|BYU vs Baylor, 12-17-11|
I have made a brilliant discovery. There is a direct relationship between how much hair Matt Carlino has on his head and his ability to play error-free basketball. Last year, Matty had a full head of hair-- in fact, it was probably a little too long. It wasn't Riley Nelson shaggy, but it was slightly too long, in my opinion. Why does that matter, you may ask? I'll tell you.
Situation A: Too Much Hair
After redshirting for a year, Matt first took the court against Baylor in December (see photo on right), where he tore it up and scored 18 points. However, he also had 4 turnovers, and that would become the name of the game for most of the rest of the year. He averaged 12.2 points and 3 turnovers per game in the 25 games he played during the 2011-2012 season. Even in his best-scoring games, he still had at least 2 or 3 turnovers (top five scoring games listed below):
UC Santa Barbara- 3 turnovers, 22 points
Cal State San Marcos- 2 turnovers, 19 points
Santa Clara- 2 turnovers, 21 points
Gonzaga- 3 turnovers, 18 points
San Francisco- 3 turnovers, 30 points
|Cougar Tipoff, 10-24-12|
This season, Matty showed up to play with a shaved head (see picture at left). It was a little hard to get on board with that look . . . I'm not sure why he shaved his head, but I assumed he thought it would be a good luck charm or something. If so, he was wrong. He reverted to his old ways of turning over the ball, and it became even worse. A few examples from early this season.
Tennessee State- 4 turnovers, 9 points
Georgia State- 4 turnovers, 11 points
Florida State- 2 turnovers, 0 points
Then came the Utah game, where Matty saved the day . . . and had a little bit of hair growing back on his head. That night, he scored 19 points and essentially won the game for the Cougars . . . but he still had 2 turnovers. Although that is respectable (even Tyler Haws is averaging 2 turnovers per game this year-- but he makes up for it with massive scoring), he still had some work to do--and some hair to grow back. In the next game against Weber State, he had 6 points and 6 turnovers (ouch). But after that, his hair gradually continued to grow back in, and his performance gradually improved.
|BYU vs Pepperdine, 1-10-13|
When Matt has the right amount of hair on his
head, he is able to punish opposing players
by sitting on them while he shoots. Haha.
Situation C: Just the Right Amount of Hair
I first remember a normal amount of hair on Matt's head at about the Virginia Tech game. His season average before the Virginia Tech game was 7 points and 2.2 turnovers. Since then, he's averaged 15.6 points and only 1.4 turnovers. And the Cougars haven't lost! In fact, in each of the last two games (Pepperdine & Santa Clara), he scored 13 points and had ZERO TURNOVERS!
Besides one time last year when he had 0 turnovers and 15 points (against St. Mary's), the last few games have been his best overall performances as a Cougar by far, at least in terms of point-to-turnover ratio. He has improved dramatically in ball handling (I want to make this my screen saver) and hasn't blatantly passed the ball to the wrong team in quite awhile.
BYU has some really tough tests in the near future, starting with St. Mary's this Wednesday and San Diego on Saturday. So far in the WCC, St. Mary's has only lost to Gonzaga, and San Diego is 3-0. Granted, they haven't played any of the big 3 yet, but they're still a pretty good team.
There is an optimum level at which Matt Carlino's hair must remain for the rest of the season (maybe just a tiny bit longer than it is now) in order for him to stop getting stupid turnovers, keep scoring the ball, and the Cougars to keep winning. He can't let it get too long (like last year), but being too long is better than having no hair at all, so grow it out if you must. Just don't shave it again, or we're in big trouble!
Meanwhile, I'll just sit here imagining the wonders that could happen if he could fill in that teeny tiny bald spot. :) hahaha . . .