Some freshmen are just looking to make it into the team’s rotation in their first year on campus. Others are looking to get a starting spot. Auburn’s Jordan Price has his sights set on something else: the NCAA’s consecutive made three-pointers record.
The 6-5 native of Decatur, Ga., has hit 11 straight over his last three games, four shy of the record 15 in a row hit by Northwestern’s Todd Leslie in 1990. Price went 4-of-4 from behind the arc in back-to-back games, wins over Grambling State and Furman, then posted a 3-of-3 night from three in a win over Tennessee Tech on Tuesday.
”He has been shooting the ball unbelievable,” Auburn coach Tony Barbee told the AP. ”As a scorer whenever you get on a roll like that, you get in that zone, and he is in one of those zones right now. He has been working hard in practice, and it has been paying off in the games.”
Before his streak began on Dec. 11, Price hadn’t been shooting the ball particularly well from three-point range, having gone 8-of-23. Now three games in, he’s shooting 55 percent from distance on the year and is averaging 7.7 points in a modest 16.5 minutes per game.
“I really don’t believe that I am a 3-point shooter,” said Price, who was praised more for his athleticism by scouts as a Top 100 prospect from the Class of 2012. ”I can shoot. It’s just a blessing that I haven’t missed. I’ve been settling for the 3 because I’m open. I can hit the mid-range shot and get to the basket. If they just tell me to keep shooting, that’s what I’m going to do.”
Price has already tied the 20-year-old SEC record of 11, set by Vanderbilt’s Kevin Anglin. His next chance to break that record and go for the NCAA mark will be Saturday when Auburn takes on Winthrop.
Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_
Not only is Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams the lone returning starter from a team that won the Mountain West tournament last season, but he’s also one of college basketball’s best dunkers. And if anyone may have forgotten about his jumping ability, Adams put it on display Saturday during the Cowboys’ win over Montana State.
After splitting two Montana State players at the top of the key Adams attacked the basket, dunking with two hands over a late-arriving help-side defender. If you’re going to rotate over, have to do it quicker than that.
Video credit: Wyoming Athletics
Even with the coaching change from Fred Hoiberg to Steve Prohm, No. 4 Iowa State remains one of the nation’s best offensive teams. Given their skills on that end of the floor many teams find it tough to go score for score with the Cyclones, and that’s what happened to Illinois in Iowa State’s 84-73 win in the Emerald Coast Classic title game.
Georges Niang scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, with Monté Morris adding 20, nine rebounds and six assists and Abdel Nader 18 points as the Cyclones moved to 5-0 on the season. The three-pointers weren’t falling in the second half, as Iowa State shot 0-f0r-12, but they shot 19-for-24 inside of the arc to pull away from a team that lost big man Mike Thorne Jr. late in the first half to a left knee injury.
Illinois’ loss of size in the paint opened things up offensively for Iowa State, and the Cyclones took advantage. But where this group grabbed control of the game was on the defensive end of the floor, and that will be the key for a team with Big 12 and national title aspirations.
Nader took on the responsibility of defending Illinois’ Malcolm Hill (20 points) in the second half and did a solid job of keeping the junior wing in check, with that serving as the spark to a 12-2 run that put the game away. There’s no denying that the Cyclones can put points on the board; most of the talent from last season is back and the productivity on that end of the floor hasn’t changed as a result. Niang’s one of the nation’s best forwards, and both Morris (who now ranks among the country’s best point guards) and Nader have taken significant strides in their respective games.
Iowa State will add Deonte Burton in December, giving them another option to call upon. Front court depth is a bit of a concern, as Iowa State can ill afford to lose a Niang or Jameel McKay, but there’s enough on the roster to compensate for that and force mismatches in other areas.
But the biggest question for this group is how effective they can become at stringing together stops. Illinois certainly had its moments in both halves Saturday night, but Iowa State also showed during the game’s decisive stretch that they can step up defensively. The key now is to do so consistently, and if that occurs the Cyclones can be a threat both within the Big 12 and nationally.