With Eric Mika leaving BYU early to go to Italy and Nick Emery withdrawing from school, many wondered who would take the reins as BYU’s go-to scorer.
We documented last week how dynamic the duo of Elijah Bryant and Yoeli Childs are, and Elijah’s offensive season is especially impressive. Here is a look into just how special Elijah’s performance has been.
What exactly does 50/40/90 mean? 50% FG percentage, 40% 3PFG, and 90% FT percentage. If a player achieves just one of those feats during the season, that is considered elite in that particular category. To do all three in a single season is incredibly impressive and extremely rare.
Elijah Bryant is currently averaging all three (50/44/90), and is doing so while averaging 18 points per game, which leads BYU and is second in the WCC.
In the NBA, only seven players have ever accomplished this feat: Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Mark Price, Reggie Miller, Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki and Larry Bird.
At the college level, only seven players have accomplished the feat while averaging at least 10 points per game since the 1993-1994 season. Bryant is looking to become the 8th player in the last 25 years to do so at the collegiate level.
What makes it even more impressive is what Elijah has had to go through to get to this point. Now a redshirt junior, Bryant missed a handful of games and was hampered much of last season with knee issues. Elijah has had minor surgeries on his knee, and many speculated if he would be able to shoulder the responsibility as a main cog in BYU’s offense.
We saw glimpses last season (39 points at Portland, clutch moments at Gonzaga), but not enough consistency to know for sure if Bryant could stay healthy for a full season.
Now 21 games into the season and heavy minutes under his belt, Bryant has proven that he is more than capable. Dave Rose has made a point to praise Bryant’s work ethic and the amount of time he put in the gym he put in the offseason, and teammates responded by naming Bryant as one of the team captains. If you ever check out Bryant’s instagram story, it seems like he is constantly putting in time at BYU’s practice facility.
Although Jock Landale is the favorite to take home WCC player of the year honors, Elijah will get a chance to further his case with a big matchup Thursday in Moraga.
Go get ‘em, Eli. You deserve more recognition with the incredible season you’ve had.