Report Card: DeShawn Sims

Dylan Burkhardt

Previously: Stu Douglass (B-), Zack Novak (B), Laval Lucas-Perry (C), Manny Harris (A)

Michigan Northwestern Basketball

O Rtg Usage MPG PPG RPG FG% eFG% 3PT%
106.9 31.8% 30.7 15.4 6.8 50.5% 53.3% 31.7%

The Good

  • Scoring
    DeShawn showed us that he really is the scorer that he was recruited to be. His freshman year was wrecked by family tragedy and his sophomore year saw him live almost exclusively on the perimeter. This year he was forced to the paint — more so  by necessity than choice. Luckily, DeShawn was up to the challenge. He attempted 60 less three pointers this year, but managed to lead the Big Ten in field goals made while making 224 of his 444 attempts (50.5%, 53.3 eFG%).
  • Rebounding
    Because he was forced to play down low, it was crucial that Sims attack the glass. Sims averaged 6.8 rpg (5th in conference) and was tied with Manny Harris for the leading rebounder on the team. He struggled at times in conference play on the glass and his average steadily declined but that was mostly a product of dealing with better rebounding teams in the Big Ten.
  • Improvement
    Peedi improved in just about every facet of the game. This should be expected I suppose but as we saw under Tommy Amaker, improvement should never be taken for granted. Even beyond the numbers, Sims looks more confident within the offense and he continues to find his niche.

The Bad

  • Consistency
    Sims eliminated the Georgetown-esque 1 point performances that we saw in his sophomore year but he still struggled to bring a consistent effort night in and night out. Part of the problem is that his play was so spectacular at times  that you wonder why he wasn’t able to do it every time out.
  • Drifting
    All too often Sims would drift to the perimeter instead of focusing his offense in the interior. It is critical that Sims plays inside out. He has to start inside where he can build his confidence before he starts launching longer jumpers.

Shining Moments

  • vs. Duke – 28 points (10-16 shooting), 12 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal
    The Duke game was the defining moment of Michigan’s season and DeShawn Sims was the star. DeShawn scored the ball inside and out while controlling the glass despite being a non-factor in the first Duke/Michigan match-up that took place only a couple weeks earlier.
  • vs. Purdue – 29 points (13-16 shooting), 5 rebounds
    Another glimpse of just how dominant DeShawn can be. He took the ball right at JaJuan Johnson, who was eventually forced to the bench with foul trouble, and scored inside all night long. This one was an absolute must-win for Michigan’s tournament chances and DeShawn came to play.
  • vs. Iowa – 27 points (12-16 shooting), 2 rebounds, 3 steals
    DeShawn Sims single handily punched Michigan’s NCAA tournament ticket. Michigan went to Sims early and often and just sat back and watched as he made his first eight shots from the field and simply couldn’t be stopped.

The Future

DeShawn has played a dramatically different role in each of his three seasons at Michigan. His freshman year he was a seldom used back-up power forward. His sophomore year he played the “four” in Beilein’s offense which saw him floating around on the perimeter and launching three point shots. And finally, this year he played the “five” where he was almost exclusively an interior player.

The question is where does he go next year? There is a much larger stable of interior players next year but I’m not sure any of them have the ability to score in the post the way DeShawn does. I think we will most likely see a mix of DeShawn at the four and five. Against bigger lineups we will see him play the four along side someone like Ben Cronin while against smaller lineups we will see him down low in hopes that he can exploit a mis-match.

Final Grade: A

DeShawn deserves nothing but an ‘A’. Politics may have forced him off of the All-conference first team, but statistically he had a spectacular season. He was a top five scorer and rebounder and posted an effective field goal percentage of 53.3%. Not to mention the fact that he did all of this while playing down low in arguably the most physical conference in the nation at only 6-foot-8.

Did he have some disappointing performances? Definitely, but over the course of a season, who doesn’t? The improvement that he made in between each of his three years at Michigan has been remarkable. If he can make similar strides before his senior year we should be expecting another special year.

  • Bluebufoon

    I believe the grades are a little high == pretty much across the board.
    Very impressed with Mr Sims improvement this year but I think a B+ is
    a fairier graded. Love the write-up.

    The back-door cut Sims made late in the UCLA game where Anthony Wright
    made the perfect bounce pass for the dunk was the play of the year.

  • Tom Too

    Absolutely the play of the year.

  • Giddings

    Hmmm… was it really the play of the year? Off-hand I would say yes, but then I started thinking about some of the others. How about Manny’s drive, dunk, and “fly-away” at the end of the Duke win? Or Manny’s and-one at the end of the Clemson game? Or LLP’s game-tying 3 at Indiana (or CJ’s steal which led to it)?

    I think it would be a lot of fun to have a vote for Play of the Year. Dylan, you could have one post asking for nominations, then make a “voting” post with clips/pictures of each of the nominated plays.

    And I agree with everything in this Peedi Report Card… will be VERY interesting to see how he is used next year.

  • Ryan

    An absolute crime that DeShawn wasn’t first team All-Big Ten.

  • ypsituckyboy

    1) The Manny dunk at the end of the Clemson game was hands-down the play of the year. No questions.

    2) DeShawns performance in the Purdue game was one of the most dominant performances I’ve seen in recent years out of a UM player, second maybe only to the Wisconsin game where Daniel Horton hit about a million 3-pointers.

  • ypsituckyboy

    Off topic, but did anyone see that that big-time recruit John Wall got busted for breaking and entering? Ohio State wasn’t on his list of possible schools, but after this I wouldn’t be surprised to see them show some serious interest.

  • Drew

    I don’t think Manny had a dunk at the end of the Clemson game… do you mean his and one?

    And as far as single player domination goes, I think Horton’s game against highly ranked Illinois where he had 38 or something along those lines was one of the more spectacular things I’ve witnessed in person. Kid absolutely took that game over.

  • Placentasaurus

    The play of the year was when Zack Novak stole the inbounds pass w/ like 3 seconds left then missed the dunk. I think that play summed up the year nicely.

  • ypsituckyboy

    Yeah, I said dunk but meant the And 1. Oops.

  • AC1997

    As to the comment about an “A” being too high, I think you grade based partially on output and partially based on expectations. Sims was awesome for most of this year, served as essentially the only post player in most games, and carried the team at times. On top of that he significantly out-played his previous season. I think an “A” is warranted.

    That being said, if he has the exact same season next year I suspect it will grade out like a B+. He needs to improve, as does everyone else.

  • jmblue

    Besides the plays mentioned a couple other candidates:

    -Stu’s three against UCLA

    -Manny’s clinching three at Minn

    (And if you can count pairs of plays, Novak’s two consecutive threes vs. Duke and LLP’s at Minn have to be up there.)

    And for a play that was just cool to watch, DeShawn’s little “Dream shake” late on the baseline in the Iowa road game that put us ahead (though we lost).

  • Dave

    anyone of llps 3s at minnesota were pretty huge as well

  • ScottGoBlue

    I too disagree with Bluebuffoon. The grades aren’t too high, precisely because of the “expectation” factor (as AC1997 points out). Sure, their raw numbers (“output”) weren’t final four caliber. But they were supposed to be fighting for an NIT birth this year. Thus, their performance exceeded expectations, and their grades are deservedly high.

    DeShawn is definitely an “A”. He’s still got room to grow, but the guy was usually facing two (sometimes three) guys his height all by himself. He regularly stayed out of foul trouble. He had big games when we needed them from him. For the nay-sayers out there, one could reasonably argue “A-“, reflecting his need to improve in game-to-game consistency. No question he needs to improve there.

    One other observation: despite his tendancy to “drift”, he was at season’s end an offensive threat from all three ranges (down low, mid-range j, 3-pt). He’s ahead of Manny in this respect, who still needs to incorporate a mid-range j into his attack.

    I’m excited to see what Peedi will do with more help this coming year.

  • Merlin

    Sims definitely deserves an A. Also recapping the plays of the year would be great and I would smile as I think of everyone. What a great year in retrospect.

  • raiderfan

    Man, tough crowd. I agree 100% with the A. Based on how far he came from last year to this year, it has to be an A. Great write up, and its great remembering all these plays from the season, except Novak’s missed dunk.

  • James

    I’d give Sims an A for his offensive effort, but his defense still has a long ways to go. Some of his poor defensive efforts was a good enough reason to keep him off the 1st team all conference team.

  • Paul

    I give Deshawn a A as a grade. So many times this past season Sims was the bright spot of the game. I was at every home game except Iowa and I tell you Deshawn was well worth the money. I can’t wait to see him again this coming season.

  • Old Style

    Sims demanding the ball at the end of close games is what really struck me this year. If he can get his touches next year he could put up some big time #’s. And if a player is involved on the offensive end they seem to play better D. It seemed like a lot of the “drifting” showed up when the team was settling for long threes early in the shot clock and ignoring Sims down low or in the few instances when Deshawn had off nights offensively.

  • Hey guys —
    Love the idea of top plays. Working on putting something together.

  • If Deshawn learns to play strong at all times it would be an A, but unfortunately there were times where he would fade away and alter his shot down low when he should have just angrily dunked it. I say a B+

  • Kenny

    For the year that Deshawn has, it is ridiculous not giving him a A grade. Sure there are areas that need improvements, but a A grade does not mean perfect. Next season, I expect to see Peedi staying at low post most of the time, since it is proved to be effective.