Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Final Four Notebook; Big Stadium Presents Big Test for Shooters

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Final Four Notebook; Big Stadium Presents Big Test for Shooters

Article excerpt

Byline: Garry Smits

ARLINGTON, TEXAS | The NCAA has been holding Final Fours in football stadiums on a permanent basis since 1996.

But it's never been held in a structure as big as AT&T Stadium.

The natural question has arisen: How well will teams shoot with that much of a backdrop?

The Florida Gators have the most experience in AT&T Stadium of the teams in the Final Four, with two regional games last season. But UF didn't exactly shoot lights-out, making 38 percent from the floor and 26 percent on 3-point attempts in a 62-50 victory over Florida Gulf Coast and 41 percent from the floor and 20 percent from beyond the 3-point arc in a 79-59 loss to Michigan.

The Gators made 6 of 25 3-point attempts.

"We had the opportunity to play here last year, so for some of our guys, it is a familiar place," UF coach Billy Donovan said. "But everybody's dealing with the same thing."

The NCAA gave teams 90 minutes of practice on Thursday and 50 minutes on Friday. Connecticut coach Kevin Ollie said it was more time than in the past at stadium sites.

"It really allows our players to see the ball go in," he said. "Just seeing them get used to and relaxed in a venue like this is a great opportunity."

Kentucky played at AT&T Stadium on Dec. 6, losing 67-62 to Baylor. The Wildcats shot 42 percent from the field but did nearly make half their 3-point attempts, sinking 8 of 17.

OFFENSE FUELS WISCONSIN'S SUCCESS

The perception of the Wisconsin is defense first and a deliberate offense.

But the Badgers are at their best when shooting and scoring. In its last 112 games, Wisconsin is 110-2 when shooting a higher field-goal percentage than its opponents. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.