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Barry Jacobs On Inside Effectiveness

There is something to be said for taking the easiest routes to success.

Attempting shots as close to the basket as possible is a useful approach. That in turn facilitates frequent trips to the foul line. If done with players who can make their free throws, it's a surefire path to prosperity.

Jumpers launched beyond the arc potentially yield more points per attempt, but of course the level of difficulty is greater. Threes also are less likely to generate free throws.

For several decades Mike Krzyzewski's clubs have done well from the bonusphere. But they also cashed in near the basket, fueled in part by an emphasis on earning free throws and by creating fastbreak opportunities with their defensive intensity.

But last season Duke's defense lagged and it boasted modest interior scoring threats. Consequently, of the ACC's top six finishers, only the Blue Devils did not enjoy prosperity within the arc. In fact, while Duke was third in the league in the percent of its points derived from threes and third in cashing in at the foul line, it was last in 2-point accuracy at 42.5 percent.

Team Shooting from 2-Point Range, 2012
Pct. School 2FG-2FGA
.511 Virginia 566-1107
.504 Florida State 661-1312
.496 North Carolina 940-1894
.494 N.C. State 779-1577
.483 Clemson 565-1169
.4796 Miami 564-1176
.4788 Georgia Tech 542-1132
.470 Wake Forest 523-1114
.461 Maryland 570-1237
.460 Boston College 404-879
.445 Virginia Tech 549-1235
.425 Duke 500-1176