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Will Derwin Kitchen Be The Answer to Toney Douglas's Departure?: A Four Factors Evaluation

The tale of Derwin Kitchen reveals a convoluted path that eventually brought Derwin to Tallahassee. Despite the effort and headaches that it took Derwin to join the Seminoles, he is a more than welcome addition to the team. Derwin made an immediate impact and provided much needed experience at the guard position to play along side Toney Douglas. Now, Derwin is one of the elder statesmen on the team as one of only two Juniors on the team. Today we look at Derwin's progression through the season and what his potential role will be on the 2009-2010 Seminole Basketball team.

Image from here.

Derwin graduated from Raines High School in Jacksonville, FL in 2005. His high school career was impressive, earning runner up to the Florida Mr. Basketball Award and All-State First team honors three times. He won two state titles and finished his career with a 98-26 record overall while setting school records for all time points, steals and assists. Derwin planned to attend the University of Florida after graduating, however he did not pass his Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT). Unfortunately, he was not able to graduate high school despite achieving the grades to do so. After a significant ammount of effort and attempts to attend a Division I school, Derwin's path lead him to Iowa Western Community College.

At IWCC, Derwin made the most of his opportunity and caught the eye of Leonard Hamilton. During his only season in Iowa, Kitchen averaged 14 points per game, 6.1 rebounds per game and 1.8 steals per game and was named to the Junior College All-America First Team. He played in 32 games and averaged 8.5 shot attempts per game and had multiple games with more than 5 assists per game. The Reivers, finished 11th overall in the Junior College rankings with a 28-5 record overall.  Derwin signed with Florida State in May of 2008 and qualified to play in December of 2009. Hamilton had this to say about Derwin: "His size and athletic ability will allow him to fit in with the players on our team and with the recruits we will have joining our team for the upcoming season. His skills will be a tremendous compliment to the players on our roster. He will help make his teammates better and his new teammates will help make him a better player during his career as a Seminole."

Despite making his first court appearance well into December, Derwin became an active component of the offense and defense. Kitchen played in 26 games, averaging 7.8 points per game with a 45% FG%, 2.5 assists per game, 4.5 rebounds per game and 1.2 steals per game. He finished the year playing about 25 to 26 minutes per game, a respectible ammount of time given the team had a log jam at the guard position last year. Toney Douglas rarely came out of the game, leaving the second guard position to be filled by Kitchen, Loucks, Dulkys, Demercy (at times), Jordan and Hoff. Clearly, the primary rotation was between Kitchen, Loucks and Dulkys. Derwin took on the starting role by the end of the year, starting in 17 games on the year.

Derwin finished the year with the following line:



Here is a chart with the statistics from each game:



The more minutes he played the better he was, at least upon initial glances at this graph.The high point of Derwin's season was the Virginia Tech game on March 21st: 34 minutes 19 points, 8-11 from the floor and 3-3 from 3-point range.

Four Factors Evaluation

Remember, the "Four Factors" includes the following statistics: effective FG% ((FGM +0.5*3PM)/FGA), TO% (Turnovers divided by possessions), Offensive Rebounding% (OR/OR+DR)  and Free throw rate (FTA/FGA). Again, these numbers are not a perfect way to evaluate a player at a given position, but serve as a reference tool and a common language from which to start a positional evaluation.



Turn off all of the raw stats (the column on the left) and only look at the trend lines. At first, you might find this chart troubling, similar to Luke Louck's chart. It is typical for a player's ORtg to go down as their minutes increase as there are more opportunities to decrease it. The ORtg is calculated by determining the number of points produced per 100 possessions. The details of the calculation are explained in Dean Oliver's book, which I am currently working on reading. Derwin finished the season with an ORtg of 98.4, compare that to 115.1 of Toney Douglas and 102.9 of Solomon Alabi.

Let's look at the more guard specific-metrics.



Again, this graph seems troubling as everything goes down as his minutes increase. Derwin was very effective in his first few games in limited minutes, which elevates his stats. If he had done poorly in those first few opportunities, the graph may have been reversed.Kitchen finished the year with a 20.8 Assist Rate, which is a measure of the percentage of field goals scored as a result of an assist from the individual player while he was on the floor. Toney Douglas has an ARate of 20.2. Despite limited minutes, and an offense that wasn't dependent on stellar guard passing ability, this is a respectable number. However, Derwin finished the year with a TO% of 25.1%, meaning he turned the ball over on 1 out of every 4 possessions. This needs to improve if his playing time is going to increase next year. Toney finished the year with a TO% of 20.2, meaning 1 out of every 5 possessions result in a turn over. With the pace at which FSU plays, 66 possessions per game, such high TO% are extremely counter productive. As a team, we had a TO% of 22.7. 14.6 of our 66.8 possessions resulted in a turnover. Imagine if only half of those possessions had resulted in points.

Despite the turnover concerns, Derwin excelled on the defensive end. His steal% was 2.6% or 430th in the nation, meaning that on 2.6% of the opponent's possessions resulted in a steal while he was on the court. Toney's was 2.9%. The impressive thing is that Derwin accomplished this while only committing 2.1 fouls per 40 minutes of game play. Not only does he play great defense, but he does so without jeopardizing his ability to stay on the floor.

Image from here.

Derwin has a significant upside and has demonstrated his abilities during the team's recent trip to spain. He had 7 assists in each of the Seminoles' games abroad. In the last game, he also had 7 rebounds. Clearly, Derwin's ability to handle the ball and his size, standing 6'4", provide him significant advantages at the point position. Towards the end of the year we saw his toughness and determination. Remember the Georgia Tech game?

Despite his rather circuitous course, Derwin has maintained his focus and continues to excel. He is a mature player who has the talent to lead our team to another NCAA appearance. If he can decrease his TO rate, I wouldn't be surprised if he and Snaer will run the back court this season. However, there is a lot of competition at the guard spot this year, which I think will be to our advantage. The distributive abilities of Kitchen and Loucks will complement nicely with Snaer's ability. The other nice skill set that Derwin demonstrates is his ability to score off the dribble in the lane; he isn't afraid to get dirty in the lane.

The Seminoles arrive back in Tallahassee this weekend. Classes start on August 24th. It will be fun to hear how this team continues to develop between now and midnight madness. The versatility that the Seminoles will have this year will be difficult to defend. Regardless of the combination of guards in the back court, the Seminoles will be making some noise on the national stage.