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Stephen Rogers: Looking to the Future

Stephen Rogers intrigues me. Plain and simple.

Streaky and inconsistent he is, but that should be expected of someone who averages less than 11 minutes a game. He is a proven player, being named a Juco All-American at Mesa CC, where he averaged 21.3 points, hit 85 threes and shot .499 from the field, .427 from three and .810 from the free throw line. Those, my friends, are not fluky shooting numbers.

Let's have a look at Rogers' 2010-2011 season thus far:

FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
2010 G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG

30 10.7 1.3 3.0 42.2 0.6 1.7 35.3 1.2 1.4 85.4 0.5 1.8 2.3 0.4 0.7 0.3 0.2 0.7 4.3

While his field goal and 3-point percentages are down, his free throw percentage is up. This is not unexpected; a player used to taking many shots a game is usually not as effective when given sparse and inconsistent minutes. Rogers has shown that, with extended minutes, he can be a reliable scoring option as well as a vastly underrated rebounder.

Rogers projects to get upwards of 25 minutes next season, with the departure of Kyle Collinsworth and both starting guards who need not be named.

Extrapolating Rogers' current averages to this projected minutes total gives him a line of 10 ppg and 5.4 rpg. Fantastic numbers for your starting Small Forward or Sixth Man. Is it a possibility that Rogers starts next year? Certainly. If DeMarcus Harrison does not earn the starting 2 job, I expect to see the Cougars go big with Abouo at the 2 and then Rogers' at the 3.

Do not be surprised when, with extended minutes next season, Rogers' effectiveness progresses by leaps and bounds.