Ranking the Most Lethal Sharpshooters of the Sweet 16

Doug Brodess@DougbrodessCorrespondent IMarch 26, 2013

Ranking the Most Lethal Sharpshooters of the Sweet 16

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    Many of the college basketball teams playing this week in the Sweet 16 know the importance of three-point shooting.

    Florida Gators head coach Billy Donovan calls the three-point shot "the great equalizer in college basketball" (per Tammy Nunez of NOLA.com).

    Some coaches put more emphasis on beyond-the-arc shooting than others. As you will see, a couple of the remaining teams have more than one player on this list.

    Here is a lightning-fast look at the 10 most lethal sharpshooters of the Sweet 16.

Honorable Mention

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    The following five players are among the best long-distance shooters in the Sweet 16.

    Because of their limited number of attempts, they were not included in the actual list:

    • C.J. Fair (Syracuse; pictured)
    • Victor Oladipo (Indiana)
    • Kevin Parrom (Arizona)
    • Shane Larkin (Miami)
    • James Southerland (Syracuse)

10. Ramon Galloway (La Salle)

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    La Salle's leading scorer, Ramon Galloway is also the Explorers' best three-point shooter.

    The 6'3" senior has knocked down 92-of-222 three-balls this year (41.4 percent).

    So far, Galloway is on fire in his three NCAA games, shooting a combined 12-of-23 (52.1) from downtown.

    La Salle will be playing in the Sweet 16 because Galloway went off against Ole Miss on Sunday, hitting 6-of-10 from three.

9. Ben McLemore (Kansas)

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    One of the reasons Ben McLemore can score points in bunches is that he is a three-point-shooting ace.

    The 6’5” redshirt freshman can knock down shots from all over the court; he is hitting 41.6 percent of this threes.

    McLemore hit six threes in a single game two different times this season.

    If KU is going to make a serious run toward the national championship, Ben McLemore needs to be on from beyond the arc.

8. Gary Harris (Michigan State)

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    Michigan State’s Gary Harris helps spread the floor for the Spartans.

    The 6’4" freshman shooting guard is hitting 41.9 percent of his shots from beyond the arc.

    Harris came up huge against Memphis in the round of 32, scoring 23 points, including 4-of-7 from deep.

    If the Spartans are going to get past Duke in their Midwest Region game this week, Harris needs to fire away.

7. Seth Curry (Duke)

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    Seth Curry is a fantastic three-point shooter. Finally, as a senior, he has been freed to focus on what he does best: shoot the rock.

    Curry has dropped in 87-of-204 threes (42.6 percent).

    If defenders don’t come out on him, the 6’2” shooting guard is ready, willing and able to let it fly from anywhere this side of half court.

    Though the Blue Devils have many weapons, they seem to play their best ball when Curry is in the zone

6. Nik Stauskas (Michigan)

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    Nik Stauskas has a clearly defined role in Michigan’s fantastic backcourt: hit three-point baskets.

    Stauskas takes 60 percent of his shots from distance, and he is currently hitting 43.4 percent of his threes.

    With all of the scoring and slashing potential on this Wolverines team, Stauskas plays an important role in Michigan’s success moving forward.

5. Ryan Kelly (Duke)

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    Ryan Kelly has a unique combination of size (6’11”) and shooting skills.

    The Blue Devils' stretch 4 gives coach Mike Krzyzewski an intriguing option at power forward.

    Kelly does his best work when he is spotting up beyond the arc. That’s where he has hit 34-of-74 shots (45.9 percent).

    Most of Kelly’s opponents struggle to shut him down 20 feet away from the basket.

    If Duke is going to make it out of the Midwest Region, Kelly needs to burst into flames this week in Indy.

4. Jordan Hulls (Indiana)

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    Jordan Hulls is very selective when putting up shots: anyplace past half court.

    Hulls shoots nearly 70 percent of his attempts from behind the three-point line, and he is hitting on 46 percent of them.

    Hulls has the green light and shows no hesitation in launching a long-range jumper.

3. Erik Murphy (Florida)

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    Erik Murphy is just as comfortable roaming the perimeter as he is posting up on the block.

    Murphy, the Gators power forward, gives Billy Donovan a lot of flexibility because of his ability to spot up from anywhere.

    This stretch 4 provides Florida with a completely different dimension for its attack.

    Whoever plays the Gators from this point forward needs to focus on limiting Murphy’s touches and number of thee-pointers, which he has put in at a 46.2 percent clip.

2. Michael Frazier II (Florida)

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    Michael Frazier II has a clear role on this year’s Florida Gators squad: come in and instantly knock down threes.

    Out of the 135 shots that Frazier has launched this season, 108 of them (80 percent) have been from beyond the arc.

    Frazier may play fewer than 20 minutes per game, but he is making over 46 percent of his three-pointers.

    If the Gators are going to get out of the brutal South Region, Frazier needs to get it done from deep.

1. Christian Watford (Indiana)

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    Christian Watford is the most lethal sharpshooter among all of the great shooters in the Sweet 16.

    The 6’9" senior is a dangerous man with the ball in his hands from beyond the arc.

    Watford is hitting over 48 percent of his shots from distance.

    In IU hoops history, Watford will be remembered forever for his last-second shot to beat Kentucky early last season.