Mueller taking advantage of different role

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If you’ve been thinking that Malik Mueller has been much improved over the last several weeks, you are correct. Here’s a statistical comparison between his first 18 games and his last six games.

First 18: 3.94 points, 30.7% FG, 31.8% 3pt, 2.2 rebounds
Last 6: 12.2 points, 43.5% FG, 42.4% 3pt, 3.67 rebounds

Mueller’s scoring average has tripled, his field goal shooting has jumped by almost 13%, and his three-point accuracy is up nearly 11%. In other words, he’s a completely different player than he was in the first part of the season, and it started when Buzz Williams changed his role for the UVA game.

His midseason emergence is impressive and somewhat rare, and I want to use it to talk about several different topics.

Malik Muller
Malik Mueller

A role change leads to major improvement

Buzz Williams had likely never heard of Malik Mueller before he arrived in Blacksburg. He had no scouting report, and he had no idea what Mueller was good at, nor did he know his weaknesses. At the beginning of the season, Mueller was playing point guard and shooting guard, and was asked to guard the other team’s perimeter players as well.

At 6-3, 220, Mueller is big and physical. However, he doesn’t have the handle that you would ideally want for a player at point guard, and