Intro: The 2005-06 GSC regular season has come to a close, and it’s time to hand out some virtual hardware. Over the next few weeks, I’ll dive into a discussion of some of the best individual and team performances of the season. All awards and rankings will be based on my own impressions from seeing the players in action, as well as their stats (through the regular season only). Feel free to disagree…it’s just one man’s opinion.
Best outside shooter
To start this discussion, here are some leaderboards for you. The stats are from conference games only, and players need to have been a regular player (10 minutes per game) and attempted at least one three per game (16) to qualify. 40 shooters qualified using those criteria.
3-point percentage leaders:
3-pointers made leaders:
I think these are the two main criteria that should be used for judging a great outside shooter: percentage made and quantity made. You can be a great shooter and not attempt a whole lot of shots, so percentage needs to be factored in, and of course you can throw up tons of bad shots, but it’s typically good to make a lot of threes. Great shooters like J.J. Redick don’t always shoot for the best percentages (since they rarely get easy shots), but they typically make so many that their shooting still helps the team. Some of the exceptions to that rule, like Denarryl Rice, are above. I included brick index and player efficiency in the equation because I’d rather not reward a good shooter who either takes too many bad shots or doesn’t help his team in general on the offensive end. As you can tell, the players who shot for a high percentage typically had lower brick indexes and higher PERs.
With those criteria in mind, this is my list of the 10 best shooters in the GSC this season, in order:
1. Kevin Weybright (F – Christian Brothers)
2. Jasper Johnson (F/C – Delta State)
3. Sam Bradley (F – Christian Brothers)
4. Brandon Dawson (G – Ouachita Baptist)
5. Turmaine Rice (G – Delta State)
6. Jeremy Richardson (F – Delta State)
7. Corey Green (G – Southern Arkansas)
8. Lonnie Smith (G – Harding)
9. Billy McDaniel (F – Arkansas-Monticello)
10. Fred Campbell (F – Central Arkansas)
So, Weybright gets my award for the league’s best shooter. He was the second most efficient player on the list, he shot for a very high percentage (3rd of the 40), and he made a ton of shots (again ranked 3rd). Johnson shot for a very high percentage and made nearly two per game, despite playing most of his time in the post. Sam Bradley, Weybright’s partner in crime at CBU, made up for a slightly low percentage by hitting over two per game and otherwise being very efficient.
Brandon Dawson was sort of an unsung hero as the third scoring option on a bottom-feeding OBU team, but he made the most of his shots and didn’t hurt the team in other areas. Turmaine Rice was much better than Arkansas Tech’s over-hyped Denarryl Rice, although he was overshadowed by several other great players on his team and only attempted 55 threes. Jeremy Richardson had a balance of quality, quantity, and efficiency that places him sixth.
Corey Green was one of several equally skilled SAU guards, but his higher percentage and number made made him the only one to reach the top 10 on this list. Lonnie Smith would get an argument for #1 from most Harding students, but the truth is that he didn’t make enough of his attempts to warrant a top spot. His range and quickness often weren’t enough to overcome his height and get off a good shot, although he was still very efficient overall (third-best among qualifiers).
Billy McDaniel is somewhat of a surprise for this list, since his reputation comes as a mostly inside player, but he took mostly good shots and buried enough of them to be considered a strong outside presence. UCA’s Fred Campbell rounds out the list because of his shooting percentage. He only attempted about 2 threes per game, but he made 42% of them, which ranked him fifth in percentage.
Overall, it seemed like a down year for three-point shooting in the conference. I would really only consider the top five to be elite shooters, and there was a huge dropoff after the top two. Weybright is still a deserving winner, though, and Johnson’s presence at #2 shows just what a spectacular year he had in all areas of the game.
Next award: Best inside shooter