Coming into this season, everyone knew Jawun Evans and Phil Forte were going to be make up of the best backcourts in the nation. Beyond those two players, there was a lot of questions For a team that had many players with a lot of experience, there was a lot of skepticism as to who would step up and join Evans and Forte as key contributors.
One of those returning players from is Jeffrey Carroll. Carroll has had a very up and down career as a Cowboy. He showed flashes last season that he could be one of the best players in the conference, then they were other games that made you wonder if he even belonged on the court at all. This season, all that skepticism about his play has gone away. Whether it be the coaching change, or a change in his role with the team, Jeffrey Carroll is proving to be one of the best players in the best conference and in the nation.
Last season as a starter for the Cowboys, Carroll only averaged 8.2 points and 4 rebounds per game. This year, moving to a 6th man role, Carroll is averaging 16.2 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. This is an incredible leap is production from last season, especially considering he’s now coming off the bench.
Carroll is currently the only player in the Big 12 in the top 5 in scoring, rebounding, and field goal percentage (57%). His ability to rebound is huge for the Cowboys, especially if big men like Mitchell Solomon or Lucas N’Guessan get into foul trouble. According to stats gathered from ESPN.com, last season Carroll had 119 rebounds in 30 games, and this season in 12 games he has 87 rebounds. If he stays at his current pace of 7.3 rebounds per game, he could have roughly 218 rebounds after 30 games - nearly 100 more than last season!
Coach Underwood has found a good spot for Carroll as a 6th man, and it seems that this is a fantastic role for him. This could be why there has been an increased production by him this season, he does not have the pressure of being a starter. If Carroll can keep up this level of production he has had for the first 12 games for the entire season, he could be looking at All-Big 12 honors.