Mason Gillis hit a Mackey Record 9 threes last night against the Nittany Lions.

It was all Mason Gillis, all night in Mackey Arena. The 6’6 forward, who was only shooting around 32% from 3 on the year, went 9/12 from 3 against Penn State, setting a Mackey Arena record. That 32% he had before on the season? Well now it is up to 40.0% on the year and 43.2% in conference play. 9/12 in one night is a surprise, but Mason Gillis making 3s is not a surprise. Last year he shot 41.4% from 3 and 45.2% in conference play.

Last night was something though. Gillis ended with 29 points and 3 rebounds. He went 1/2 from 2s and 9/12 from 3s in only 25 minutes. According to Purdue, the 29 points off the bench is the most for any power conference player coming off the bench.

It never felt like he was ever trying to force them up. Even when he had a chance to get to 10 3s, Gillis was still making the right plays because that is just who he is.

He did come out with confidence, making 2 threes pretty quickly into his first stint off the bench. He ended the first half with 4 threes, and then he got the start in the second half. The score was Purdue 35 and Penn State 29 at half. After just a couple minutes the score was Purdue 35, Penn State 29, and Mason Gillis 11 second half points. He came out of half on fire, going on a personal 11-0 run to break the game wide open.

This run put Purdue up 46-29, and it started what ended up being a 22-2 run out of half. The game never got close after that.

As mentioned before, Gillis had not been shooting the ball great, and it felt like he was due. I just did not know all of the shooting regression was going to come within one 40 minutes span. With the rivalry game ahead, and big games after that, Gillis may be finding his stride at just the perfect time. Even if he isn’t scoring, he is going to be doing all of the other things.

I did want to quickly touch on the video above. This was in the first half, and it was Mason Gillis’ third three of the game. Purdue went to “Chicago” action which is a pindown into a handoff. It was for Loyer and you can see Gillis setting the pindown. What Gillis did next is called replacing the roller. As Trey Kaufman-Renn rolled to the rim, Gillis’ defender “tagged” meaning that he slid way over so that the roll was not open. As this was happening, Gillis was lifting to the top of the key, replacing where the roller (TKR) was.

Since his defender was helping in the paint, this left Gillis wide open for one of his 9 threes of the night. Mason Gillis can knock down stand still shots, but he has really come along as a little bit of a movement shooter, meaning that he may be coming off screens or replacing the roll as shown above.

In fact, a lot of Gillis’ threes came off a bit of movement. Most of his in the second half came off some sort of movement, whether it was a pin in screen or lifting off the wing. Gillis and Purdue knows he can knock them down with the best of them. He also had 2 threes where his man just sagged off of him so he pulled it, and both were cash.

It was a historic night in Mackey Arena, and after the decibal record was set in the previous game at 123.2, Mason Gillis’ explosion in the second half had to make Mackey Arena come close to breaking that.

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