I was doing some research this morning on whether Tyrique Jones is the best big man ever or merely the best currently playing. This obviously had me scrolling through rebounding stats, which led me to a Quinnipiac big man called Kevin Marfo.
Marfo is a big man out of New Jersey who spent his freshman year at George Washington before transferring out. He's also a statistical freak.
First of all, Marfo - a #large #American listed at 6'8", 245 - absolutely gets it done on the glass at both ends. His OReb% of 19.3% is 4th in the nation. He lets down a bit on the defensive end, falling to 5th in the nation at 32.1%. According to Sports Reference, he pulls down 26.1% of all missed shots when he's on the floor; the other nine dudes on the floor are left to share that remaining 73.9%. If they split it evenly, each would have a rebounding percentage of 8.2%, not even a third of Marfo's.
I feel like I should expound on that more, because it's so absurd, but the numbers are pretty simple. Just let it marinate a bit, I guess.
If your big man is working that hard on the glass, it makes sense to reward him with some touches, and boy does Quinnipiac ever not do that at all. Marfo's shots percentage is 12.7%; his team lets him shoot barely more than he lets other people rebound.
It's not like he can't score it, either. His EFG% is an excellent 55.8% and his true shooting percentage is 95th in the nation at 64.1%. Despite being first on the team in each of those categories, he's seventh on the team in FGA per game.
Marfo shrugs all that off to be third on the team with 9.9 PPG, just a half point per game out of second. How? Because nobody - and I'm almost sure of those despite having not checked every roster - earns his points like Kevin Marfo. More than a quarter of his field goal attempts come on stickbacks. His team basically tells him that he's going to have to go get it if he wants to shoot, and he responds by ripping down boards and putting them back in.
Perhaps more remarkably, Marfo has more free throw attempts than field goal attempts this year. This isn't a small sample spitting out a weird result, either; in 58 career games, Marfo has 178 FGA and 196 FTA. He's a career 64% free throw shooter who is 41-53 (77.4%) this year. Without being even a tertiary option on offense, he has found a way to carve out his points.
Oh, just a side note, he also protects the rim, rarely turns the ball over, and stays out of foul trouble.
Unless you're a die-hard fan of the MAAC or Kevin Marfo's mom, you'll probably not get a chance to see him play on TV this year. You certainly aren't going to stumble across a broadcast showing him, as his games are buried almost as deep into the subscription channels as the AAC's. I wouldn't have known about him if I hadn't happened to see his name popping up on leader boards Tyrique is also on. He's toiling in obscurity and possibly not fully appreciated on his own team. Guys like this are scattered all over college ball, and I figured it might be worth a couple hundred words to let you guys know about one.
There's one little postscript here: Marfo is using his third year of eligibility but in his fourth year of school thanks to sitting out a year as a transfer. In his one game against high-major competition this season, he dished out the full Kevin Marfo experience, dropping 9 and 13 and shooting more free throws than field goals in a loss to Miami (FL). Assuming he has been diligent in his studies, he should have a chance to pop up somewhere as a grad transfer. He may yet get to play on TV.