Milton Doyle

Justin Anderson, Jordan Price

Chase for 180: So far, so good for Virginia’s Justin Anderson

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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. 

This season we’ll update this list weekly, 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

Despite returning three starters from a team that won 30 games, an ACC title, and made the program’s first Sweet 16 appearance since 1995, Virginia had some important questions to answer in advance of the 2014-15 season. Chief among those questions was how they would account for the loss of Joe Harris (12.0 ppg), who despite seeing his role within the Virginia offense change some was still the team’s second-leading scorer in 2013-14. Without Harris the Cavaliers were left with one double-digit scorer, Malcolm Brogdon, meaning that at least one of their supplementary offensive pieces from a season ago would need to step forward if Tony Bennett’s team is to defend its ACC crown.

Enter Justin Anderson, who in each of his first two seasons was a valuable reserve and won ACC Sixth Man of the Year honors in 2013-14. While the Montrose Christian product may not be considered a “lights out” shooter, the strides he’s made offensively are a major reason why Virginia is currently 9-0 and ranked sixth nationally.

After shooting 40.7% from the field and 29.4% from beyond the arc in 2013-14, Anderson’s gotten off to a hot start in 2014-15. Currently shooting 57.0% from the field and 58.8% from beyond the arc, Anderson’s more than doubled his scoring average from a season ago (7.8 ppg) to 15.8 points per game. Thus far Anderson’s reached double figures in eight of Virginia’s nine games, and while he managed to do so on 15 occasions last season Anderson’s been far more efficient this season.

According to Anderson’s effective field goal and true shooting percentages have jumped substantially, with the former going from 47.0% to 68.6% and the latter from 51.6% to 70.8%. As a result Anderson’s offensive rating has gone from 100.9 to 135.2, but it is early in the season. That leads to the question that was asked in our weekly National Player of the Year rankings: can Anderson sustain this level of production?

Obviously things are going to get tougher for Anderson and the Cavaliers when they get into ACC play. However what needs to be considered are the team’s willingness to work for quality looks regardless of who takes the shot (Brogdon and Anthony Gill are also averaging double figures, and Mike Tobey isn’t far off at 8.4 ppg), and Anderson not taking the increased opportunities as a license to fire away from the perimeter indiscriminately (39.8% of his shots this year have been taken at the rim per, compared to 30.5% last year).

The percentages for Anderson are likely to change as the season wears on. But given the fact that thus far he’s been a more efficient player in terms of the shots he’s taking, Anderson has the ability (and talent) to ensure that any decrease isn’t too drastic.

50-40-90 Club

1. Marcus Marshall (Missouri State)
56.0% FG, 57.1% 3PT, 93.5% FT = 206.6

One of the best scorers and all-around shooters in the Missouri Valley Conference, Marshall’s scored 18 points or more in five of the seven games he’s played in this season.

He’s Really Close 

2. Tyler Haws (BYU)
49.7%, 43.4%, 90.1% = 183.2

Haws was in part of the “50-40-90 Club” in the last installment, and the concern for BYU is how long they’ll be without him thanks to the ankle injury suffered over the weekend.

Nine More “180” Players

1. Sean Sellers (Ball State)
51.7%, 62.5%, 89.3% = 203.5

December hasn’t been as kind to Sellers as November was, as he’s shot 38.9% from the field in three games, but the three-point shooting (3-for-5) has remained solid.

2.  Marc Loving (Ohio State) 
54.9%, 53.8%, 87.5% = 196.2

The sophomore’s been quiet over the last two games for the Buckeyes, scoring a total of eight points on 1-for-5 shooting from the field (6-for-6 FT, however).

3. Justin Anderson (Virginia)
57.0%, 58.8%, 80.0% = 195.8

4. Austin Richie (Western Michigan)
52.8%, 56.8%, 84.4% = 194.0

In two games this month Richie’s shooting 9-for-19 from the field, 7-for-13 from beyond the arc and 7-for-8 from the foul line, averaging 16.0 points per game.

5. Derrick Marks (Boise State)
51.8%, 53.3%, 85.2% = 190.3

With Anthony Drmic struggling with back problems, a more efficient Marks has stepped forward for the Broncos.

6. Alec Peters (Valparaiso)
53.2%, 50.0%, 86.1% = 189.3

After struggling in a loss to New Mexico (4-for-14 FG) the sophomore bounced back in a three-point win over Ball State on Saturday, scoring 23 points (7-for-16 FG, 3-for-8 3PT, 6-for-6 FT) and grabbing ten rebounds.

7. Milton Doyle (Loyola-IL)
58.2%, 63.6%, 66.0 = 187.8

While the free throw percentage can use some work, keep in mind that Doyle (15.6 ppg) is playing with a torn labrum in his right (shooting) shoulder.

8. Atif Russell (Pepperdine)
52.1%, 55.0%, 80.0% = 187.1

Russell (9.6 ppg) isn’t among the three Waves averaging double figures, but his play is one of the reasons why Pepperdine is off to a 7-2 start.

9. Corey Hawkins (UC Davis)
52.5%, 54.2%, 79.5% = 186.2

Already one of the Big West’s best shooters, the senior has improved his percentages across the board from last season and he’s also scored 18 points or more in six of the 7-1 Aggies’ eight games.

Loyola (Chicago) loses leading scorer to shoulder injury

Loyola-Chicago v Wichita State
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In his first season at Loyola (Chicago) after transferring in from Kansas, guard Milton Doyle accounted for 14.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists per contest for head coach Porter Moser. As a result Doyle won Missouri Valley Freshman and Newcomer of the Year honors, and even more was expected of the Chicago native in 2014-15.

Unfortunately for the Ramblers they’re going to be without their best player, as the program announced Friday that Doyle is out indefinitely after suffering a torn labrum in his right (shooting) shoulder. How much time Doyle misses remains to be seen, but this is a big loss for a team that won ten games and finished last (4-14) in its MVC debut last season.

According to the school release Doyle will go through a rehabilitation program for five to six weeks, with a decision to be made then as to whether or not he’ll ned to undergo surgery. If Doyle does need surgery at that point, the school stated that it could take between seven and nine months for him to return to the court.

Doyle was one of four starters to return for the Ramblers, with guards Joe Crisman and Jeff White and forward Christian Thomas being the others. In addition to those returning starters, Loyola added seven newcomers with four being perimeter players. Among those additions is Coffeyville CC guard Earl Peterson, who averaged 16.7 points and 3.6 rebounds per game last year.

With Doyle out of the lineup, Peterson is one player who will have to step forward if Loyola is to improve its standing within the Missouri Valley.

Marlon Jones is headed to Junior College instead of Loyola (IL)

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Loyola (IL) announced on Tuesday that the star of their 2014 recruiting class, Marlon Jones, would not be enrolling at the school.

“Unfortunately, Marlon did not meet his academic expectations this summer,” said head coach Porter Moser. “We are still very committed to Marlon’s best interests but at this time he will be enrolling at South Plains Community College.”

Jones is a 6-foot-8, three-star recruit that had plenty of high-major interest coming out of Chicago’s Orr HS. He played for the Meanstreets AAU program.

Loyola still returns their top five scorers from last season, including the Missouri Valley’s reigning Freshman of the Year, Milton Doyle.

Milton Doyle’s buzzer-beater eliminates Bradley from ‘Arch Madness’ (VIDEO)

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The biggest storyline at the Missouri Valley Conference tournament this weekend is clearly No. 2 Wichita State, with the Shockers currently 31-0 on the season. But it should be noted that this is traditionally an entertaining event, and the second first-round game on Thursday night provided the drama.

Loyola-Illinois guard Milton Doyle hit a three-pointer as time expired to give the Ramblers, in their first conference tournament game as a member of the Valley, a 74-72 win over Bradley. Doyle finished the game with 19 points, four rebounds and three assists, and as a result of his shot the Ramblers advance to take on Indiana State on Friday.

h/t Ryan Fagan

Kansas freshman Milton Doyle reportedly cleared by NCAA, eligible to play in 2012-13

Milton Boyle
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One NCAA clearinghouse situation is now out of the way for Kansas coach Bill Self, as incoming freshman Milton Doyle was cleared to play in this upcoming season, the Chicago Tribune first reported.

Doyle, a 6-4, 185-pound guard from Chicago, Ill., originally committed to Florida International, but reopened his recruitment when head coach Isiah Thomas was fired in April.

According to the Tribune, he averaged 19 points, eight rebounds, five assists, and five steals per game this past season.

Self and the Jayhawks are still waiting for word on the eligibility of another freshman, Anrio Adams, who is working through the clearinghouse.

For Doyle, questions arose about online course he took during a transfer of high schools after his sophomore year.

Kansas had two players ruled ineligible by the NCAA for the 2011-12 season, Ben McLemore and Jamari Traylor, but still managed to reach the Final Four in New Orleans.

McLemore is expected to be an impact player for the Jayhawks this upcoming season and joins a six-man recruiting class for Kansas, which includes Doyle and highly rated Kansas native Perry Ellis.

Self will be without last year’s stars, Tyshawn Taylor and Thomas Robinson, for the 2012-13 season, but, remember, he was able to take an underrated team to the national title game this past year.

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Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Kansas gobbles up Isiah Thomas’ leftovers

Isiah Thomas
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Isiah Thomas may not have worked out as a basketball coach at Florida International, but he had an eye for unpolished talent, which is an important skill a mid-major coach can have. He proved it by nabbing an early commitment from Chicago Marshall’s Milton Doyle, a player one Chicago Sun Times reporter called “the ultimate sleeper”.

Bill Self, on the other hand, has the blue-blood’s luxury of pouncing late and still getting his man. When Thomas was unceremoniously fired earlier this year, Doyle reconsidered his decision to become a Golden Panther. He wasn’t the most hotly recruited late de-commit, but his top two were pretty impressive. Doyle was considering attending either Marquette or Kansas, and he visited Kansas first and fell in love. Not one to waste time, the incoming freshman graduated high school last week, had a goodbye party, and is scheduled to begin classes in Lawrence on Monday.

Doyle is a 6’4″ combo guard with an all-around game, a cool head, and a reputation for slashing to the hoop when he sees an opening.

“I call him the quiet assassin,” Marshall High coach Henry Cotton told the Chicago Tribune. “He just goes about his job relentlessly. If he had waited (until second semester instead of committing to FIU) he could have gone anywhere he wanted to, but he was loyal to the people who showed him interest when no one else did. That’s the way he is.”

With Tyshawn Taylor on the way out, it’s time for Bill Self to develop another speed merchant to help run the Jayhawk offense. Doyle was a first-team all-public-league player in Chicago, and should slot in nicely at Kansas, with his ability to  score and play either wing position.

Eric Angevine is the editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.