but he can do better. Rick Barnes has done a good job making much-needed changes to this team, from moving Gibson off the point, to getting Tucker more touches near the rim, to changing to a zone defense. The next big step will be getting Gibson off the three point parking lot. Drive, Daniel. Drive.