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Norm Peterson

So, last season ...

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Last season, we ranked a dismal 303rd in the nation in 3 point FG accuracy.

 

Apparently wisely, we ranked 304th in 3 point FGs attempted.  Hey, if you can't hit 'em, you're smart not to take 'em, right?

 

But, imagine what would happen if we could hit 'em and, therefore, decided to take more of 'em.

 

Last season, we had 8 players who attempted 3 point shots: nobody shot 40% or better; 1 guy hit better than 35%; 2 guys were 30-34.9%; 2 guys hit between 25% and 29.9%; and 3 guys shot worse than 25% from 3 point range.  That's ... really, pretty bad.

 

Good news is that our 2 most accurate shooters return; bad news is that the next two best shooters are gone.  From a team that already sucked from distance. (Semi-good news is that our very worst 3-point shooter left the team of his own volition after the season.)

 

Last season, we shot 32% from 3-point range as a team.  To move into the middle of the pack nationally (#151), we'd have to increase that percentage to 35.5%

 

Last season, we attempted 560 treys.  To move into the middle of the pack nationally, we'd have to increase those attempts to 714.

 

If (and it's a big if, I realize) we could jump from bad to just mediocre in both of those statistical categories, our points from three land would increase from 537 to 760.  And those 223 additional points from beyond the arc would mean an extra 7+ points per game from beyond the arc.  (Which would be offset to some degree by taking fewer 2-point shots.)

 

So, I want to ask yous guys:  Can we make a jump?  Does this new roster look like it has some long range firepower?  Predict how many players hit better than 40% from 3 this coming season; how many will be 35-39.9; and how many will be 30-34.9%.

 

Personally, I think the improvement is going to be drastic.  I think we'll have some long-range bombers, and those guys will be our high volume shooters.

 

I think Glynn and Thomas Allen will both be over 40% from 3.  I think Jack McVeigh and Nana Akenten will both be 35-39.9%.  I think James Palmer and Isaac Copeland will both shoot at least 30-34.9% from beyond the arc.  And I believe both Isaiah Roby and Evan Taylor will improve to 25-29.9%.  I suspect we will not have anyone with more than 5 attempts shoot less than 25% from 3 this year.  

 

And, if those things happen, I think the effect of better shooting is going to show up dramatically in our team scoring average and our win/loss record.

 

Thoughts?

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I think Watson & Allen are likely the two best options from three.

 

I believe that McVeigh & Copeland would be the next two in line.

 

After that, it's a bit of a crap-shoot, depending on the proverbial 'hot hand' of the remaining streaky shooters from distance.

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I'd like to think we can improve on offense, especially on 3s, but I think defense might be the more important area. Here are our KenPom numbers for the last four season:

2016-17: 147 offense, 77 defense
2015-16: 87 offense, 114 defense

2914-15: 264 offense, 28 defense

2013-14: 112 offense, 34 defense

Considering that half of D-1 is low majors or just plain bad programs, those offensive numbers are pretty sad. I just don't see how you jump from 147 to around 75 on the backs of two freshmen shooters and one transfer. The defense, on the other hand, can make a jump with our increased length and athleticism. I'd think we could make top 50 on defense, and that's tournament caliber. 

 

We were 261 in unadjusted offensive efficiency last year,  210 in defensive efficiency, according to TeamRankings. Pretty awful, but adjusting to the tough schedule makes it look a little better.

 

 

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We have players who can penetrate and/or get the ball into the lane.  There are a lot of opportunities to finish those drives, but on the occasions where the defenses collapse, we have recently lacked players who can knock down those relatively open looks.  FRUSTRATING to say the least.  If we now have players who can knock those shots down, we are going to be exponentially better.  That will make me happy.

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2 hours ago, Chuck Taylor said:

I just don't see how you jump from 147 to around 75 on the backs of two freshmen shooters and one transfer.

 

Well, you do it, in part, by shedding a guy who was 17% from 3 last year.

 

You do it by subbing in a career 30% 3-point shooter for a career 18% 3-point shooter.  And the 30% guy has shown the ability, when healthy, to hit high 30s on a season.

 

And, last year, one of our freshmen was the third best 3-point shooter on the team.  So, it's certainly possible for freshmen to come in and make an impact.  Especially freshmen who have a proven track record of being very accurate 3-point threats.

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10 hours ago, Norm Peterson said:

Last season, we ranked a dismal 303rd in the nation in 3 point FG accuracy.

 

Apparently wisely, we ranked 304th in 3 point FGs attempted.  Hey, if you can't hit 'em, you're smart not to take 'em, right?

 

I believe we've respectfully and lovingly debated this before. I disagree to an extent. You have to shoot them to make them. I've been critical of some X's and O's aspects of Miles's offense in the past, specifically with his lack of dribble drive reaction spots. I don't think our guys get to the spots, angles, and visionary windows on the drive that we need to do to get great kick-out 3pt shots. HOWEVER, early in the season last year it looked like some of those things were emphasized in the off-season and fall practices. Unfortunately, they seemed to disappear as B1G play began. I've always personally believed that there are shots that you HAVE TO shoot. When you don't shoot them it seems as if the ball knows its opportunity was wasted, and it becomes a jerk and doesn't work for the next guy.  

 

It's a catch-22 and circular though. If you never see guys make them in practices or they seem to statistically be failing as the season is in play, it's hard to justify chucking up 3's. But I believe your guys have to have your confidence as a coach to shoot the shots that have to be shot when the ball is in rhythm. 

 

Of course, as Dimes said earlier in this thread - the guys who have left shot 62 for 215 (28.8%). Hopefully we got some addition by subtraction by removing some poor shooters. And then hopefully we gained some... addition... by... addition... (?) with some new guys who can put the ball in the hoop. 

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10 minutes ago, basketballjones said:

I believe we've respectfully and lovingly debated this before. I disagree to an extent. You have to shoot them to make them. I've been critical of some X's and O's aspects of Miles's offense in the past, specifically with his lack of dribble drive reaction spots. I don't think our guys get to the spots, angles, and visionary windows on the drive that we need to do to get great kick-out 3pt shots. HOWEVER, early in the season last year it looked like some of those things were emphasized in the off-season and fall practices. Unfortunately, they seemed to disappear as B1G play began. I've always personally believed that there are shots that you HAVE TO shoot. When you don't shoot them it seems as if the ball knows its opportunity was wasted, and it becomes a jerk and doesn't work for the next guy.  

 

It's a catch-22 and circular though. If you never see guys make them in practices or they seem to statistically be failing as the season is in play, it's hard to justify chucking up 3's. But I believe your guys have to have your confidence as a coach to shoot the shots that have to be shot when the ball is in rhythm. 

 

Of course, as Dimes said earlier in this thread - the guys who have left shot 62 for 215 (28.8%). Hopefully we got some addition by subtraction by removing some poor shooters. And then hopefully we gained some... addition... by... addition... (?) with some new guys who can put the ball in the hoop. 

 

No, I agree with you totally about how there are some shots you just have to take.  When you get the kick-out pass and you're open, you just have to take the shot.  The offense was designed for the guy receiving that pass to take that shot and if he doesn't take it, screw it, what's the point?  Open looks don't grow on trees.

 

Certainly last year but also, I believe, in the years before that, we've had guys who were open, had the ball, and passed up the shot.  The end result was typically that we ended up missing a worse shot later in the clock.  As you said, the ball seems to know it's opportunity was wasted and it becomes a jerk for the next guy.  True.  Agree with that.  Totally agree with your second paragraph.  You can see my comments in some of the game threads historically where I've bitched about guys passing up open looks that they need to take.

 

On the other hand, if you're doing something really badly, it's probably a good idea, on balance, that you're not doing a lot of it.  That's all I was saying here.  And even in the context of guys needing to shoot the open shots the offense created for them, there are degrees of relying on the 3-point shot.  Teams that live and die by the 3 but don't shoot it very well will die.

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Simply put, if we can improve our three point efficiency, and improve our efficiency in defending the three point shot, our W-L record ought to improve concurrently. 

 

I like our chances of accomplishing both of these things this season.  Of the five departures from last season, only Webster, in my mind,  is tough to replace in terms of three-point shooting.  With the new players this year (freshmen and transfers) I expect our overall team 3 pt. percentage to nudge a lot closer to 40. 

 

Something I'm really hopeful this year is that with the improved depth of three-point shooters, the pressure will be off McVeigh to have to make all or most of his threes, and thus he can feel more loose, and start improving his accuracy.

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11 hours ago, Norm Peterson said:

Apparently wisely, we ranked 304th in 3 point FGs attempted.

 

Here are Miles' numbers with 3PA% (number of 3s vs all shots taken)

Last year was the least number of 3s %-wise of Miles' time here and the 2nd lowest of his coaching career.

It makes sense looking at our roster where you had essentially no 3pt shooting from the 4/5 (Morrow, Jordy,  MJ, Roby) and then a bunch of minutes from Evan Taylor.

 

image.png

 

Is Roby going to shoot 3s this year?  You're looking at Copeland/Roby at the 4 and that should easy translate into a position that now generates 3pt attempts.

Will we minimize minutes from Taylor?  What sort of shooter will Palmer be?

 

It would be a shock if we were to turn into Michigan or Wisconsin in terms of attempts but it's not too hard to see with our roster adding more guys who can shoot 3s that we can expect Nebraska to be a team that shoots 3s at a rate more like the 2013-14 and 2014-15 teams. Hopefully we can shoot a bit better than those teams.

 

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