Don't treat this as a "standing at the ledge" post, because I realize we are just 2 games into the season. But through those first two games, one of Villanova's biggest concerns is the clear lack of a sniper from the perimeter. While the 3-point shot was very on against Monmouth, it was very off against La Salle - and I think there is a correlation in the way each game unfolded.
In recent years, Corey Stokes was widely considered one of the top shooters not only in the conference, but the country as well. His ability to hit the long-ball from NBA range gave opposing defenses something extra to think about and helped stretch out the defense for Villanova's take 'em offense.
Now, with Stokes graduated and no player recruited with that specific purpose in mind, Villanova is lacking a deep threat that will open up the dribble-drive game for the rest of the team.
After The Jump, we'll take a closer look.
Through 2 games, here are the 3-point shooting statistics for those players who have attempted a shot from beyond the arc:
|Player||2011-2012 Made||2011-2012 Attempts||2011-2012 3-Point %||Career Made||Career Attempts||Career 3-Point %|
Now obviously, the freshman need a little more time before their statistics can be taken seriously. Ty Johnson and JVP are going to make a few shots from out there this season (though if JVP is taking them at the same volumes as Ash and Darrun then something has gone wrong).
Similarly, Darrun Hilliard isn't going to shoot 50% from deep and Ash (who is billed as a streaky shooter) is going to improve on that 14% mark.
But the main concern is that we don't have that 40% shooter that we had in Stokes. Check out his career numbers, by season.
His freshman season withstanding, those are legitimate numbers for a college 3-point specialist - especially his senior season where he shot 43% with over 200 attempts. That's pretty damn good.
Even Stokes himself said yesterday that he believes Dom and Tahj are the most likely to step up this season - so far we've seen that both are willing to take those shots. Leek is also clearly going to take those shots as defenses continue to sag on him and force him to take them.
Let's hope that all 3 worked on that over the summer and are primed for an improvement over the 30% or so clip they've been at so far in their career - it's either that or hope that Hilliard and Ash step up - because in today's college game it's very hard to be an elite team without the ability to sink the deep ball. Case in point, the 12-25 effort in the blowout win over Monmouth vs. the 4-23 effort in the OT win over La Salle.
What does everyone think - is this a major problem or can Villanova be successful without it?
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