Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Quality over Quantity from Behind Arc for BYU; Cougars Don't Take Many 3-Pointers, but They Make 41.9 Percent

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Quality over Quantity from Behind Arc for BYU; Cougars Don't Take Many 3-Pointers, but They Make 41.9 Percent

Article excerpt

Byline: MICHAEL DIROCCO

GAINESVILLE - The three is going to be the key to Florida or BYU advancing in the NCAA Tournament.

Neither team defends the 3-point shot well - UF is 76th and BYU 115th nationally - but the Cougars do have one advantage over Florida: They can shoot from long range.

BYU is third in the country in 3-point shooting (41.9 percent) and is making 8.1 threes per game.

"The one thing is they don't take a lot of threes," UF coach Billy Donovan said. "It's not like Auburn, who was taking around 27 a game, and Mississippi State, who was taking over 25 a game. This is not a high-volume 3-point shooting team. What it is is a high-volume making team. It's pretty impressive when you're looking at the stats, and they're making a little bit more than eight threes a game on the number of attempts they're taking. Forty-one percent is an incredible number."

BYU's top two 3-point shooters are both making better than 40 percent from long range. Jimmer Fredette is shooting 44.8 percent (73 for 163), and Jackson Emery is shooting 43.0 percent (80 for 186). Neither is listed in the NCAA stats because they are just shy of the minimum number of required made field goals, but their percentages would rank third and seventh, respectively.

Johnathan Taverinari (39.0 percent, 60 for 154), Tyler Haws (36.8 percent, 25 for 68) and Michael Loyd, Jr. (42.1 percent, 16 for 38) are the other regular 3-point shooters.

The Cougars (29-5) have made at least six 3-pointers in all but two games this season.

"Guarding the 3-pointers is going to be a critical piece against them," Donovan said.

That has been a problem for Florida (21-12).

Mississippi State made 10-of-20 long-range shots in last Friday's 75-69 SEC Tournament victory, and Vanderbilt made 10 of 20 in Gainesville on March 2.

"I thought we did a pretty good job through most of the games," Florida point guard Erving Walker said. "Toward the end of the year, I thought we struggled with it. …

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