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BYU Basketball: Dying by the 3

BYU has lived by the three pointer in recent years. BYU's inability to knock down threes or guard against them this year is at the heart of the team's troubles.

Zylstra pulls up for a three. Odds that he hit it are 33%.
Zylstra pulls up for a three. Odds that he hit it are 33%.

Remember back when BYU would hit about 40% of its three point shots? It wasn't that long ago. In the 2009-10 season Jimmer and Jackson and the crew hit a blistering 41.7% of their three point attempts. Since that season the three point shooting at BYU has gotten progressively worse. See the numbers below:

2012-13 2011-12 2010-11 2009-10 2008-09
BYU 3pt% 33.6 34.3 36.1 41.7 38.1
Opponents 3pt% 33.9 31.2 32.7 33.3 30.1

The trend lines aren't pretty. BYU is hitting a paltry 33.6% from three this season. The last time BYU shot that poorly from three? The 1997-98 season when BYU finished 9-21. That was also the last time opponents shot better than BYU from three.

Oddly, before the season it seemed like this team was filled with accurate shooters. Cusick, Haws, Zylstra, and Carlino and even Austin had developed reputations as good three point shooters. And newcomers like Delgado, Ambrosino, and Calvert had similar reputations as sharpshooters. As it turns out, only Cusick is currently shooting over 40% from three on the season.

If there is a silver lining it is that guys can potentially still get hot from three. The numbers for this season are not final yet. It is entirely possible for BYU to raise that 33.6% to something more respectable. Let's hope the Cougs do, because better accuracy from three will be needed for BYU to have a chance to beat good teams like Gonzaga or St Mary's.

What say you?