ACC Sharp Shooting From Behind The Line

Virginia Tech Hokies guard Adam Smith (3) shoots the ball over Furman Paladins guard William Gates Jr. (22) during the second half at Cassell Coliseum. - Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

A look at who's got range in the ACC.

When Duke faces Arizona in the final of the Preseason NIT Tip-Off Shootout Classic - OK, it's just a tip-off -- the Blue Devils will come armed as one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the nation.

This is nothing new. Accurate and prolific 3-point shooting has been a Duke staple for more than two decades. The trait probably received more than customary attention last season when the Devils relied heavily on the marksmanship of Seth Curry, Ryan Kelly, Quinn Cook, and Rasheed Sulaimon.

Through its NIT semifinal win over Alabama on Nov. 27, Mike Krzyzewski's current club was making 44.7 percent of its threes.

Oddly enough, Virginia Tech was doing better. Coach James Johnson's squad currently ranks sixth among the 335 teams in Division I at 45.5 percent. If sustained, that would be the best 3-point shooting in ACC history. Don't count on it -- the Hokies made 31.4 percent of their threes last season.

Two other sort-of-ACC teams also are converting more than 40 percent of their 3-pointers so far: Notre Dame at 41.2 and Pitt at 40.7.

A 40 percent conversion rate is quite uncommon: A single ACC squad has topped that mark since 1996. The recent exception, North Carolina's 2005 national champions, was only good enough to rank 10th among the league's all-time best over the course of an entire season.

Six of the 17 ACC squads that enjoyed bonusphere accuracy of 40 percent or better prior to this season competed in 1986-87, the first year the 3-pointer was permanently in effect. One might conclude the shot was employed more judiciously back then, not to mention attempted from a closer distance.

Last year's Blue Devils came tantalizingly close to the 40 percent level, hitting at a .3994 clip. Had the Devils made one more of their 676 tries from beyond the arc, they would have been at 40.1 percent.

ZEROING IN
Highest 3-Point Percentages By ACC Teams
(2013-14 Through Games Of Nov. 27)

Pct. School Season 3M-3Att
45.5 Virginia Tech 2014 65-143
44.8 Clemson 1987 203-453
44.7 Duke 2014 63-141
43.6 North Carolina 1987 213-488
43.4 Duke 1992 171-394
43.0 North Carolina 1988 169-393
42.3 Georgia Tech 1988 154-364
42.1 Wake Forest 1996 260-618
42.1 Maryland 1987 122-290
41.9 Wake Forest 1989 152-363
41.5 N.C. State 1991 267-644
41.3 N.C. State 1987 164-397
41.2 Notre Dame 2014 40-97
41.0 North Carolina 1995 266-648
41.0 N.C. State 1988 125-305
40.9 Wake Forest 1987 146-357
40.7 Pittsburgh 2014 44-108
40.32 North Carolina 2005 277-687
40.31 Georgia Tech 1990 260-645
40.2 Wake Forest 1993 181-450
40.2 Duke 1987 148-368
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