Timberpups Tracker: Jan. 28 edition

BY Nate Gotlieb • January 28, 2016

The Minnesota Timberwolves have one of the most exciting collections of young players on an NBA roster. Every Thursday, FOX Sports North tracks the progress of those on the Timberwolves who are in their first or second season in the league.

This is the 11th edition of the 2015-16 Timberpups Tracker, covering Jan. 21-27.

PER -- Player Efficiency Rating: A measure of per-minute production standardized such that the league average is 15.

TS% -- True Shooting Percentage: A measure of shooting efficiency that takes into account 2-point field goals, 3-point field goals, and free throws.

USG% -- Usage Percentage: An estimate of the percentage of team plays used by a player while he was on the floor.

ORtg -- Offensive Rating: An estimate of points produced per 100 possessions.

DRtg -- Defensive Rating: An estimate of points allowed per 100 possessions.

VORP -- Value over Replacement Player: A box score estimate of the points per 100 TEAM possessions that a player contributed above a replacement-level (-2.0) player, translated to an average team and prorated to an 82-game season.

ANDREW WIGGINS (age 20, second season)

Statistical season averages (last week): 20.8 points (19.7), 3.8 rebounds (2.3), 1.9 assists (2), 0.8 steals (0.7), 0.5 blocks (0.7), 35.1 minutes (36.7), 45.0 FG% (57.9), 24.3 3PT% (20.0)

Advanced stats, season: 16.5 PER, .528 TS%, 28.1 USG%, 104 ORtg, 111 DRtg, 0.0 VORP

Notable: Wiggins scored 19 or 20 points in each of the past three games and shot an efficient 57.9 percent during the stretch. He, Karl-Anthony Towns and Zach LaVine became the first set of teammates under age 21 in NBA history to score at least 20 points in the same game in Monday's loss at Cleveland.

ZACH LAVINE (age 20, second season)

Statistical season averages (last week): 12.5 points (20.3), 3.1 rebounds (2.3), 3.1 assists (3.7), 0.7 steals (1.6), 0.1 blocks (0.3), 23.3 minutes (26.3), 43.1 FG% (65.7), 34.5 3PT% (50.0)

Advanced stats, season: 15.2 PER, .522 TS%, 26.8 USG%, 101 ORtg, 110 DRtg, 0.2 VORP

Notable: LaVine busted out of a slump during the past three games by shooting 65.7 percent and averaging a team-high 20.3 points per game. That included a 35-point game Wednesday against the Oklahoma City Thunder, during which he made 14 of 17 field-goal attempts.

ADREIAN PAYNE (age 24, second season)

Notable: The Timberwolves assigned Payne to the Erie Bay Hawks of the NBA Developmental League on Monday. He scored a team-high 26 points on 10-of-21 shooting for the Bay Hawks in a 106-96 loss Wednesday.  

KARL-ANTHONY TOWNS (age 20, first season)

Statistical season averages (last week): 16.1 points (19.7), 9.8 rebounds (11), 1.4 assists (4), 0.7 steals (0.7), 1.8 blocks (1.7), 29.4 minutes (31.6), 53.3 FG% (67.6), 37.8 3PT% (0.0)

Advanced stats, season: 22.1 PER, .584 TS%, 24.3 USG%, 110 ORtg, 103 DRtg, 1.5 VORP

Notable: Towns scored 14 points in Minnesota's win over Memphis on Saturday and followed it up with 26- and 19-point games against Cleveland and Oklahoma City, respectively. The No. 1 draft pick shot 67.6 percent over the three games, as Minnesota played competitively against three potential playoff teams.

NEMANJA BJELICA (age 27, first season)

Statistical season averages (last week): 4.7 points (6.0), 3.4 rebounds (1.7), 1.4 assists (1.7), 0.4 steals (0.3), 0.4 blocks (0.0), 18.8 minutes (20.7), 42.1 FG% (35.7), 35.8 3PT% (14.3)

Advanced stats, season: 9.5 PER, .549 TS%, 12.0 USG%, 108 ORtg, 108 DRtg, 0.4 VORP

Notable: Bjelica scored in double figures Wednesday for the first time since Nov. 29, hitting three field goals and five free throws in Minnesota's loss to Oklahoma City. He has scored in 11 straight games, averaging 5.1 points per game during that stretch.

TYUS JONES (age 19, first season)

Statistical season averages (last week): 3.0 points (N/A), 1.7 rebounds (N/A), 1.6 assists (N/A), 0.4 steals (N/A), 0.1 blocks (N/A), 10.9 minutes (N/A), 35.5 FG% (N/A), 50.0 3PT% (N/A)

Advanced stats, season: 8.3 PER, .407 TS%, 18.9 USG%, 83 ORtg, 108 DRtg, -0.1 VORP

Notable: Jones has not played in the Timberwolves' past three games, with interim coach Sam Mitchell using Ricky Rubio, LaVine and Andre Miller ahead of him at point guard. 

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