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Living and Dying By The 3-ball: Part 2

A few days ago I wrote about ISU Men's Basketball team relying in the 3 pointer and what it might mean for the team. I compared some stats from last year and tried to show that ISU may not be in the greatest company with this playing style.

I wanted to take it a step further with seeing how 3 point shooting teams in the Big XII have fared in the past. We need to do well in the conference because our non-conference schedule is just flat out unimpressive.

Here are some of the most recent regular season Big XII Champions:

  • 2008: Texas
  • 2007: Kansas
  • 2006: Texas
  • 2005: Oklahoma
  • 2004: Oklahoma State

How did they fare beyond the arc?

  • 2008 Texas averaged 7.9 3s per game at 38.5% shooting - both were 2nd in the conference
  • 2007 Kansas averaged 6.0 3s per game (10th in the conf.) and shot 38.2% from 3 point range (4th in the conf.)
  • 2006 Texas averaged 7.4 3s per game (3rd in the conf.) and shot 38.0% (3rd in the conf.)
  • 2005 Oklahoma averaged 6.7 3s per game (6th in the conf.) and shot 38.4% (5th in the conf.)
  • 2004 Oklahoma State averaged 4.9 3s per game (9th in the conf.) and shot 39.0% (2nd in the conf)

What do these teams above have in common thus far? None of them led the conference in 3 point shooting.

Some might say "Well, we KNOW ISU won't win the Big XII, we just want them to finish decently".

That's a fair point, so lets look at the Big XII 3 point shooting leaders for these past 5 seasons as well:

  • 2008: Baylor 8.6 3s per game
    • Finished 4th in the conferece (9-7) and was 21-10 overall
    • #11 seed in the dance
  • 2007: Texas 9.0 3s per game
    • Finished 3rd in the conference (12-4) and was 24-9 overall
    • #4 seed in the dance
  • 2006: Colorado 8.1s per game
    • Finshed 5th in the conference (9-7) and was 20-9 overall.
    • Went to the NIT
  • 2005: Texas 7.9 3s per game
    • Texas finished 5th in the conference (9-7) and was 20-10 overall
    • Went to the dance as a #8 seed
  • 2004: Missouri and Texas tied for 7.0 3s per game
    • Missouri finished 6th in the conference (9-7) and 16-13 overall. Went to the NIT
    • Texas finished 2nd in the conference (12-4) and 23-7 overall. Went to the dance

What do all of these above teams have in common?

First, they made the postseason! Hey! Maybe ISU has a chance of making the postseason after all!

Second, they all sucked it up in postseason play compared to expectations:

  • 2008: Baylor was blown out by Purdue 90-79
  • 2007: Texas was blown out by USC in the 2nd round, 87-68
  • 2006: Colorado lost to Oregon in the first round 77-72
  • 2005: Texas lost in the first round, 61-57
  • 2004: Texas made it to the sweet 16. Missouri lost in the first round, 65-64 to Michigan

Do you want to know what else all of those good 3 point shooting teams that made the dance have in common?

They all were either #1 or #2 in scoring in the conference, and they were all #1, or #2 in rebounding (with 2008 Baylor being the exception, they were #5).

Conclusion:

In my previous post, I showed how Notre Dame, a national leader in 3s, was amongst the nations leaders in rebounding and scoring, which made sense because they play in such a physical conference. This above analysis of the Big XII conference, shows that this is the rule and not the exception in physical conferences.

If you're going to rely heavily on shooting 3 pointers, you need to score a lot of points in general, and you need to rebound well. If you do those things, then the postseason is possible.

What does ISU need to do to get in the postseason? Well, if they're going to shoot a ton of 3s, they will have to be a leader in the Big XII in scoring (average in the upper 70s), and also be a leader in the Big XII in rebounding (average 38+ boards a game).

As I've been saying all along, and will continue to say, ISU needs to vastly improve their rebounding, and they need to find ways to score about 50-60 points per game from inside the arc. These last two posts justify this argument.

With that said, LET'S GO STATE! Crash some boards and continue to find more ways to put the ball in the hoop!