Commentary

Shots in the arm

Four second-semester additions are giving their teams a boost

Updated: January 27, 2012, 1:11 PM ET
By Bill Doherty | ESPN The Magazine

The college basketball season is a grind that can sap players' strength as the calendar turns to February. Fortunately for a few teams, they'll be getting some reinforcements for the season's second half. Here's a look at some of the best players who are just now breaking in.

[+] EnlargeMatt Carlino
Douglas C. Pizac/US PresswireMatt Carlino's shooting should help BYU in the season's second half.

BYU
Matt Carlino, PG
When deadeye Jimmer Fredette graduated last season, he left the Cougars in dire need of a 3-point threat. Luckily for BYU, Carlino -- a 6-foot-2 lefty who transferred from UCLA in late 2010 -- became eligible on Dec. 17. That night, the freshman scored 18 points off the bench in an 86-83 loss to then-No. 7 Baylor, and he's been a starter ever since. Sure, he's no Jimmer (yet), but Carlino's anywhere-in-the-gym range (78.5 percent of his jump shots came from beyond the arc through Jan. 16) gives BYU a quartet of double-figure weapons: PF Noah Hartsock (17.7 ppg), Carlino (12.2), PF Brandon Davies (14.3) and G/F Charles Abouo (11.3). That inside-outside balance will be key as the new member of the WCC attempts to challenge Gonzaga and Saint Mary's for the conference crown.