GT needs to defend the 3-point line

 

Oklahoma State's junior guard shoots in practice in Milwaukee.

Oklahoma State's junior guard shoots in practice in Milwaukee.

MILWAUKEE – Well it’s here. Or almost here. Tipoff in about three hours. And three is the operative number today, if you listen to what concerns the Yellow Jackets heading into tonight’s NCAA tournament first round game against Oklahoma State.

The Cowboys led the Big 12 with 8.4 3-pointers made per game. They were actually only ninth in the Big 12 in 3-point field goal percentage at 35.2 percent, but they shot more than another other Big 12 team (762), which is almost 24 per game. Wow, so these guys are going to chuck it up there.

The Cowboys actually shot close to 30 3-pointers in their last three games.

No wonder D’Andre Bell said yesterday in the press conference they would shoot it pretty much under any circumstances: “(They take) contested 3s, transition 3s, whether the hand is in their face or not, it goes in for them.”

Obi Muonelo ranked third in the Big 12 by hitting 43.2 percent of his 3-pointers. James Anderson (35.1) and Keiton Page (.374) are going to shoot them too, each taking 70 some-odd 3-pointers this season. So Tech will need to defend the 3-point line better than it did late in the season and more like it did in the ACC tournament to win.

Georgia Tech held North Carolina to 2-for-16 from 3-point range, Maryland to 4-for-21, N.C. State to 6-for-26, and Duke to 5-for-17. In their last three games of the regular season, the Yellow Jackets gave up 11-for-22 from 3-point range to Boston College, 12-for-27 at Clemson and 9-for-17 to Virginia Tech, one of the worst 3-point shooting teams in the ACC.

So yes, big day for Iman Shumpert, Bell and Glen Rice Jr. on the perimeter to find a way to contain Anderson and to limit the 3-pointers.

I know Shumpert did a great job on Greivis Vasquez of Maryland, helping to hold the ACC player of the year to 6-for-21 shooting, including 2-for-11 from 3-point range, and six turnovers in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament. Then in the finals Shumpert and gang held Jon Scheyer to 3-for-13 shooting until that last fateful 3-pointer.

If the Yellow Jackets give up one of those today – or a bunch of them – season’s over. So that’s my key to the game – defending the 3-point line. Aren’t I a rocket scientist? Ha. OK won’t be long until game time. Enjoy.

11 comments Add your comment

Ezekiel

March 19th, 2010
5:46 pm

Three’s a crowd, Carroll. :>)

AlabamaRamblinwreck

March 19th, 2010
5:51 pm

I agree with your analysis, but I would include that GT needs to keep the turnovers under 15, so Okey St. doesn’t get a lot of extra possessions.

Paul in RDU

March 19th, 2010
5:56 pm

Enjoy the game Carroll. I won’t be following any of your posts tonight. Here in the Triangle we have Duke-Ark PB so I have to go to my local sports bar to watch while I have a few adult beverages!

AlabamaRamblinwreck

March 19th, 2010
5:59 pm

Hey Paul. Most sports bars now have internet access…take a laptop!!

Just a thought.

Paul in RDU

March 19th, 2010
6:01 pm

Fair point Alabama – but the one I am going to does not have WiFi

I HATE COWBOYS

March 19th, 2010
6:04 pm

I agree it’s mucho important… But the true keys to the game tonight are Lawal and Favors. If both of those guys “show up” tonight then we will be fine. Consistency out of those guys and a great shooting night for US…from three-point range and I think we’ll win by ten. We have to show maturity tonight and pray we are focused. It may be Paul Hewitt’s last game as coach of the Jackets if not…

Delbert D.

March 19th, 2010
6:20 pm

Do they play mostly zone in the Big 12? Maybe they haven’t seen defensive pressure.

Carroll Rogers

March 19th, 2010
7:12 pm

Thanks Paul in RDU. Hope you have a good time – or have, by the time you see this!

TOs are key too, AlabamaRamblinwreck, no doubt.

Carroll Rogers

March 19th, 2010
7:15 pm

the pre-game introductions are kinda funny, with players going to midcourt to shake hands. Tech is definitely taller!!! James Anderson and Glen Rice Jr. were about the only two guys to look eye to eye as they shook hands at midcourt

old Tech fan in NC

March 19th, 2010
9:54 pm

watched that free throw clinic on ncaa.com

Stinger

March 19th, 2010
10:10 pm

Elite Eight, here we come !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yeah baby !!!!!!!