Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Whaa, whaa, whaa

Jim Boehiem and Jim Calhoun did their best crybaby routines in interviews with Andy Katz about the experimental 20 feet 9 inch 3-point line.

"This is a bad experiment,'' Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said of moving the line out a foot for all exempted tournaments in the first few weeks of the season.

"This is changing kids' whole game for two weeks and then going back to the old line. It's like playing on a 12-foot basket for two weeks. It's idiotic.''

"I didn't realize how the results would play out. I didn't understand it until I saw the results,'' Calhoun said.

Poor little babies. I guess Calhoun is whining because so far Denham Brown and Rudy Gay couldn't hit the Grand Canyon from 3-point range this year. Perhaps Boeheim realizes what everyone else who looks at the stat sheets already knows, that Gerry McNamara is the most overrated shooter in college basketball. Not even his putrid 37% FG shooting last season could convince "analysts" that he wasn't some deadly outside threat.

Katz goes on to say: "The other half of Calhoun's theory, though, is that the mid- or low-majors will benefit from the added distance. Why? They have plenty of shooters -- at times, that's all they have -- and won't have to bother alternating their offense up to go inside."

I see. So all these chump teams have is shooters and now with the line further out they are not going to waste time dumping it inside like they would have when the 3-point line was closer. Slowing down the game and hitting 3-point shots is really the only way these teams can win against the paid professionals at places like Syracuse and UConn. How does moving the 3-point line further back help them do this? Bucknell only shot 6-15 from 3-point range in their upset of Syracuse, not bad, but not the reason Syracuse lost either.

What these two are pathetically whining about is that they don't have shooters good enough to do much damage from the new distance. The rules don't suit their players so they don't like them. The rules don't suit the way these two Big Cheat coaches recruit their players either so I guess that makes for some consistency.

Calhoun also predicted that the shooting percentages would drop dramatically during the Maui Classic where the experimental distance was being used. Let's look at the actual numbers:

3-point shooting
Gonzaga 43%
Maryland 40%
Michigan State 39%
Kansas 33%
Arizona 32%
Arkansas 32%
UConn 32%

As a group these teams shot 36% from outside, not bad for a team average especially if you consider most were flying around 10 hours across the country and playing on three consecutive days. Maryland was one of the worst 3-point shooting teams in the ACC last year and they did fine.

If Mark Few can find players who are not stymied by shooting another 12 inches further back I'm sure Boeheim and Calgoon can find a few pay-for-play guys who can, if they look hard enough.

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