Texas Tech must display better 3-point shooting
Outside of simply picking up a win, the main goal for Texas Tech tonight should be to improve from beyond the 3-point line. That’s an area that is yet to be a positive this season and before his team heads to the Bahamas, McCasland had better figure out how to find the magic from deep that his team displayed in the preseason scrimmage against Texas A&M when Tech nailed 14 shots from beyond the arc.
Though it has only been two games, right now, Tech is one of the worst 3-point shooting teams in America. At only 20.5% as a collective, the Red Raiders rank 354th in the NCAA.
What we want to see tonight isn’t necessarily a certain number of made 3s but rather efficiency from downtown. There is no reason this team can’t shoot near 35% or better given how many quality marksmen are on the roster.
One of the problems so far, though, is that some of the roster’s worst shooters are taking a high number of 3s. For instance, Joe Toussaint, a career 29.7% shooter from beyond the arc, is averaging four attempts per game, second-most on the team. Meanwhile, Lamar Washington, a career 20% shooter, is taking 2.5 per game (and he’s yet to make one). That means that exactly a third of this team’s 3-point attempts thus far have come from players who are below 30% for their careers.
Meanwhile, the players that do have reputations for being strong outside snipers aren’t hitting either. Pop Isaacs leads the team with 5.5 attempts per game but he’s hitting at only a 27.3% clip. That’s over 9% worse than he shot last season as a true freshman.
Additionally, Chance McMillan, whose career 3-point percentage is right at 40%, is also yet to hit a 3 this year going 0-5 so far. Last season at Grand Canyon, he hit 60 shots from beyond the arc as he shot over 44% for the year.
Meanwhile, the team’s best 3-point shooter, Kerwin Walton, can’t seem to earn any significant playing time, likely due to his defensive flaws. Through two games, he’s seen only eight minutes of action, all of which came in game one. As a result, he’s attempted just one 3. At least he made it, though.
Tonight, look to see what type of 3-pointers Tech is attempting. Are they mostly a result of one-on-one offense where a player dribbles the life out of the ball and then hoists a desperation heave to beat the shot clock? Or, are they a result of quality play?
The type of 3s we want to see should come in transition, off of an offensive rebound, or at the end of a drive and kick from a teammate. If Tech can generate those types of looks from deep, the odds are that the shots will start falling. Let’s hope that is what happens tonight because this team won’t be able to keep pace in the Bahamas if it can’t score from the outside.