Top Nine 3-Point Shooters In The Big East
This year, the Big East lost some of their strongest three-point shooters, including Georgetown sharpshooter Hollis Thompson to the NBA, as well Marquette‘s Darius Johnson-Odom and Louisville’s Chris Smith to graduation. However, there are still many players in the conference who can make a major impact shooting three-pointers. Here are the ten that will stand out from the rest in the 2012-2013 season.
9. Eric Atkins, Junior, Notre Dame: Atkins was relied on more heavily in his sophomore season than he was as a freshman. He saw his points-per-game double (from 5.8 to 12.1), an improvement in rebounds (from 1.8 per game to 3.2), and while his field goal percentage dipped a bit, his three-point percentage jumped from .348 to .375. With Tim Abromitis denied a sixth year of eligibility for the Fighting Irish, Atkins will assume the role as their #2 scorer (behind Jack Cooley), which will increase his shooting opportunities.
8. Cashmere Wright, Senior, Cincinnati: Last season, Wright took a whopping 170 three-pointers (making 63) as the fourth scoring option on the Bearcats. With guard Dion Dixon and forward Yancy Gates no longer on the roster, another season of 10.9 PPG and a .371 three-point percentage seems doable.
7. Trevor Cooney, Feshman (redshirt), Syracuse: Cooney has yet to play a collegiate game, but his shot has already received glowing praise. As Fox Sports’ Scouthoop recruiting website puts it, “There is one thing that really stands out about Cooney and it is that he flat out can make shots. There might not be a better pure shooter in the class. When he gets a clean look with his feet set he is nearly automatic.” In addition, Syracuse freshman DeJuan Coleman and offensively-weak junior Baye Keita may experience some trouble scoring down low, which will lead to even more Cooney threes. All signs are pointing towards a big season for the Delaware native.
6. Moses Morgan, Junior, DePaul: Despite averaging only 19.6 minutes per game, Morgan shot a respectable .388 behind the arc last season. With guard Jeremiah Kelly the only significant player not returning, Morgan, who is a guard, will play more minutes with virtually the same team. Expect great shooting numbers again.
5. Bryce Cotton, Junior, Providence: Due to Providence’s lack of success last season, not many people know about Cotton. Cotton quietly averaged 14.3 points on .413 shooting, including .379 (77 for 203) beyond the arc. With the impressive freshman class coach Ed Cooley has brought in, do not expect over 200 three-point attempts from the 6-1 guard again, but the percentage should only get better.
4. Sean Kilpatrick, Junior, Cincinnati: Kilpatrick led the Big East with 92 three pointers made last season. Despite doubling his three point attempts, the 6-4 guard’s percentage virtually stayed the same (.377 as a freshman, .376 as a sophomore). With Yancy Gates and Dion Dixon no longer around, expect plenty of shots and continued success for Kilpatrick.
3. Lamar Patterson, Junior, Pittsburgh: After playing sporadically his first two seasons, Patterson started 37 games at small forward for the Panthers, and became one of the Big East’s most reliable three point shooters, hitting 41.0% of his attempts. He does not have the consistency throughout his college career to guarantee a repeat, but his high three-point percentage, third in the Big East, makes him a good choice to be the breakout star of the Big East this season.
2. Toarlyn Fitzpatrick, Senior, South Florida: Fitzpatrick led the Big East in three-point percentage last season with a percentage of .412. The 6-9 forward, who is also the Bulls’ best rebounder, will likely earn a permanent spot in Stan Heath’s starting lineup this season, which will give him more opportunities to shoot.
1. LaDontae Henton, Sophomore, Providence: Like Cotton, Providence’s mediocre 15-17 campaign last season deprived many people of watching this talented forward. Henton can score from anywhere is an excellent rebounder as well. Last season, he averaged 14.3 points, 8.6 rebounds and .a 396 three-point percentage, and with his freshman season under his belt, Henton is just going to get better. If the Friars can win a few more games this season, he is my pick for Big East Player of the Year. (Special thanks to Ari Kramer of rantsports.com for introducing me to Henton.)