USC Basketball: Predicting Boogie Ellis' stats for next season
By Evan Desai
Boogie Ellis really excelled in his first year with USC basketball. That being said, he's in for even bigger and better things this year. He trained for the NBA this past offseason. Sure, he decided to come back, but one has to be kidding themselves if they think that his offseason being spent training for the NBA wasn't a positive for him.
Expect him to be better this year. Even with him likely to run the point even more than he did last year, and spending less time out on the wing, expect him to up his 12.5 point per game total to another bucket at 14.5. He improved 2.3 points per game from 2020-2021 to 2021-2022, and there's no reason not to expect a jump similar to that again now that he's yet another year older.
And speaking of him taking more reps as the primary ball-handler, his assist number should therefore go up. Look at the weapons he has to dish the ball to...
It's not just an elite scoring talent in Drew Peterson, but also THREE four and five-star recruits from this 2022 cycle for him to work with in five-star Center Vince Iwuchukwu, four-star Power Forward Kijani Wright, and four-star Small Forward Tre White.
Boogie Ellis will average 4.5 assists per game this season for USC basketball, as opposed to his 2.4 assists per game last year.
Boogie Ellis' turnovers will probably go down this year too, as he is not only a year wiser, but he's playing with a Pac-12 Player of the Year hopeful in the backcourt in Peterson. The two of them are on quite the upward trajectories in their careers, and just finally played their first full season together. Their chemistry is only going to improve.
As the primary point guard, Ellis will have more opportunities for turnovers this upcoming season, but he'll be more efficient in protecting the basketball. So, while his turnovers per game mark may only drop from 1.8 to 1.5, that will be a much better job of protecting the rock for the Trojans.
As far as his shooting goes, his numbers probably will not go up if he's likely to be further away from the basketball on average than last year, with him playing the 1 more often. He's sure to have worked on his shot quite a bit this offseason in his quest for the NBA, though, so don't expect his 41.7 FG% and 37.6 3-PT FG% to drop.
In fact, with the work he's put in during the offseason, expect his free throw percentage to rise from 79.8% to 83%. And nobody's just guessing that he worked hard in the offseason. He did train for the NBA, and he did participate in the Drew League with NBA Titan LeBron James. Basketball is clearly on his mind, and very much so.
It's why he might go back to the type of defensive player he was in the past. Last year was a down year on defense for Ellis, who averaged just 0.8 steals per game and put up a 101.5 defensive rating. In his two years on the court over at Memphis, he racked up 1.2 steals per game and posted a 90.9 defensive rating.
Expect him to be somewhere in the middle there coming into this upcoming season. Expect a steal per game and a 96.2 defensive rating. He'll get back on track defensively, and will put up better overall offensive stats too.
The eye test will probably be more important, but if he develops as expected, don't be surprised at all if he makes the All-Pac 12 First-Team roster this season. He was an Honorable Mention last year, proving he wasn't too far off in the first place.