3 point shooting

One consistent key to our good offensive teams over the years has been good 3 point shooting. This year’s 3 point shooting is terrible which is one reason we are struggling to score. We are 5th in the league in 3 pointers attempted but 10th in 3 point percentage, which is a bad combination. Of guys likely to shoot a 3, we have 1 great shooter (Joe), 1 very good shooter (Jones), and 4 below average to terrible shooters (Harris, Embrey-Simpson, Sills, Gabe). The highest of this group is Sills (32%–the rest are all less than 30% and Harris is 15% on 48 attempts (ouch). There are a lot of times where we run excellent half court offense (e.g, Daniel passes to weakside out of double team to a wide open shooter or Harris penetrates and kicks) only to have the ball in the hands of someone who cannot knock it down.

Sills and Embery-Simpson both look OK form wise although both have a tendency to fall back of drift sideways on the shot (Harris has a terrible hitch and Gabe shoots way too flat). Does anyone know how Sills and Embery-Simpson shot it in high school? To me this seems like something we have not emphasized enough in recruiting–we desperately need 1 more above average shooter to make the offense go. If Harris could shoot 33% from 3 he would be an all SEC player

As many will attest, I’m Jones’ biggest fan. However, he needs some extra work on shooting 3s these next few days. His 3s percentage has fallen from .400+ to .344 since SEC games started. I’ve noticed lately, he seems to hesitate slightly before releasing the 3. That usually means he’s he’s thinking about form. He needs to feel confident enough with his 3 shot that he unloads it without hesitation. He’s probably never going to be as good shooting the 3 as Joe, but he should be better than he’s been in the last 6-8 games.

Unlike Joe though, he normally excels in all other phases of his game even when his 3 isn’t falling. Last night is the perfect example. He was just 2-7 from 3, but was 6-7 inside the arc and 5-6 FTs. He also led the team in rebounding and assists. Early in the year, when he was really hitting his 3s, I thought he would be primarily a 3-point shooter and a plus rebounder. But, he has really worked on his inside the arc shot and finishing at the rim. Now he has our 2nd best (to Gafford) 2 point average.

By the way, Harris had only 1 assist. That’s his primary job. That just cannot happen anymore. He’s had just a total of 3 assists and 3 TOs in the last 2 games. He’s been turning the ball over much more than usual since SEC play started. I have a feeling that Mike probably got on him about that, thus his 1 asst and 0 TOs last night. He needs to understand that 8 assists and 3 TOs is much better for the team than 1-0. Harris was a very good point guard the first 10-12 games this year. He just needs to get back to that mindset. Pass first shoot less. His passing makes our team better. His shooting makes our team worse.