3 Point Shooting

  • Article here from Rustin Dodd, KC Star (the tables got lost in copying but posted link at bottom):

    How Kansas remade itself into the Big 12 favorite again

    By RUSTIN DODDThe Kansas City Star

    02/03/2015 3:03 PM 02/03/2015 3:09 PM

    “Basketball can be summed up very easily: If you’re good, you get easy baskets.” — Bill Self

    This is Bill Self talking about basketball. These particular words came in the middle of October. Self sat at a table at Big 12 media day in Kansas City. Somebody asked him about his offensive philosophy, why he takes so much pride in pounding the ball inside and scoring at the rim. Self paused for a moment, like the question had been set up on tee. Then he answered. Self talks about basketball a lot, of course. When you are a future Hall of Fame coach with two Final Fours and 10 Big 12 titles on your resume, people are always asking you to reveal little parts of the machine, to explain this adjustment or that philosophy, to break down this deficiency or that strength.

    For the past 10 seasons, the Kansas Jayhawks have won the Big 12 regular season championship, and if you ask Self to explain the Streak, you’ll probably hear him describe the last decade with one word: Toughness. In some ways, it’s a pretty vague way to describe the relentless winning that has taken place in Lawrence over the last 10 seasons. Toughness? What does that mean anyway. In another way, it makes perfect sense. If you are a tough team, Self believes, you will find a way to score easy baskets. If you are a tough team, you will find a way to stop other teams from scoring those easy baskets against you.

    This is the way Self has coached for more than a decade in Lawrence. It’s also the reason why this Kansas basketball season has been so fascinating, this season so intriguing. The coach that thrives on easy baskets has a basketball team that is not particularly good at scoring them. The Jayhawks are shooting just 45.9 percent from inside the three-point line, which ranks 239th in the country and is the worst mark under Self by a substantial amount. (The previous low from two-point range was 50.8 in 2005-06.) So for most of November and December, the question hung over the Kansas program. Could Bill Self adjust? Could the Jayhawks win an 11th straight Big 12 title without a consistent low-post scoring threat? Could Kansas be Kansas — without the easy baskets?

    “We’re kind of a weird team,” Self says. “We have to score points on the block by driving it. We don’t score it by throwing it inside and guys scoring it.”

    By now, you know most of this story. No. 8 Kansas is 19-3 overall and 8-1 in the Big 12 after an 89-76 victory over Iowa State on Monday night. The Jayhawks have a 1 ½-game lead in the Big 12 race, barreling toward another Big 12 title, and the conventional wisdom would be to assume that Self has found a way to adapt and evolve; that the Jayhawks have remade themselves as the machine rolls on, moving toward another high seed in the NCAA tournament.

    Here’s the thing: It’s only partially true. The Jayhawks are not pounding the ball inside as they have in the past. They are not scoring at the rim and overwhelming opponents with size and strength. But in other ways, Kansas isn’t too far away from its template of success — a template created by some of Self’s best teams at Kansas.

    Yes, the Jayhawks are more reliant on three-pointers for scoring than they have been in eight years. But stylistically, they’re still shooting about the same number of threes — percentagewise — that they have for most of Self’s tenure. In fact, even after making 10 of 21 from three-point range on Monday night, they’re only hoisting slightly more threes — again, percentagewise — than they did last season.

    After 22 games, the Jayhawks have taken 29.4 percent of their shots from behind the three-point line. That ranks 289th in the country and is essentially the same as last season (28.6 percent). (In conference play, the number has increased only marginally, to 29.9 percent.)

    The difference, to this point: Kansas is making 39.6 percent of its threes, and as a result, the Jayhawks are getting more than 27 percent of their scoring from behind the arc. Last year, just 20.5 percent of its scoring came from the outside.

    Here’s a look at Kansas’ three-point shooting numbers over the last eight seasons:

    Year 3P% 3PA%** % points off 3s***

    2014-15 39.629.427.2








    ** Percentage of Kansas’ field-goal attempts from behind the three-point line

    *** Percentage of Kansas’ points off three-pointers

    A couple of quick takeaways:

    ▪ 1. In the last eight seasons, four Kansas teams actually took a greater percentage of shots from three-point range than this current team.

    ▪ 2. Self, of course, has made some adjustments during conference play. The Jayhawks are playing through their guards more, letting Frank Mason and Devonte’ Graham create offense off the dribble and in Kansas’ three-man weave offense on the perimeter. The Kansas staff also has made a concerted effort to get forwards Perry Ellis and Jamari Traylor opportunities to drive from the perimeter. And perhaps most importantly, sophomore Brannen Greene has become a more permanent part of the rotation, making 62.5 percent (15 of 24) from three-point range. The Jayhawks are making shots from three, and playing through their guards and wings, covering up for their lack of inside game. But to this point, the Jayhawks haven’t exactly started bombing away from deep. But then again, if they keep making threes at a 40-percent clip, maybe they should.

    “We kind of found a way to win some games where we’ve kind of done it differently than the way we practice all the time, and what we emphasize,” Self said on Monday. “And tonight was one of those nights. If we don’t make some shots, who knows if we’d have been in the position we were in late.”

    ##The player of the game Brannen Greene continued his torrid stretch of outside shooting, hitting two of three from three-point range. So let’s update Greene’s run at the KU single-season record for three-point percentage. Greene needs a minimum of 60 attempts to qualify — he should get there in the next game or two — and he surged ahead of Kirk Hinrich’s record (50.5 percent) on Monday.


    1Brannen Greene2014-1550.929-57

    2Kirk Hinrich2000-0150.555-109

    3Aaron Miles2004-0550.040-80

    4Jeff Gueldner1989-9048.669-142

    5Kirk Hinrich2001-0247.866-138

    6Tyrel Reed2009-1047.344-93

    7Brandon Rush2005-0647.250-106

    8Mario Chalmers2007-0846.873-156

    9Paul Pierce1996-9746.533-71

    The stat of the game

    Frank Mason was in double-figures for the 19th straight game, finishing with 12 points and eight assists.

    To reach Rustin Dodd, call 816-234-4937 or send email to rdodd@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @rustindodd.

    Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/campus-corner/article9108656.html#storylink=cpy

  • @RockChalkinTexas

    If I may distill this, the only way we can keep opponents from focusing on our bread band butter way of building leads–the trey–is to run and jump at the basket with our bigs, because they are too short to score inside without a running start. 🙂

  • “We kind of found a way to win some games where we’ve kind of done it differently than the way we practice all the time, and what we emphasize,” Self said on Monday.

    Ugh. Still focusing on the feed the post futility?

    Didn’t he just say a week ago that we’re not an inside out team?

    Didn’t he say in this same article that “We’re kind of a weird team. We have to score points on the block by driving it. We don’t score it by throwing it inside and guys scoring it.”

    Some of the stuff he says is very, very hard to reconcile.

  • 😄 @HighEliteMajor, I think coach Self just says these things to troll you. Hopefully we continue to see the outside/in philosophy in action on the court.

  • I think a big part of this is Self starting to lax up on 3s. In the old days, I don’t care what he said or what other players said… If a guy hoisted up a brick 3, good chances he’d get pulled to the bench, unless he was a OAD, like Wigs.

    Now Self wants them to take open 3s. Brannen is on fire because he has been in there earlier in the year where he rushed some brick 3s and didn’t get pulled. That very fact made him start to relax and loosen up on his shots.

    We shoot better percentages from 3 because Self has lightened up.

  • @drgnslayr Yeah!: I mean, when has he ever admitted to NOT having an inside out team? Not until just a couple days ago. It was a HUGE paradigm shift for him and for KU.

  • @Lulufulu

    Absolutely! He didn’t want to release this info to the public because he knows how hard it is to walk it back later. So when he said it, he meant it!

    Wow… the burden has been lifted off this team and off this program! With the quality of players we recruit we shouldn’t go back to being a dud trey shooting team again!

  • @RockChalkinTexas Cool article, even cooler stats!

  • @FarSideHawk

    "No plan survives contact with the enemy". - Helmuth von Moltke the Elder and many others.

    Some times the best plans have to be modified at game time since the opponent obviously did not get the Memo or refuses to cooperate…:)

  • John Gasaway

    On hoops and lesser matters

    Bill Self cares not for your paeans to stylistic flexibility

    Big 12
    W-L Pace PPP Opp. PPP EM

    1. Oklahoma 8-4 66.9 1.07 0.94 +0.13

    2. Kansas 8-2 68.2 1.08 0.96 +0.12

    3. Baylor 6-5 63.1 1.07 1.01 +0.06

    4. Iowa State 7-4 70.0 1.11 1.05 +0.06

    5. Oklahoma State 7-5 62.9 0.99 0.96 +0.03

    6. West Virginia 6-4 72.1 0.99 0.98 +0.01

    7. Texas 4-6 63.6 1.01 1.04 -0.03

    8. Kansas State 5-6 60.3 0.96 1.01 -0.05

    9. TCU 1-9 65.8 0.92 1.03 -0.11

    10. Texas Tech 2-9 63.0 0.85 1.11 -0.26

    AVG. 65.6 1.01

    This season Jesse Newell of the Topeka Capital Journal has posed an interesting question: Why doesn’t Kansas shoot more threes? In Big 12 play the Jayhawks lead the league in three-point accuracy while clocking in at a solid but by no means dazzling No. 3 in terms of success inside the arc. Yet despite those two numbers, Kansas ranks No. 8 in the conference in the share of field goal attempts it launches from beyond the arc. Only Kansas State and TCU are less likely to shoot a three.

    Self says this is simply a matter of “game situations.” Well, over the last five years those game situations sure have been remarkably uniform whenever he shows up to coach….

    Staying the course 3FGA/FGA


    Bill Self 1.31

    Bob Huggins 1.35

    Fran McCaffery 1.56

    Leonard Hamilton 1.66

    Tad Boyle 1.74

    Average 3.66

    Major-conference games only, 2011-15

    By my count there are 38 coaches who have been in their present major-conference gigs now for five seasons, and of those guys Self ranks No. 1 in three-point stylistic consistency. (Bob Huggins is so close behind on this measure he might fairly be called 1a, and before the season is out he may overtake Self.) Come what may Kansas will devote 30 percent of its shots to tries from beyond the arc. No more, no less.

    Self has won 10 Big 12 titles in a row, so maybe he’s on to something with this shot selection auto-pilot. Or perhaps not fretting about his team’s shot mix frees him up to concentrate on weightier matters. There is also the small fact that KU has a very good offense, currently ranked No. 2 (behind only Iowa State) in the league in terms of points scored per possession.

    I’m not saying Self is wrong to shoot so few threes. I am saying that Self quite plainly challenges our habit of praising coaches for being flexible, for changing to meet new conditions, and for adapting to the players they have on hand. In this one instance, at least, Self is the antithesis of all those qualities. And it works for him.

  • @RockChalkinTexas Excellent post.

    “We’re kind of a weird team,” Self says. “We have to score points on the block by driving it. We don’t score it by throwing it inside and guys scoring it.”

    Yet, as we’ve seen, he continues to try to throw it inside to score as the first option.

    Our supposed best post scorer scores at the rim at a rate of 54.3%. Compare to Perry last year at 65% and Embiid 76%.

    The question is, if you can’t get easy baskets inside, do you change course to try to succeed, or do you die trying?

  • Once again, it’s the story of the Three Little Bigs.

  • Was it the fact that Manning left that our bigs don’t score on the block efficiently anymore? Ellis should be dominating on the block with his skill and ability like Marcus Morris. But the difference is Morris was under Manning’s tutelage for 3 years.

  • @JhawkAlum Whenever I mention this I get hammered by those saying how great Norm is. Yeah, but he damn sure ain’t Danny. Manning incessantly studied opponents & had his guys explore weaknesses to another level. Huge difference far as I’m concerned. Proof? Danny’s a HC & Norm isn’t

  • @globaljaybird Considering someones greatness doesn’t mean it’s taking away from anyone else. I agree when it comes to developing bigs, that Manning is superior. Again, saying Jordan was better than Bird doesn’t take away from what Bird accomplished.

    I would like to think that Norm could have gotten a head coaching gig SOMEWHERE. But he prefers it here and the right offer hasn’t come yet.

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