Sweet Sixteen: Three-Point Shooters To Watch in 2010-2011 College Hoops Season

Mike HendersonCorrespondent IINovember 11, 2010

Sweet Sixteen: Three-Point Shooters To Watch in 2010-2011 College Hoops Season

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Watch any highlight reel and you’ll see two of the following shown prominently in almost every segment—dunks and three-point shots. 

    Both are exciting in their own ways, and both can potentially change the momentum of a game in a hurry. The three is now more of a staple in most college offenses, and for some, the focal point. Here is a list of sweet shooters, some of whom toil in relative obscurity and others who will often occupy the main stage on ESPN or CBS.

    The players were chosen based on past stats, attempts, makes, clutch performances and things of that nature so there are no freshman in the group.

Donald Sims: Appalachian State

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    Donald Sims will try to shoot the Mountaineers to the NCAA tourney

    A career 42 percent shooter from behind the arc, Sims will likely surpass the 2,000 point mark for his career this year and could improve on his average of 20 ppg for the other Mountaineers. He attempted close to eight threes per game last season, averaging just under 43 percent. To boot, the guy is a career 90 percent shooter from the foul line.

LaceDarius Dunn: Baylor

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    LaceDarius Dunn will lead the Bears againJonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Assuming he is eligible to play, Dunn will again lead the Bears in scoring, and possibly deep into March again as well. Without Tweety Carter, he may get some extra attention on the perimeter though. Dunn shot 42.5 percent from three last year, making 105, or just over three per game.

Jon Diebler: Ohio State

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    Dead-eye shooter Jon DieblerJonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    With an inside presence this season, Diebler could be the biggest beneficiary for the Buckeyes. He attempted four times as many shots from beyond the arc as he did from two-point range and it is conceivable he could exceed his 247 attempts from a year ago. You know how and where he is going to get his points.

Rotnei Clarke: Arkansas

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    Rotnei Clarke doing something he doesn't do bestAndy Lyons/Getty Images

    The ‘Hogs essentially cleaned house, leaving Clarke and Marshawn Powell as the featured duo for the upcoming season. Clarke is a lights-out shooter from anywhere, as his adjusted field goal percentage of 60.5 suggests. He made 100 treys last year while shooting close to 43 percent from downtown. These numbers could go up this year.

Jared Stohl: Portland

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    Stohl defending, not shooting, a three-pointer.Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Stohl shot an astounding 48 percent from behind the arc, where most of his shots originate. The Pilots lost some key players this year so he needs to continue to bury shots from deep. Stohl doesn’t have great size or hops so he needs some space to operate. Shooting nearly 50 percent shows that he knows how to find it.

Chris Warren: Mississippi

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    Warren hopes to lead the Rebels to the NCAA tourney.Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    For the Rebels to compete in the SEC West, Warren needs to have a big season. Last year’s numbers indicate that he is capable. Warren made 100 of 241 three-point attempts in his junior season, and while he may not attempt more, look for his percentage (41.5 a year ago) to creep up.

Mickey McConnell: St. Mary's

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    McConnell will need to continue his hot shooting for the Gaels.Elsa/Getty Images

    Some of us can still remember his most important three against Villanova late last year, and no, he didn’t call the bank. However, McConnell managed to get “lucky” almost 52 percent of the time on his three-point attempts. The Gaels will not have the same type of inside presence this season without Omar Samhan, so it will be interesting to see if McConnell can get the same type of opportunities.

John Jenkins: Vanderbilt

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    Jenkins hopes to avoid the sophomore jinxAndy Lyons/Getty Images

    As a freshman, Jenkins attempted around five threes per game and connected at a 48 percent clip. Those numbers will go up this season. Jenkins was touted as one of the best three-point shooting freshmen and he didn’t disappoint. His playing time will increase this year as will his attempts and makes.

Blake Hoffarber: Minnesota

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    Hoffarber feeling good about the GophersJonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Hoffarber is, simply put, a shooter. Though most of his attempts are threes, where he came through at a 47 percent clip last year, his adjusted field goal percentage of 68 was one of the highest in the nation. Minnesota looks to be solid and could be a sleeper in the Big Ten with the return of Al Nolen at the point. Problem is, though, Tubby Smith tends to use nine or 10 players, so most nights he’s not going to play 30 minutes.

Juan Fernandez: Temple

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    Dunphy says shoot and Fernandez hopes to deliverDoug Benc/Getty Images

    Big, streaky, crafty, savvy—choose your adjectives to describe Fernandez. He doesn’t shoot a ton of threes but connects at a 46 percent clip when he does. Temple has its sights set on another A-10 crown and Fernandez’s ability to light it up consistently will be a key to the Owls' success.

Jimmer Fredette

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    Fredette and the Cougars will battle for the MWC title againRonald Martinez/Getty Images

    What list about shooting would be complete without Jimmer? He shoots 45 percent from behind the arc but doesn’t force that aspect of his game, which probably means he could shoot, and make, more threes. What he does do is hit clutch shots and isn’t afraid to take them. Fredette is one of the more exciting players to watch in all of college hoops.

Jeremy Hazell: Seton Hall

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    Hazell and the Pirates could surprise in the Big EastJim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Okay, 34 percent from behind the line isn’t too inspiring. The fact that he can go off at any time is. Add to that a new coach, new system and his personal vow that his shots will be good shots this year, and a rise in his percentage is inevitable. He is going to miss his share but when he gets hot, look out.

Ravern Johnson: Mississippi State

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    That's so RavernStephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Johnson shot 41 percent from behind the arc last year and will benefit substantially when Renardo Sidney and Dee Bost are both in the lineup. This team will be much better in March than they will be in November (as most will, I suppose) and Johnson will likely get in excess of 200 opportunities to ply his trade. His 60.7 percent adjusted field goal rate was solid, so he will score.

Tim Abromaitis: Notre Dame

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    Can Abromaitis lead the Irish back to the dance?Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Though the Irish are not highly regarded this season, they could be sneaky good. Abromaitis will be a big part of this after a breakout season last year. His 44 percent success rate from beyond the arc coupled with a 61.1 percent adjusted rate speaks to his ability to score with efficiency. With other potential three-point threats on the court with him, and the availability of shots with the loss of Luke Harangody, Abromaitis could have even better numbers this year.

Kyle Fogg: Arizona

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    Numbers for Fogg could rise sharply this seasonEthan Miller/Getty Images

    More options will mean more opportunity for Fogg, who averaged four attempts last season for the Wildcats. He knocked down 42 percent of his long-range shots and should get more touches this season with the attention Derrick Williams will receive from opposing defences. Fogg may not shoot more than five or six threes per game, but will make a high percentage.

Austin Freeman: Georgetown Hoyas

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    Any deep run by the Hoyas will be led by FreemanMitchell Layton/Getty Images

    Another of the clutch shooters who doesn’t force his three-pointers (about four attempts per game last season) but connects at a high rate (45 percent). Freeman’s numbers have improved every season and he is a frontrunner for player-of-the-year honors in the Big East.

And Some More ...

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Honorable Mention

    Gerald McLemore, Maine Black Bears

    Jackson Emery, BYU Cougars

    Jacob Pullen, Kansas State Wildcats

    Klay Thompson, Washington State Cougars

    Michael Thompson, Northwestern Wildcats

    Andrew Goudelock, College of Charleston

    Utah State Aggies, Gotta’ love Stew Morrill

    And many, many others...