The “Chase for 180″ is back for a second year, and for those who may not be familiar with the project it’s our attempt to identify some of the best shooters in America. But what makes one an “elite shooter?” For some it’s merely the ability to knock down perimeter shots at a high rate, but that isn’t the case for all players. High-level shooting requires proficiency from three, the field overall, and from the foul line.
“180” refers to the resulting number when adding a player’s field goal, three-point and free throw percentages, with the best shooters either approaching or surpassing that mark. 50 percent or better from the field overall, 40 percent or better from three and 90 percent or better from the foul line. This achievement has occurred more often in college basketball than it has in the NBA, where just six players (Steve Nash did it in four different seasons) have done it in the history of the league.
We’ll update this list throughout the season, with players also needing to qualify to be ranked by the NCAA in each of the three percentage categories in order to be considered. In order to qualify to be ranked a player needs to have played in at least 75 percent of his team’s games and have averaged:
- five or more field goal attempts per game;
- two or more three-point attempts per game;
- 2.5 or more free throw attempts per game.
To read prior installments of the Chase for 180, click here.
While UC Davis senior guard Corey Hawkins was a preseason all-conference selection back in October, his team was picked to finish seventh in the Big West by the league’s media. However to this point in the season Jim Les’ team has exceeded those expectations, as they’re 16-4 overall and part of a three-way tie for first in the Big West with a 6-1 record. And as expected Hawkins has been a big reason why the Aggies have been so successful, as he’s averaging 21.3 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game.
Hawkins has been a prolific scorer in each of his three seasons at UC Davis after transferring in from Arizona State, but the difference now is that he’s a more efficient player. Hawkins averaged 18.0 points per game in 2013-14, which is a good number, but he did so shooting 44.4% from the field and 32.2% from beyond the arc. Through 20 games this season Hawkins’ shooting percentages are 51.2% (field) and 52.6% (three-pointers), and he’s also shooting 80.6% from the foul line.
According to Ken Pomeroy’s numbers Hawkins’ offensive rating is up to 122.2 this season after finishing the 2013-14 campaign with a rating of 108.3, and that jump is one reason why UC Davis has improved significantly on the offensive end of the floor. UC Davis is ranked third nationally in effective field goal percentage (59.1%), fourth in field goal percentage (50.1%) and first in three-point percentage (45.4%), and they’re ranked 25th in offensive efficiency (not adjusted) after ranking 23oth in that category a season ago.
With Josh Ritchart (12.4 ppg) being the only other Aggie averaging double figures and Josh Fox at 9.4 ppg, a lot is asked of Hawkins (who also leads the team in rebounding and assists) on that end of the floor. Yet even with the attention that opposing teams pay him, Hawkins has flourished for a team that has a realistic shot at its first NCAA tournament berth as a member of the Big West.
In wins over UCSB and Cal Poly last week Hawkins averaged 25.0 points per game, shooting 53.1% from the field and 64.3% from beyond the arc while also averaging 5.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists per. UC Davis’ schedule down the stretch will be tougher, beginning with a road game at UC Irvine Thursday night and remaining games against Long Beach State, Hawaii (which gave them their lone conference loss) and a rematch with UC Irvine.
But if Hawkins can continue to play as he has to this point in the season, Jim Les’ team will be a factor in the Big West title race. And given his ability to shoot the basketball, Hawkins is the kind of player who can carry a team through a conference tournament.
Jack Gibbs (Davidson)
51.7% FG, 41.4% 3PT, 90.8% FT = 183.9
Gibbs remains sidelined due to a slight tear of the meniscus in his knee.
He’s Close to 50-40-90 Status
Derrick Marks (Boise State)
52.7%, 54.7%, 83.8% = 191.2
Marks (23 points on 9-for-13 shooting from the field) was too much for Utah State on Tuesday, helping to propel Boise State to its first-ever win in Logan after losing their last 18 games there.
Tyler Harvey (Eastern Washington)
50.5%, 47.6%, 86.1% = 184.2
Harvey shot just 4-for-13 from the field in the Eagles’ win over Idaho on Saturday, and he’ll need a better performance Thursday night at Montana.
Seven More “180” Players
Corey Hawkins (UC Davis)
51.2%, 52.6%, 80.6% = 184.4
Jacob Parker (Stephen F. Austin)
55.6%, 44.9%, 81.8% = 182.3
The Lumberjacks still haven’t lost since late November, and Parker’s shot 50 percent or better from the field in each of the last six games.
Marc Loving (Ohio State)
49.1%, 53.2%, 79.7% = 182.0
Loving didn’t make the trip with the team Wednesday night, and the Buckeyes could have used his shooting as they lost by two at Purdue.
Alec Peters (Valparaiso)
50.5%, 46.3%, 84.8% = 181.6
In the Crusaders’ three-game win streak Peters has shot 22-for-36 (61.1%) from the field and 7-for-15 (46.7%) from three.
Tim Huskisson (Northern Colorado)
50.8%, 45.0%, 77.3% = 180.3
Huskisson shot 5-for-11 in a 2-0 week for the Bears, which included a win over Weber State on Saturday.
Justin Anderson (Virginia)
49.7%, 50.0%, 80.6% = 180.3
Anderson bounced back from his showing in the Cavaliers’ loss to No. 4 Duke, shooting 6-for-10 from the field (3-for-5 3PT) in a win at No. 12 North Carolina Monday night.
Rayvonte Rice (Illinois)
51.5%, 48.3%, 80.3% = 180.1
Rice was expected to return to the court against Rutgers, but he and teammate Aaron Cosby were suspended by head coach John Groce.