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Free From Threes - ACC Teams Struggling With The Bonusphere

Three point aversion is an ACC theme this season

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NCAA Basketball: Duke at Florida State
Jan 12, 2019; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward Cam Reddsih (2) hits the winning three point shot to put the Blue Devils ahead of the Florida State Seminoles at Donald L. Tucker Center.
Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

We’re getting to the point in the season when, barring major streaks or changes, you can more or less define team capabilities by their current averages and percentages.

Sure, a squad can go on a run and alter its statistical profile over the final third of the season. Or it can suffer a slump, incur an injury to a key contributor, or spend a significant amount of time on the road or facing teams from the ACC’s upper tier. The pressures of finishing strong, or of tournament competition, also might undermine performance.

But where teams stand midway through February, with 20-game winners emerging like stars in a darkening sky, gives a strong read of who is best at what. And one thing that a remarkable number of ACC clubs are not so good at in 2019 is converting 3-pointers, more than in any season in at least the present decade.

This weakness has been most notable at Duke, where threes have been a staple of the offense for the past three decades, and at Notre Dame, where ace outside bombing has been a signature attribute since league entry in 2014.

The only teams that shot a breakeven percentage or better on threes in each of the past six seasons are Virginia and Virginia Tech.

Georgia Tech, under two different coaches, has been inaccurate from afar all but once since the ’14 season. Syracuse is enduring a 3-point efficiency deficit for the fourth time over the past six years. Neither is escaping the gravity of .333 accuracy this year, either, although the Orange have a chance.

Tech and Wake are below 30 percent accuracy on threes in 2019. Only two other teams of the 90 that competed in the ACC over the past six years (Clemson and Georgia Tech) shot that poorly, both in 2015.

Team 3-Point Shooting Since ACC Expansion
(Listed In Descending Order Of Accuracy <.333,
2019 Season Through Feb. 11)
Year No. Schools
2019 7 SU (.327), C (.3267), BC (.324), ND (.321), D (.320), WF (.298), GT (.293)
2018 3 UP (.325), GT (.3184), SU (.3176)
2017 1 GT (.331)
2016 3 NC (.327), BC (.324), WF (.316)
2015 6 BC (.324), FSU (.313), UL (.307), SU (.301), C (.299), GT (.267)
2014 6 SU (.331), WF (.329), UM (.323), GT (.315), C (.310), NS (.305)
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