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Bombs Away! The ACC’s Most Prolific Three Point Shooters From 2019-20

With 30 percent of the list, it’s a Syracuse sort of thing

NCAA Basketball: Duke at Syracuse
Feb 1, 2020; Syracuse, New York, USA; Syracuse Orange forward Elijah Hughes (33) drives to the basket around Duke Blue Devils guard Tre Jones (3) during the second half at the Carrier Dome. 
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

These days it’s the rare team that relies heavily on a single player to deliver the long-range blows.

Having one player dominate 3-point shooting for his team in the manner of Dennis Scott, the 1990 ACC Player of the Year, is now more the exception than the rule. The Georgia Tech wing took 51.3 percent of the threes (and made 52.7 percent) on a Yellow Jacket squad that reached the ’90 Final Four. “So much of their offense is Scott’s 3-pointers,” said Mike Krzyzewski, whose team reached the same Final Four.

Scott’s 27.7 points per game remain the highest average among ACC players over the past 45 seasons.

There have been a few similarly singular shooters over the intervening years. Most recently guard Marcus Paige accounted for 46.3 percent of the long-range attempts on a 26-12 North Carolina squad widely knocked for its one-dimensional perimeter punch.

Paige, a heady all-around player repeatedly praised by coach Roy Williams as a “tough nut”, took 238 threes in 2015 and made 39.5 percent. Next on the team was freshman Justin Jackson with 92 tries and 30.4 accuracy.

The following year Paige made a memorable “double-clutch circus shot” to tie Villanova late in the national championship game, according to the New York Daily News, only to be trumped by the Wildcats’ Kris Jenkins in a stunning 77-74 loss. (Paige is now playing for Belgrade in the Adriatic League First Division and holds joint citizenship in Serbia.)

Lately ACC marksmen shouldered a notably lesser load from beyond the arc. In 2018 Syracuse’s Tyus Battle topped the league by taking 36.6 percent of the Orange’s threes. In 2019 Jared Wilson-Frame was responsible for a comparable portion of Pitt’s 3-point tries, launching 36.5 percent, most in the ACC.

Incidentally, the last time a Duke player attempted more than a third of his team’s threes was 2010, when Jon Scheyer, currently a Krzyzewski assistant, launched 36.7 percent of the long-range shots for a national championship unit.

Last season the team 3-point portion accounted for by the conference leader, Syracuse’s Buddy Boeheim, clocked in at 33.4 percent. Boeheim was the sole official (though not actual) ACC leader in 3-point accuracy at 37.0 percent.

Of the 10 ACC players who tried at least one-quarter of their teams’ 3-pointers last season, only four return. Leading the way are Boeheim and Syracuse teammate Joe Girardi III. The duo combined to take a shade under 61 percent of the Orange’s threes, about the same portion as UVa’s Kyle Guy and Ty Jerome (59 percent) in propelling the Cavaliers to the 2019 NCAA title.

ACC Players With Highest Percent Of Team's 3-Point Attempts
(Asterisk Indicates Departed Player)
Player, School Pct Team 3PtM-3PtA 3Pct Team 3Pct
Buddy Boeheim, SU 33.39 97-262 .370 .329
DJ Vasiljevic, UM* 30.72 73-212 .344 .317
Elijah Hughes, SU* 29.09 78-229 .341 .329
Jordan Nwara, UL* 27.84 76-189 .402 .376
Joe Girardi III SU 27.57 70-217 .323 .329
Brandon Robinson, NC* 26.89 59-160 .369 .304
Brandon Childress, WF* 26.46 50-154 .325 .351
Tomas Woldetensae, V 25.71 52-144 .361 .304
Andrien White, WF* 25.60 56-149 .376 .351
Prentiss Hubb, ND 24.58 76-221 .344 .345