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.
Eastern Washington guard Tyler Harvey enjoyed a productive debut season after redshirting in 2012-13, scoring an average of 21.8 points per game while shooting 44.3% from the field and 43.3% from beyond the arc. Obviously the opportunities Harvey saw a season ago would once again be present in 2014-15, and he’s certainly taken advantage for head coach Jim Hayford. But the scary thing for the rest of the Big Sky is that while Harvey’s scoring 24.0 points per game, he’s putting points on the board in a more efficient manner than he did last season.
Harvey’s percentages have risen to 51.4% from the field and 48.6% from beyond the arc, with the biggest change coming in the way he’s scored inside of the arc. After making 45.2% of his two-point attempts as a freshman, Harvey’s shooting 54.3% this season. The ratio has changed some this season, with the majority of Harvey’s shots coming from outside of the arc (163 three-point attempts, 92 two-point attempts) after attempting just 24 more three-pointers than two-pointers in 2013-14 (234 three-point attempts, 210 two-point attempts).
But Harvey’s done a better job of converting the two-point looks he does get, even with the increased attention that comes with being the focus of every opponent’s scouting report.
Scoring-wise, Harvey’s reached double figures in every game this season and he’s scored no fewer than 16 points in any of those games. In conference play Harvey’s been even more productive, averaging 26.1 points per game on a team that’s 6-1 in Big Sky play. In wins over Northern Colorado and North Dakota last week, Harvey averaged 30.5 points per game on 59.3% shooting from the field, 46.7% from three and 88.0% from the foul line.
While the presence of three other double-figure scorers in conference play, led by freshman forward Bogdan Bliznyuk (15.1 ppg), helps Harvey from a spacing standpoint teams still know who EWU’s primary scoring option is. And yet he continues to put up highly impressive numbers for the Eagles, who are aiming for their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2004.
Jack Gibbs (Davidson)
51.7% FG, 41.4% 3PT, 90.8% FT = 183.9
Gibbs has missed the last two games for the Wildcats due to a knee injury.
He’s Close to 50-40-90 Status
Derrick Marks (Boise State)
51.9%, 53.8%, 86.2% = 191.9
Marks and the Broncos have now won five straight, with the senior scoring 28 in a win over Colorado State Tuesday night.
Tyler Harvey (Eastern Washington)
51.4%, 48.6%, 85.8% = 185.8
Seven More “180” Players
Jacob Parker (Stephen F. Austin)
55.6%, 46.2%, 81.6% = 183.4
Parker followed up a 13-point outing in a win over Sam Houston State with a 20-point (7-for-13 FG), 12-rebound night in a win over Lamar on Monday.
Justin Anderson (Virginia)
50.0%, 51.9%, 81.0% = 182.9
Like his teammates Anderson got off to a slow start Sunday at Virginia Tech. But he scored ten points in the final 7:05 to lead the Cavaliers to the 50-47 win.
Corey Hawkins (UC Davis)
50.9%, 51.0%, 80.0% = 181.9
Shooting wasn’t an issue for Hawkins in the Aggies’ loss at Hawaii last Thursday (5-for-8 3PT), but the seven turnovers were.
Nic Moore (SMU)
45.9%, 46.3%, 89.2% = 181.4
With the Mustangs navigating multiple personnel losses, it’s been Moore leading the way for a team one game behind Tulsa in the conference standings.
Alec Peters (Valparaiso)
50.2%, 46.4%, 84.4% = 181.0
Peters bounced back from Friday’s loss at Green Bay in a big way Monday night, shooting 10-for-14 from the field to lead the Crusaders past Milwaukee.
Kevin Pangos (Gonzaga)
49.7%, 47.0%, 83.6% = 180.3
Pangos played just 18 minutes in the Bulldogs’ blowout win over Pacific on Saturday, making three of his five three-point attempts.
Rayvonte Rice (Illinois)
51.5%, 48.3%, 80.3% = 180.1
Like Gibbs, Rice remains out of the lineup for Illinois due to injury (left wrist).