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Better Out Than In

ACC players who shoot better from three point range

NCAA Basketball: Charleston Classic-Old Dominion at Virginia Tech
 Nov 17, 2022; Charleston, South Carolina, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies guard Sean Pedulla (3) shoots the ball over Old Dominion Monarchs forward Ben Stanley (12) in the second half at TD Arena.
David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports

Every season a small contingent of shooters emerge with the oddest of statistical profiles. Actually they don’t quite emerge; they insinuate themselves into an unusual role. This year the ACC returns all but one member of this curious cadre from 2021-22, all with higher 3-point than 2-point accuracy.

Now, it could be these players are averse to operating in the more physical environs near the basket, where layups and short jumpers are available. Or they may lack the discernment necessary to maneuver for better shots when they have an eye on the rim from long distance. Or they might just be unusually adept jump-shooters or uncomfortable ballhandlers, preferring to catch and shoot.

After all, of the five returnees in this group, all but one was a freshman last season, denoting a certain lack of familiarity with the subtleties of shot selection. Not that the numbers reveal profligate shooting – none of the five posted lower than .395 accuracy on 3-pointers.

The non-yearling in the 3/2 group was Syracuse upperclassman Joe Girard III. He’s now the Orange’s best holdover scorer and the sole returnee among the top four point producers on the team. Nearly two-thirds of his shot attempts came from the bonusphere in ‘22.

Last year Girard and BC’s Jaeden Zachary each started every game, recognition of their value to their respective teams. They responded by averaging double-figures in scoring at 13.8 and 10.4 points, respectively.

Zachary, as we mentioned in an earlier chart, was, at .477, the best 3-point shooter in the league among those who attempted at least one bomb per game in ‘22.

Zachary, Girard, and Georgia Tech’s Dallen (Debo) Coleman played an average of at least half of their teams’ games. The Hokies’ Sean Pedulla and Bensley Joseph of Miami served mostly as subs. Pedulla, a 6-1 guard from Oklahoma, didn’t start a game. When members of this contingent have a few more games under their elastic belts, we’ll see if earlier career form still holds sway.

Two players no longer on ACC rosters whose shooting was better from long distance than inside the arc were Pitt’s Onyebuchi Ezealeudo and NC State’s Jericole Hellems.

In 2021 there were seven ACC players whose shooting efficiency was better from long distance than inside the arc. In 2020 there were 11.

3-Point Pct. Better Than 2-Point Pct. Among ACC Regulars
(Returnees, Minimum 300 Mins. Played, One 3 Att/Game In 2022)
3%-2% Player, School Mins. 3A as % FGA
.447-.428 Sean Pedulla, VT 12.9 (463) .524
.403-.392 Joe Girard III, SU* 34.0 (1122) .610
.477-.463 Jaeden Zachery, BC* 34.4 (1134) .421
.413-.391 Dallen (Deebo) Coleman, GT 23.7 (734) .689
.395-.347 Bensley Joseph, UM 13.4 (482) .507
* Started every game in 2021-22.