Random Thoughts: Shooting the Basketball

"Shooters step up" was almost a mantra on the pre and post game interviews with NU Coach Bill Carmody. Coach Roy has noted that he's not the only Big 10 Coach looking to next year's team to step up and make the shot...

We heard it all season from Bill Carmody
[to paraphrase] Somebody's got to start making shots.

After Mike Thompson's defection from the team, we watched as the usually deadly 3 point shot by Vince Scott disappeared [he finished 8 of 25] and the expected 3 point shot from Bernard Cote` never materialized, even though he finished 14 of 27 from the arc.

The sad fact of life was that NU's two centers averaged less than one 3 pointer each in NU's 29 games and NU wound up facing a 2-3 zone because there was little outside threat..

By the way, 8 of the Big 10's top 15  three point shooters hit over 40% of their shots. Nobody from NU is on that list.

Yes, Bill Carmody kept talking about "shooters stepping up" for the Wildcats, but most of the time, they didn't.

Yeah, For a while, it looked like NU was starting to make layups, something that has plagued them over the past few years but as the season wound down, we watch more and more "bunnies" go awry.

But watching the results of the first round of the NCAA's, it looks like all of the "shooters" in the Big 10 [except maybe OSU's Je'Kel Foster] went cold.

#4 Illinois was one of those top teams bounced in the 2nd round, even though they had 3 guys in double figures. It didn't matter, they didn't create shots and make the buckets when it counted.

Illinois coach Bruce Weber told the AP:
I thought the thing that hurt us, and it was pretty obvious down the stretch, was just having somebody create, whether they created for themselves or created for a teammate to get open, we didn't have that quite as much as we'd like.
See it was that "shooting thing" again and as Carmody commented [to Larry Watts] in a post season interview.
Not to diminish what these guys (seniors) have done, but maybe we can be better. We clearly need guys who can make shots.
OK, NU's top 3 point shooter has graduated, so has the guy with all the Indiana HS records from the arc. Right now the 3 point threat on the roster is PG Craig Moore, who is on a pace to put the NU 3 point record, the one Vedran just set, out of reach in his 3 remaining years*.

For NU to win next year, they're going to have to have one of the big guys step up and rediscover their long range touch, and everyone concentrate on making bunnies.

You can bet that almost everyone else in the Big 10 is thinking the same.
-- da Coach
[* I looked up how many 3 point shots Vedran made his freshman year. He made 23. Moore made 54 this year.]
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