Pearl opposes new 3-point arc

Few coaches in college basketball benefited more from the 3-point shot in 2006-07 than Tennessee's Bruce Pearl. Thus, it is no surprise that Pearl opposes a current proposal to move the 3-point arc from 19 feet, 9 inches to 20 feet, 9 inches in time for the 2008-09 season.

Pearl's Vols sank an average of 9.34 shots from 3-point range per game last season, a figure that led the Southeastern Conference and ranked 11th nationally. All-America guard Chris Lofton paced SEC players by draining 3.42 treys per game all by himself. Fellow guard JaJuan Smith averaged 2.54 per game, ranking fifth among conference players. Lofton (fifth at 41.9) and Smith (11th at 36.8) also ranked among the league leaders in 3-point percentage.

When the NCAA adopted the 3-point line in 1986-87, teams launched from beyond the arc just one time in every 6.4 shot attempts. By last season that figure had swelled to one trey attempt for every 2.9 shot attempts.

Proponents of the deeper arc believe it will stretch defenses, alleviating some of the clogging (and mugging) that occurs underneath the basket. Pearl is not buying that argument, however. He believes moving the arc will simply mean more zone defense, not more space on the inside.

Pearl's thoughts on the matter are included in a column posted by Seth Davis at's college basketball page.

Here is Pearl's quote:

"I think players are going to back off, let people shoot the three and double down on the post. There will be only one or two guys out there you have to cover. Zone defenses are going to become even more effective."

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