Did an extra foot changed the world?
The question heading into this season was whether the extended three point line would have an significant impact on the game. The answer after roughly a month of play is that percentages are only slightly down among the top fifty three point shooting teams versus last season with roughly the same number of attempts per game.
Through December 7th of last season the top fifty three point shooting teams averaged 42.3% from three point range. 48 of the top 50 averaged 40% or better.
The top fifty this season through December 9th are averaging 41.4% from beyond the arc. Only 38 of the top 50 broke the 40% barrier.
Last season teams were taking 19.0 attempts per game, this season it is up slight to 19.4 attempts per game.
What does it mean? Not much really and for the most part it is not all that surprising the percentages are down a bit. Since the number of attempts per game has held steady we can assume the newer line has not discouraged the same level of shooting as we saw a year ago.
On a side note, UNC is ranked 24th in the nation in three point shooting percentage. This is actually a little surprising since UNC was seen as a team not really dependent on the three point shot. As it turns out they are shooting it quite well and with the already established inside scoring presence it means the Heels have a very powerful and balanced offense.
The flip side of this situation is Duke who was ranked 17th in three point shooting percentage a year ago(42.4%) and at the time seen as a very good three point shooting team. This season Duke has not broken the top fifty in three point shooting. In fact Duke is ninth in the ACC shooting 30% from beyond the arc. You really have to ask yourself how successful a team with practically no significant inside presence will be when the perimeter shooting is that bad.