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The Chase for 180: Jarvis Summers making big strides at Ole Miss

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Who is the best shooter in the country?

It’s a tough question to answer, isn’t it? Does being a “shooter” simply mean merely being a high-level marksman from beyond the arc? Can a player who thrives in the mid-range but rarely ventures out into three-point land be eligible? How heavily should we be valuing stats like efficiency and effective field goal percentage when taking all of this into account?

One number that we like to use is “180″. How do you become a 180 shooter? By shooting 50% or better from the field overall, 40% or better from three and at least 90% from the charity stripe. From this point forward we’ll track this until the end of the regular season, providing weekly updates as well as a look into how some of the nation’s best find (and connect on) their quality looks.

Many of the discussions regarding Ole Miss basketball center around one player: Marshall Henderson. With his limitless range (and shot selection), and his being a polarizing figure amongst many college basketball fans, it’s understandable that the senior shooting guard would be the first player to come to mind when discussing Andy Kennedy’s team. But there’s another player we should be focused on, and that’s junior guard Jarvis Summers.

Entering the 2013-14 season Summers did enjoy some success, averaging just over ten points per game as a freshman and 9.1 points per game on a team that won the program’s first SEC tournament title since 1981. With the losses of Murphy Holloway and Reginald Buckner, who were second and third on the team in scoring last season, it was clear that players such as Summers and Derrick Millinghaus would have to step up if Ole Miss were to make a run at a second consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament.

And through 13 games Summers has done just that, and an argument can be made that he’s one of the most improved players in the country. Summers is scoring 17.8 points per game, and he’s done so in an efficient manner for Ole Miss as he currently has an offensive rating of 124.3 per kenpom.com. Summers is shooting 55.2% from the field and 54.5% from beyond the arc, with both figures representing significant improvements on his percentages from a season ago (40.4% FG, 34.0% 3PT).

The majority of Summers’ looks have come away from the basket (as expected, since he’s a 6-foot-3 guard), as according to hoop-math.com only 15.7% of his shots have been dunks/layups. Those two-point jumpers that more players seem to have issues with, leading to the many cries lamenting the “death” of the mid-range game? Summers has connected on 49.3% of those looks, which represent 51.5% of his field goal attempts to date. And if this production continues, increased attention will follow for Summers.

THE TOP TEN (Note: Players much be eligible to be ranked in FG%, 3PT% and FT%. And here’s a glossary that includes the stats you’ll see used in these posts. Tempo neutral numbers per kenpom.com.)

1) Matt Kennedy (Charleston Southern)
53.5% FG, 55.6% 3PT, 89.7% FT = 198.8
Shot %: 17.7
eFG %: 63.5
True shooting %: 67.8

2) Austin Tillotson (Colgate)
64.4, 59.4, 73.0 = 196.8
Shot %: 17.9
eFG %: 73.4
True shooting %: 73.3

3) Jason Calliste (Oregon)
49.3, 58.3, 89.0 = 196.6
Shot %: 13.6
eFG %: 62.2
True shooting %: 72.2

4) Nic Moore (SMU)
52.0, 54.7, 83.8 = 190.5
Shot %: 20.4
eFG %: 66.3
True shooting %: 69.0

5) Riley Grabau (Wyoming)
50.0, 53.7, 87.2 = 190.0
Shot %: 16.6
eFG %: 69.6
True shooting %: 73.3

6) Michael Frazier II (Florida)
50.5, 49.3, 87.0 = 186.8
Shot %: 19.7
eFG %: 6.8
True shooting %: 69.2

7) Anthony Brown (Stanford)
52.5, 54.3, 80.0 = 186.8
Shot %: 18.5
eFG %: 63.3
True shooting %: 66.3

8) Jarvis Summers (Ole Miss)
55.2, 54.5, 76.6 = 186.3
Shot %: 25.0
eFG %: 64.2
True shooting %: 67.7

9) Phil Forte III (Oklahoma State)
47.4, 48.7, 89.8 = 185.9
Shot %: 22.4
eFG %: 66.5
True shooting %: 71.9

10) Keawe Enos (Utah Valley)
50.0, 51.0, 83.3 = 184.3
Shot %: 15.1
eFG %: 66.7
True shooting %: 68.8

Inside the Arc (five or fewer three-point attempts)

1) Mamadou Ndiaye (UC Irvine)
FG%: 76.5
Three-point attempts: zero

2) Dominique McKoy (Duquesne) 
FG%: 70.1%
Three-point attempts: two (0-for-2)

3) Ladon Carter (Tennessee Tech) 
FG%: 68.4%
Three-point attempts: zero

4) Marshall Bjorklund (North Dakota State)
FG%: 68.1%
Three-point attempts: one (0-for-1)

5) Marquise Simmons (St. Bonaventure) 
FG%: 67.1
Three-point attempts: zero

Previous Installments
November 11
December 4
December 11
December 18

Williams helps No. 3 North Carolina beats Radford 95-50

LAHAINA, HI - NOVEMBER 21: Kenny Williams #24 of the North Carolina Tar Heels pushed the ball up court during the second half of the Maui Invitational NCAA college basketball game against the Chaminade Silverswords at the Lahaina Civic Center on November 21, 2016 in Lahaina, Hawaii. (Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images)
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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) Kenny Williams III finally had the shooting flurry that third-ranked North Carolina has been waiting to see.

The sophomore had 14 of his career-high 19 points in the opening five minutes, helping the Tar Heels build a huge early lead and beat Radford 95-50 on Sunday.

Williams made his first five shots, including all four 3-point tries, during that opening flurry. Quite a change for a player who was buried on the bench for a veteran team last year, making just 1 of 13 3-pointers and seeing his confidence suffer as a result.

“I’ve been waiting a year-and-a-half for a game like that,” Williams said. “I don’t want to say I knew it was coming, but with the confidence I have right now, I kind of expected it.”

While Williams’ play stood out, the Tar Heels (8-1) got a scare when they lost point guard Joel Berry II to a sprained left ankle early in the second half. The junior, averaging 16 points, came up hobbled as he drove into the paint and fell to the floor. He got up and walked slowly to the locker room for evaluation with 17:36 left, but didn’t return to the UNC bench with the Tar Heels up big.

Coach Roy Williams said Berry would have X-rays to confirm the sprain diagnosis and he was hopeful that Berry would be able to practice before Wednesday’s game against Davidson.

“We’ll have to wait and see what they say (Monday),” Williams said, “but I’m encouraged about it right now.”

The Tar Heels (8-1) were coming off a loss at No. 13 Indiana in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. They had no trouble in this one, running out to an 18-4 lead behind Kenny Williams’ opening burst and shooting 57 percent in the first half to build a 51-27 lead by the break.

Justin Cousin scored 14 points to lead the Highlanders (3-5), who shot 31 percent.

“Tough team, man,” Radford coach Mike Jones said. “They’re so big and physical. We played some good defense inside and they made the shot over us and that’s going to happen.”

BIG PICTURE

Radford: The Highlanders, picked sixth in the Big South Conference, had no way to slow the Tar Heels’ early tear. And that led to a fourth loss by double-digit margins, three coming by at least 21 points. Still, Radford isn’t likely to run up against a team such as UNC in the Big South, either.

UNC: The big shooting performance from Williams and Berry’s injury stood out here, with the Tar Heels potentially bolstering their perimeter scoring punch while seeing their floor leader go down to an injury.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

The Tar Heels will slide a bit in the AP Top 25 when the new poll comes out Monday, though losing on the road to a team ranked No. 13 nationally likely won’t cause a big drop.

POINT GUARDS

If Berry sits out, senior Nate Britt – who has played both guard positions in his career – would appear to be the next man up at the point. Freshman Seventh Woods also will figure into the mix; he had nine points in 22 minutes – both season highs – while getting plenty of work after Berry’s exit.

WILLIAMS’ SHOT

Williams, a 6-foot-4 wing from Midlothian, Virginia, made 5 of 6 3-pointers with a good-looking and confident stroke. Four of those came in the opening minutes, the last one a wide-open look from the left wing that brought Smith Center fans to a roar.

Williams said he worked in the offseason to minimize how much his guide hand pushes on the ball to affect his release.

“He’s put in a lot of time,” Roy Williams said. “I said even last year when he wasn’t putting the ball in the basket that he was going to be a good defensive player and I’m not sure he’s not our best perimeter defender right now.”

UP NEXT

Radford: The Highlanders host Elon on Saturday.

UNC: The Tar Heels play at home against Davidson on Wednesday night.

More AP college basketball at http://collegebasketball.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP-Top25

South Carolina’s Sindarius Thornwell suspended

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 26:  Sindarius Thornwell #0 of the South Carolina Gamecocks drives to the basket defended by Tyler Lydon #20 of the Syracuse Orange in the second half during the Brooklyn Hoops Holiday Invitational at Barclays Center on November 26, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
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South Carolina senior guard Sindarius Thornwell has been suspended indefinitely due to a violation of athletic department policy, the school announced on Sunday.

Thornwell is averaging 18.7 points, 6.7 boards and 4.1 assists for the Gamecocks, who are undefeated and sitting at No. 20 nationally. Thornwell is the reigning SEC Player of the Week.

South Carolina plays FIU in Columbia at 2:00 p.m. ET.

Melo Trimble’s heroics get him a shout-out from Wale in a song

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 26:  Melo Trimble #2 of the Maryland Terrapins celebrates after hitting the game winning shot as they defeated the Kansas State Wildcats 69-68 during the championship game of the Barclays Center Classic at Barclays Center on November 26, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
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For the fourth time in the first three weeks of the college basketball season, Melo Trimble won a game for Maryland.

His two free throws in the final ten seconds gave the Terps a come-from-behind, 71-70 win over Oklahoma State in College Park, and the win not only was the sixth time this season that the Terps have won a game decided by six points or less, it improved Trimble’s record in those games to 26-5.

26-5!

That’s an insane statistic, one that should allow Maryland fans to truly appreciate just how valuable their junior point guard is.

At least one Maryland fan does. Rapper Wale, who hails from Maryland, just outside DC, made sure to name-drop his favorite Terp in a verse in a song he released on Saturday night:

And you better believe that Trimble is aware of it:

"My therapist terrible , I'm uh Terp Melo Trimbling" @wale

A photo posted by Melo Trimble (@olem__) on

Rick Pitino on Grand Canyon: ‘The toughest crowd I’ve ever faced’

Rick Pitino
AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley
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Louisville head coach Rick Pitino said after his No. 14 Cardinals struggled to put away a tough Grand Canyon team on the road had some kind – and hyperbolic – words to say about the atmosphere.

“This, in college basketball in my 40 plus year, was the toughest crowd I’ve ever faced,” he said.

Umm, but Rick, you’ve coached in the Big East and the ACC! This was tougher than any of those crowds?

“Whether we go to Duke, Kentucky, nothing was as tough as that crowd tonight,” he said.

Well, now.

That seems like a bit much, but to be fair, the atmosphere there was, shall we say, lit:

POSTERIZED: Charlotte’s Najee Garvin nearly jumps over defender

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This is what you don’t try to take charges.