Comparing Matt and Caleb

Aclone

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Remember how your junior high/middle school English teacher told you write a paper to “compare and contrast” two things, X and Y?

Well, let’s do that.

Background
As I recall, Matt focused much more on basketball in high school than Caleb did. Matt’s personal tragedy has no parallel for Caleb that I know of.

Physically
Matt: 6’4” 200
Caleb: 6’3” 195
Not a significant difference, made up for by Caleb being the better runner/jumper.

Personality
Both are guys who will dive for balls.

Intersection Point
Most relevantly, let’s look at their respective sophomore years, Matt ‘14-15 at ISU, Caleb ‘20-21 at UNLV:

3PT%
Matt 33.0%
Caleb 34.2%

*Pretty close at that stage of their careers, but remember that Caleb also shot from the extended line (22’ 1 3/4” from 20’9” in 2019)

3 Point Attempts
Matt 32 of 97 att
Caleb 53 of 155 att

Minutes Per Game:
Matt 15.3
Caleb 33.1

Games Played/Games Started
Matt 32/0
Caleb 26/26

PPG
Matt 4.9 ppg
Caleb 9.3 ppg

FT%
Matt 71.4%
Caleb 64.5%

Free Throw Attempts
Matt 20 of 28
Caleb 20 of 31

FG%
Matt 36.8%
Caleb 40%

Rebounds Per Game
Matt 2.0 rpg
Caleb 3.3 RP

Assists
Matt 0.7 apg
Caleb 61/2.34 apg

Steals
Matt 11
Caleb 33

Turnovers
Matt 15
Caleb 36

Blocks
Matt 2
Caleb 3

*Conclusion, just from this section? The two had fairly similar sophomore seasons, with the difference being that Caleb played a bit more than twice as many minutes as Matt.

That means he’s a bit more experienced on the court—but at the same time, part of that is negated by shifting schools (and teammates) a second time. For his Junior year, Matt was used to guys he had already played with.

Other than that, Matt got to the free throw line a bit more often per minutes played—but Caleb had more steals on that same basis.
Not too much in the way of “glaring differences” at that stage if their respective careers

We’ll see how Caleb builds on his foundation going forward. We know how Matt turned out.

**anything else, you guys have at it. It’s late and I’m tired. G’night!
 

Sigmapolis

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Sophomore Thomas
---
32 games, zero starts
488 minutes
36.8% FG%
33.0% 3PT%
5.2 rebounds per 40
1.8 assists per 40
0.9 steals per 40
0.2 blocks per 40
1.2 turnovers per 40
13.0 points per 40
reminder this was in the Big 12

Sophomore Grill
---
27 games, 27 starts
896 minutes
39.6% FG%
34.2% 3PT%
3.9 rebounds per 40
2.7 assists per 40
1.7 steals per 40
0.1 blocks per 40
1.7 turnovers per 40
11.0 points per 40
reminder this was in the MWC

I do not see those two as immediately comparable looking at the above statistics.

I think Thomas and Grill are not the best analogies for each other, though. This happens a lot with basketball players. "White kid SG from the Midwest" must all have the same pedigree and arc, right?

Not really. Matt Thomas was a high 4* and nearly a 5* recruit who we thought would be a Day One and durable starter in Ames (and he was), though he got off to a slow start before blooming late.

Grill was a multisport athlete who only specialized in basketball once he got to college. He was obviously still learning some of the fundamentals of the game while he was in Ames the first time, though you could see some potential and some high-level athleticism from a few of his plays. Grill was (and still is) a long-term development play, but not one with Thomas' anticipated floor or his ceiling.
 

RustShack

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I think people are reading too much into the comparison. The comparison is Matt and Naz really didn’t break out until their Jr and Sr years. Grill still has 3 years to play.
 
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gocy444

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Matt turned himself into one of the best shooters in the world. If you go back and read posts from his freshman and sophomore seasons people were always hating on him. Matt then had a breakout season when Naz shut things down and is now on an NBA roster. Hopefully Grill can get to that next level of player but people shouldn’t be disappointed if he doesn’t flip the same switch.
 
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cyrocksmypants

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Matt turned himself into one of the best shooters in the world. If you go back and read posts from his freshman and sophomore seasons people were always hating on him. Matt then had a breakout season when Naz shut things down and is now on an NBA roster. Hopefully Grill can get to that next level of player but people shouldn’t be disappointed if he doesn’t flip the same switch.
Statistically Naz might be a better comparison. Hey @Sigmapolis you want to do a per 40 minute comparison to Naz’s sophomore year?
 

madguy30

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From what I saw Matt has/had a better handle but I didn't watch UNLV this past season so not sure if Grill just needed to stop thinking.
 

Aclone

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do not see those two as immediately comparable looking at the above statistics.
Really? Your whole, fairly lengthy post was comparing the two.

Do people even know what “comparing” means?

That said, the first thing that caught my eye was your 27 games played by Caled. Where did you come up with that?


What it boils down to me is that people were saying that Caleb is nothing like Matt Thomas, because he was a great shooter. Well, not a sophomore, the very same stage of their careers. Matter of fact, Caleb shot slightly better.
 
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BCClone

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Really? Your whole, fairly lengthy post was comparing the two.

Do people even know what “comparing” means?

That said, the first thing that caught my eye was your 27 games played by Caled. Where did you come up with that?


What it boils down to me is that people were saying that Caleb is nothing like Matt Thomas, because he was a great shooter. Well, not a sophomore, the very same stage of their careers. Matter of fact, Caleb shot slightly better.
Matt was considered to be solid on defense, compare the whole player not just their offensive stats. Also compare the competition level.
 
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