With basketball season coming to a close, I decided to take a look back at some statistic totals for App this season. With Jim Fox at the helm, it’s fair to assume that he will build this program in a similar way to how his mentor Bob McKillop runs Davidson. Hell, he even said that there would be heavy Davidson influence in how he approaches his work just after being hired as the head coach. Being that Davidson is a historically great basketball program, I’m all on board for taking App in that direction.
A lot of Davidson’s recent success has been predicated on supreme offensive efficiency especially when it comes to shooting three pointers. I had the opportunity to watch McKillop and his Davidson team several times this season and they were a fun bunch to watch. This season, in particular, yielded great success from behind the arc. They shot a total of 877 three’s which was 45.5% of their total field goal attempts and they made 39.1% of those attempts. That’s awesome. Davidson had five guys with over 100 attempts, shoot better than 30% which shows you just how balanced they were from deep. The success was quite tangible as well. Davidson went on to win the Atlantic 10 regular season title in their inaugural year and gained an at large berth into the NCAA Tournament.
If Coach Fox wants to emulate Davidson, then the three ball is obviously going to be a big part of it. I decided to take a look at App’s three point statistics from his first season compared to Jason Capel’s final year in Boone. I also took a look at the six teams that Fox helped guide to the NCAA Tournament while at Davidson.
In 2015, App took a grand total of 558 attempts from three and shot 31.6% as a team. That’s not where we want those stats to be overall, but compared to Capel’s final year in Boone, it’s an improvement. Under Capel in 2014, App only shot 500 attempts (Tab Hamilton shot almost 40% of those by himself) and the team finished the year with a 30.2% clip from deep. It was interesting to see what the difference was for individual players between both seasons. Frank Eaves made the biggest stride with his shooting. Under Capel, Eaves was only 23.1% from three and only attempted 65 shots. Under Fox, he upped his attempts to 177 and shot 35%. Incredible.
Chris Burgess made leaps to. He was much more involved offensively under Fox than Capel and it showed. He increased his attempts from 88 to 121 with Fox and improved his percentage from 33% to 38.8%. I love seeing improved efficiency while increasing your total attempt numbers.
I’ts going to be interesting to see the trajectory of App’s three point play next season. All signs point to improvement. Eaves and Burgess both return as seniors and Jake Babic (the only other guy with over 100 three point attempts) also returns and should be a better player. Both incoming freshmen (Emarius Logan and Ronshad Shabazz) have good scoring potential from deep as well so it’ll be interesting to see how Fox truly wants to organzie his offense. If I were a betting man, I’d say that the team’s total three point attempts will probably increase to the 640 range. If we follow the Davidson NCAA Tourney Standard, then we eventually want to see the attempts rise up to around 783 on average with a 36% shooting percentage as a team.
To give you a better visual, look at the chart below to compare this year’s App team from to Davidson’s six tourney teams under McKillop/Fox and you’ll see about where we’d want to be under that model.
Team/Year Attempts Percentage Players Shooting Over 30% with 100+ Attempts
App – 2015 588 31.6% 2
Dav – 2013 694 36.9% 4
Dav – 2012 760 33.6% 4
Dav – 2008 901 36.4% 3
Dav – 2007 888 36.9% 3
Dav – 2006 751 36.9% 3
Dav – 2002 706 35.3% 2
Read the full article here: Breaking Down App’s Three Point Game