Monday, December 24, 2012

Is Villanova's Outside Shooting Sustainable?

Part of the reason that Villanova fell off a cliff last season was their utter incompetence from behind the three point line. The two highest volume outside shooters on last year's team took more than 50% of the team's threes between them, and combined to average a putrid 31% from beyond the arc. The team as a whole did not fare much better, averaging 32.1% between them, which led to a 31.5% team percentage from three point range. The 2011-2012 team was easily the worst shooting team of the Jay Wright era, and by a pretty decent margin.

This season is a different story. Even if you took out the Monmouth game, where the team shot the lights out from beyond the arc, they are still shooting 34% from beyond the arc, which is not great, but it is still markedly better than it was last year. What has changed? Well, aside from two players being gone from last year's team, there is also the fact that the team as a whole, at 37.3% is shooting better than the best qualifying three point shooter on last year's team, JayVaughn Pinkston, who shot 36.6% from beyond the arc.

Now comes the question of whether or not this is sustainable. I think it may be, because while James Bell may regress, I think that he's a smart enough player to curtail his three point attempts if he starts getting cold from outside. I also think that Ryan Arcidiacono is better at shooting threes than the 31.1% rate that he is currently converting at. There is also Tony Chennault, who has shown nothing throughout his career to demonstrate that he can make nearly half of his three point shots. I would expect him to regress, but he's a part time player.

If I had to guess though, I would say that the team as a whole regresses by about one percent for the rest of the season, which would still leave them at a respectable 36%.

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