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