Thursday, January 29, 2009

Putting a premium on shot selection

After taking an average of more than 22 three-pointers in its first 15 games of the season, Bruce Pearl's Tennessee team has averaged 11 in its last four games.

This article asks, "Why didn't Pearl pull the plug on the 3-ball a few weeks earlier, instead of letting the Vols continue firing and falling?"

"They had to learn for themselves," Pearl said. "When we shoot too many 3 balls – not making the percentages we were (in the past) – it leads to transitions (for the opponent).

Long shots (equal) long rebounds and long rebounds (equal) fast-break opportunities. Not only do we not shoot the 3-ball as well [as in the past], we don't get back as well. The more you shoot it, the more you miss it, the more they (opponents) run out.

We have put a greater premium on shot selection. It's something that, if I'd done it a month ago, we would've had a revolt on our hands because the players would feel like they were handcuffed offensively. Now they feel like, 'OK, I've got to turn down the 3-shot to get a better shot because this is how we can win.'"