Tale of Two Shooters

Gerry McNamara has captured the hearts of nearly everyone in his hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania. They adore him so much that they affectionately call him "The Golden Boy." He has more than lived up to the name at home in the Carrier Dome. On the road, however, that gold seems to be tarnished a bit.

The evidence is in the stats. At home, Scranton's hero shoots 45 percent from the field, and an unconscious 43 percent from behind the arc. His home highlights include topping 20 points against Boston College, Seton Hall, Georgetown, and scoring his career-high of 25 against Georgia Tech. And, of course, there was a certain 3-pointer from the corner against Notre Dame with 18 seconds left that seemed to please the more than 2,000 Scrantonians that were in attendance.

On the road, though, McNamara seems lost at times. New surroundings have bewildered the freshman, sending him into a shooting tailspin. That 45 percent shooting at home has turned into 31 percent on the road. His 43 percent shooting from three-point range has shrunk to 21 percent away from Jim Boeheim Court. The point guard has not scored more than 17 points in his orange road uniform.

With the numbers in front of us, an explanation still eludes everyone. There is nothing visably noticeable that has caused him to struggle. His shot is picture perfect. He has gotten open looks. Everyone still has all the confidence in the world in him. And he continues to try to shoot himself out of it.

Even McNamara, himself, realizes the contrast in his play.

"I wish I could play all my games at the Carrier Dome," said McNamara to the Post-Standard.

Maybe it is a matter of comfort. Maybe it is an adrenaline rush in front of the hometown fans. Only time will tell whether this is just a blip on the radar of McNamara's career, or whether it will turn into a scouting report for the Big East to follow through the years.

Maybe he should put on a pair of red slippers for the team's next road game. After all, there is no place like home.

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