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Thursday, May 3, 2007

Back, back, back, back, back ...

Pardon my Chris Berman impression, but it looks like this upcoming season will be the last for the 19'9" 3-point line. The NCAA men's basketball rules committee has approved a change to move the 3-point line back exactly one foot, to 20 feet, 9 inches. So starting in 2008-09, treys will be a little harder to sink, pending the approval of one final committee on May 25.

I don't think this will affect the players as much as it might strategy and game planning by the coaches. Most big-time college shooters that reach the NBA continue to be great shooters when they transition to the pro game anyway. If I'm wrong and the "amateurs" have tough time overall shooting the same percentage, that can only benefit a team like Wisconsin, which has not relied very much on 3-point shooting under Bo Ryan. Either way, Jason Bohannon will be finding the bottom of the net from deep for the next three years.

: : :

Speaking of 3-pointers, I cannot go any longer without applauding Michael Finley for the season he is having with San Antonio. He absolutely crushed the Denver Nuggets in the Spurs' close-out win on Wednesday night by nailing 8-of-9 threes and scoring 26 points.
For the series, Finley shot 52.8% on 19-of-36 shooting from behind the arc.

The biggest knock on Finley coming out of Wisconsin was his outside shooting and it's refreshing to see an old dog finally master a new trick. Once Gregg Popovich went back to bringing Manu Ginobili off the bench, Finley has excelled as the starter in a spot-up outside shooting role. He only averaged 9 ppg overall this year, but averaged 13 ppg since March 25. Finley hit on 34 of his 67 3-point attempts in that 14-game span to end the regular season. That meant a lot of Finley highlights on SportsCenter. It's good to have him back. And all he had to do was relax.

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