In Frank Howard’s last 10 games, the junior point guard has posted a better than 2:1 assist to turnover ratio with 46 assists and just 22 turnovers. In that same 10 game stretch, Frank is averaging just 2.2 turnovers per game — a pretty solid number for any point guard but especially one that’s forced to do some heavy lifting from the one spot.
What’s also impressive is that Frank has knocked off 1.3 turnovers from his per game average in the toughest stretch of ACC competition. While getting his assist to turnover ratio up isn’t exactly a massive overhaul, it’s still been very significant. So what’s the secret?
Frank has been putting in extra time with former Syracuse guard Eric Devendorf, currently Syracuse’s assistant strength coach.
“I don’t remember the exact date but it was about a month ago,” Frank said of when he ramped up his workouts with Eric. The last ten games weren’t just an arbitrary cutoff. They all fit within the one month calendar stretch.
Devendorf, of course, had an illustrious career at Syracuse from 2005-2009 where he scored 1,680 points in just three full years. He’s one of the most recognizable players in recent Syracuse history.
“He’s like a big brother to all of us, we talk all the time. He’s done a great job of helping us on and off the court. He’ll be a great coach when his time comes. Everything he tells me I soak it up, always asking questions. He’s helped me a lot,” Frank said after Syracuse’s loss to Duke on Saturday.
While that’s all well and good, what exactly have the two worked on together and how has that helped both in cutting down turnovers and finding open teammates?
“We do a lot of contact, finishes, kind of stuff you see in the open court, getting by guys, floaters. Him and G-Mac have done a great job of having me go off of two feet when I get in the lane, getting me to be a lot more patient. At certain points that helped me a lot with the lob or the drop off.”
There’s another nice nugget mixed in there as well. Gerry of course works with the guards in practice and both he and Eric have gotten Frank to go off of two feet when in the lane instead of just one.
While Frank and (mostly) Paschal haven’t always connected on the lob, it’s been more consistent as the two connected a few times on Saturday. Frank also dropped off passes for Marek Dolezaj and Matthew Moyer to finish as well.
And two former Syracuse guards who were backcourt mates on the 2005-2006 Syracuse team? They’ve proven to be Orange gifts that keep on giving.