There are times in a game when the ball needs to be in a particular player’s hands.
Perhaps you know the other team will foul to stop the clock and regain possession, and you need your best free throw shooter in position to handle the ball and get sent to the line. Or maybe the defense is so tight, the need for a score so pressing, you want the ball controlled by the player best able to create his own shot or simply best able to exploit a particular defensive weakness.
Then there are occasions when you want to punish a zone, or land a quick, momentum-changing punch. That’s when you look to feed the ball to the most adept 3-point shooter on your squad.
This person may be largely unsung as a long-range shooter, taking too few shots to appear among the official league leaders. But within the team you know this is who you want with the ball when long-range bombing is required. You can be sure opponents’ scouting reports know which shooters are dangerous, even if the official stats won’t tell you.
It’s worth noting that Cameron Johnson, seventh-best among all returning 3-point sharpshooters, made a handsome number of threes as an everyday starter for the Pitt Panthers. The graduate transfer is now a North Carolina Tar Heel, a switch that UP coach Kevin Stallings resisted past the point of reason. Since then an NCAA committee has recommended banning coaches from being able to block players’ freedom to switch to a school of their choice.
Maybe Stallings is a surreptitious reformer, trying to so outrage public opinion there would be a groundswell of sentiment to thwart machinations like his. OK, probably not.
|KEEP AN EYE ON THESE GUYS
Best 3-Point Shooters From 2017 Among Returning ACC
Regulars, Minimum 10 Minutes And One Shot Per Game
(Asterisk Indicates Among Official ACC Leaders)
|3 Pct.||Player, School||3A-3M|
|.495||Kyle Guy, V||51-103|
|.492||Ky Bowman, BC||62-138|
|.487||*Ty Outlaw, VT||57-117|
|.438||Keyshawn Woods, WF||49-112|
|.432||Justin Bibbs, VT*||67-155|
|.420||Matt Farrell, ND*||81-193|
|.415||Cameron Johnson, NC*||78-188|
|.405||Mitchell Wilbekin, WF||47-116|
|.400||PJ Savoy, FS||40-100|
|*Outlaw will miss the season with an ACL injury|