When we last saw Myles Stute, I wasn’t sure this was going to work. He seemed to have a good three-point stroke, but other than that, he didn’t seem to be all that useful as a freshman, and there were reasons to be skeptical going in: after all, this was a guy who was the fourth-leading scorer on his high school team, and granted, that was a powerhouse program in Washington, D.C., that sported multiple Division I prospects, but you’d be forgiven for thinking that a high school role player might be an iffy prospect for an SEC team.
Suffice to say, I don’t have as many questions after his sophomore year. Going from making 28.6 percent of your threes to 43.2 percent (while attempting five threes a game, so no small-sample-size issues) will do that. I still have a few questions about what his ceiling is: is he a Jeff Roberson, who will go from uber-efficient sophomore role player to a guy averaging 17 a game as a senior, or will he just settle in as a four-year role player a la Corey Smith? But that’s more of a next-year question than a this-year question, and in any case, Stute’s improvement from freshman to sophomore year wasn’t limited to shooting percentages. He also cut his turnover rate by a lot and his block and steal rates were marginally better.
Then again, it wasn’t a huge sample size (42 attempts), but shooting 69 percent at the foul line doesn’t typically go along with 43 percent three-point shooting. And he also didn’t do much inside the arc, only attempting 38 two-pointers all season; that was an even more skewed shot selection than Trey Thomas, whose only skill is his ability to make threes. It’s fair to think a correction is coming next season, but even if Stute is only making threes at a 38-40 percent clip, he should still be a good player for Vanderbilt.