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Kentucky Basketball: Karl-Anthony Towns Is Having A Quality Season

Some might think that Karl-Anthony Towns is underperforming expectations. I don't think so.

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky Sports Radio asks, "Has Karl-Anthony Towns had a sub-par season?" The answer depends on what par is, I guess. According to Ken Pomeroy, he’s 41st in the nation in offensive rebounding, 120th in defensive rebounding, and 4th in blocked shots. I think he could be performing better offensively, but overall, he’s doing well. Let’s look at my quick calculation of his per 34 minute stats compared to the per 34 of Anthony Davis:

Stat Towns Davis
Points: 14.3 15.1
Rebounds: 11.1 11.1
Assists: 1.6 1.4
Steals: 0.7 1.5
Blocks: 4.4 5.0

Call me crazy, but this doesn’t exactly look like "underperformance" as I understand the term, depending upon who you compare him with and in what context. Statistically, he is right in line with one of the best players every to don a Kentucky uniform.

Having said that, he could use a lot of improvement in almost every area, and there is room for it. He needs to get tougher, need to finish much better, and has to find a way to better utilize his tremendous skill — right now, it is getting lost amid the bumping and grinding inside.

Part of his problem is that he holds the ball too long. When he gets it in the post, he needs to spend less time repositioning himself, and get into his moves more quickly. He also needs to make a higher free throw percentage, as he goes to the line a lot and there is simply no excuse for him to miss free throws, although to be fair, he’s shooting almost 74% from the line. It should be 80% in my opinion, though.

Towns is having typical freshman consistency problems, and as others have rightly mentioned, we don’t want the best version of KAT to emerge in the middle of the conference season; we want it to show up in the post-season.

But underperformance? Nah, not unless you mean compared to his prodigious talent. But then again, he’s one of the youngest players on the team.