Jimmy Dykes of ESPN showed an interesting stat for Kentucky last night at halftime of their win over South Carolina. The last five NCAA champions, UNC ('09), Kansas ('08), Florida ('07 and '06) and UNC again ('05) all averaged shooting 40 percent from behind the three point line. Some shot a little better and some were right at 40%. Ky shoots 31% from trifecta. Dykes believes that will prevent Ky from winning the national championship. I kind of agree with him.
Kentucky was three-of-11 last night against South Carolina though they shot 50% from the field. Patrick Patterson had 23 and DeMarcus Cousins 19. They also were three-of-16 against Vandy, but still pulled that out 58-56.
I agree with Dykes that their three-point shooting could prevent them from beating teams that shoot the ball a lot better than them. They take on a team like a Duke or a West Virginia– a lot of Big East teams for that matter, Notre Dame shoots the ball great though they're on the edge for a bid but in my mind deserving–I think they'll struggle to win. With Patterson and Cousins they'll be in every game, but Wall and Bledsoe must pick it up if the Wildcats want to cut down the nets in Indianapolis in April.
Two years ago when Cal had that great Memphis team, they couldn't shoot free throws. Everybody was saying that would come back to haunt them, but Calipari said it didn't matter. They lost the national championship game to Kansas because they couldn't shoot free throws. This is the same deal.
If I was Cal, I would be working on shooting threes in practice for sure.