The calendar ever flipping closer to the tip-off of the college basketball season. Our preparation for the season continues with the top returning deep threats.
You know the saying “last month felt like such a long year?” That’s what the next 30-some odd days are going to feel like at their best. The return of college basketball is now upon us and it’d be great if someone wanted to speed up the process. The wait is almost unbearable.
Some teams this season are going to face unbearable challenges from behind the three-point line. Running a shooter off the line is becoming increasingly more challenging as the best outside threats are able to extend their range much further beyond the arc. These ten returning college basketball players will be nightmares to defend once they step over halfcourt.
10. Tyson Etienne
Drawing the opposing team’s top defender can make it a challenge to shoot at a high percentage. Most three-point bombers that hit at a high percentage do so as the second or third option on their team, but not Etienne. The Wichita State basketball star has been lights out from deep since he stepped foot on a college basketball floor and should see his first year above 40% from distance.
9. Joey Hauser
I went to a Big East school and saw Joey Hauser with my own two eyes. I know the damage he can do from three. However, Hauser played a lot of post-ball for the Spartans last season.
Hauser might have had a mild first season with Michigan State, but don’t forget he redshirted and lost a year of game time just to come back for last year’s COVID mess of a season. He should see his numbers resembles the 42.5% outpouring from deep that he was able to post as a freshman at Marquette.
8. Jamir Harris
Harris makes his return to power conference college basketball with the Seton Hall Pirates. He started his career at Minnesota and shot the ball well when he did see the floor but transferred to American for “the opportunity to be in a great academic atmosphere and an ideal basketball situation as well,” according to Harris. Now the New Jersey native will make a return to his home state and try to bring his 43.8 3P% to the Big East.
7. Jamal Bey
Bey goes very underrated as he just barely had a crack at being a secondary scorer on a Washington team that was one of the worst in all of college basketball last season. However, a shooter is a shooter and it doesn’t matter that Bey’s Huskies haven’t been the best when he shot over 50% from three last season. If he gets more touches and opportunities it will be tough to repeat that extraordinary feat, but Bey did average 2.9 three-point attempts per game last season which is no small number by any means.
6. Darius McGhee
5-foot-9 Darius McGhee might be short in height but in no way does that matter when he’s connecting on shots from practically anywhere on the court.
The Liberty Flames’ guard has improved from distance every year since he’s played in college basketball, shooting it at 31.9% as a freshman, 38.6% as a sophomore and 40.8% last season. He’s got a chance to reach the 300 mark for his career and should have lights out efficiency yet again.
5. Jordan Bohannon
Bohannon’s been in college basketball since the stone age and has been a three-point shooting stud ever since. Believe it or not, Bohannon’s freshman and sophomore campaigns were still his best overall from both percentage and quantitative measures. Last season he got back to shooting it as he did at the beginning of his career and with the Hawkeyes needing more offense to mend the loss Luka Garza, Bohannon could be in for a massive year. He should reach 400 career threes around the start of the new year.
4. Antoine Davis
Davis might be more known for his overall scoring attributes but the three-point shot is a massive part of his game. His percentage is a bit lower than a lot of the guys on this list but that’s only because of the number of shots he puts up on a nightly basis. The Detroit Mercy star has never attempted less than five threes throughout his three years in college hoops and as a senior will have the brightest green light he’s ever seen.
3. Buddy Boeheim
This one’s fun because Boeheim has gone from surprisingly good as a coach’s son to a legitimate candidate for ACC Player of the Year. He’s reportedly gone to work as a driver and ball-handler, but there’s no conceivable way that the three-point shot won’t still be Boeheim’s biggest asset.
Buddy Boeheim has noticeably tightened his handle. Looks far more comfortable creating off the dribble and initiating things. Becoming a more complete player.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) October 5, 2021
Buddy’s percentage has gone up each year and with another sniper in Cole Swider joining the Orange party, even more open looks will come his way.
2. Alex Barcello
Barcello might not get the hype Jimmer Fredette earned at BYU, and to be fair, he’s not the same type of three-point hoister that Jimmer was. However, from the standpoint of a knockdown shooter, there might not be any better in college basketball. Barcello has neared 50% from downtown each of his last two seasons at BYU and it should be a third as a fifth-year senior. He’s also an exceptional passer and rebounder for his size, but Barcello’s biggest asset is his long-range ability.
1. Max Abmas
Three games turned Abmas into a household name last March and he’s ready for more. ‘Midcourt Max’ proved to the world his case for the best shooter in college basketball.
On the season he hit 101 threes at a 43.3% rate. Abmas hit seven threes on three occasions last season and that could go up this year with Kevin Obanor gone to Texas Tech. There’s also something better about watching the small guard destroy powerhouse teams with his somewhat unconventional release. If you’re better on one guy to hit a massive number – say 125 or even 150 threes – on the season, fill in Abmas as choice ‘A’.