The great thing about the three point shot in basketball is that every time you hit one it is worth, you know, three points. My math whiz friends tell me that's 50% more than two point shots are worth.
The bad thing about the three point shot in basketball is that you have to be kind of far away from the basket to make them.
This brings us to the stunning display of three point shooting ineptitude we saw from BYU in the Marriott Center Thursday night. BYU, a team that has made 37% of all three point attempts this season, went an astonishing 2-26 from behind the arc by my count. My math whiz friends tell me that put BYU's three point shooting percentage on the evening at approximately... atrocious-point-craptastic percent.
What should BYU do to avoid such a night again? The answer is very simple...
BYU should stop missing three point shots and get back to making them. Really.
What BYU should not do is try to change its identity or overall strategy. BYU's formula on offense is a very good one. It calls for running whenever possible, feeding the two star big men (Hartsock and Davies) BYU has in the low post, and drilling open outside shots when the big men get doubled or tripled. It is a tried and true formula and BYU shouldn't mess with it.
Thursday night was what my statistics whiz friends call an outlier. It was a fluke. A team that shot 37% from three over 20 games knows how to hit threes. Some nights are just outlier nights. BYU's 21st game on Thursday was unfortunately a negative outlier evening.
BYU will get back to hitting more than a third of its three point attempts. I expect the team shooting averages will hold fairly steady throughout the season. And who knows... with any luck BYU will have a positive outlier night later this season. Preferably that will happen when it matters most.