This scoring dominance has continued into postseason play. The guard is averaging 29.2 points per game — the only game he didn’t score 20 or more points was in the Sweet 16 against Texas A&M — and has posted a gobsmacking effective field goal percentage of 71 percent.
Does all of that sound familiar to a certain NBA star currently helping his team chase 73-wins at the next level?
The last time a college player looked this unstoppable was in 2008 when Stephen Curry helped carry Davidson to the Elite Eight. And in fact, in the light of one metric, Hield is having a very Curry-esque tournament.
Using John Hollinger’s Game Score, which measures a player’s individual performance in a specific game-to-game setting, we looked at how Hield stacked up to Steph to this point in the tournament. Turns out, the Sooners’ star comes pretty close, trailing Curry 24.1 to 21.1. What’s also notable is that Hield’s game score is outpacing every past NCAA tournament most outstanding player since 2011.
But Hield isn’t the only player whose Game Score has been eye-popping this March. North Carolina’s Brice Johnson also has a Game Score of 21.1, and the North Carolina forward is besting the rest of the field’s frontcourts with an array of elbow jumpers, hook shots and dunks to propel the Tar Heels to the Final Four.
Hield is having a sensational tournament, but isn’t the runaway Most Outstanding Player candidate because of Johnson’s play.
Perhaps if things fall in favor of the Sooners and Tar Heels, we’ll see a title game that will put two of the tournament’s toughest defensive matchups on the court together.