Jul 1, 2012
2011-12 Final grades: Preston Medlin
37 games, 37 starts
49.6% - FG
42.8 - 3pt
80.1% - FT
So here we are... Start of July and finally finishing up what really should have been done by the middle of April. Today is the day though when the report card is complete though. And to top it off, I get one final 2011-12 gushing session for a dude I rarely, if ever, had a single bad thing to say about.
The fact that the comparison between Medlin and USU's all-time leading scorer Jaycee Carroll is even worthy of mentioning, if not completely deserved, is impressive enough on its own. When it comes down to the overall numbers, Medlin's sophomore season is better than Carroll's. And what's more impressive is that Medlin didn't have a big man like Nate Harris down low to balance the inside-out game, or really share the spotlight with. He also put up those numbers facing double-teams, pretty much the entire season as the team's biggest scoring threat by a significant margin.
Positives: After a bit of slow start to the year coming off his redshirt season, Medlin was pretty much unstoppable. He scored in double-figures in all but six games this season and was an easy bet to rack up rebounds and assists, all while playing solid defense. His scoring sense only got better as the year went on, as did its diversity in ways he could score. Early on he seemed to just want to mostly let the game come to him, but as the year progressed, Medlin got assertive. When all was said and done, he developed into a guy who can score from anywhere and beat defenders in any way, all while growing into a leadership role he didn't know he'd have this year.
He also put together arguably the single best performance of any USU player under Stew Morrill with his 32 point, eight rebound and five assist game on senior night against Idaho. It was one of several games down the stretch this past season where Medlin just stepped up and seemed to make everything happen.
Negatives: Not much to say here, but hey... nobody's perfect. The game against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi was pretty much inexcusable across the board, especially for Medlin. One can argue it served as his wake-up call to start asserting himself more offensively, but that game was still the dark cloud that hung over his head all year.
Also, for as good as he was in big games against Idaho, Loyola Marymount, Oakland and Kent State, there were a few others where his production took huge drops that cost the team in big ways. The WAC Tournament game against Louisiana Tech and road game at New Mexico State stand as the most notable where teams managed to take him out of the game.
Summary: Nitpicking aside, Medlin had an incredible year. With the lack of other consistent scorers on the team to take pressure off of him, he had defenders all over him every game. Yet he still found ways to rack up points, and on top of that played some solid defense against some pretty excellent opposing scorers. All of that as part of becoming just the second player in Utah State history to be named to the all-conference first team as a sophomore.
Going into this next season he's a no-brainer pick to be the WAC's preseason Player of the Year, and earning that kind of hype will usually earn you a pretty stellar final grade.
Final grade: A