As I watched the NCAA championship game and the poor shooting by Butler I thought about the poor shooting performances I’d seen the previous week in East Lansing at the boys basketball finals.
Let’s look at the Class A final. The losing team (Detroit Southeastern) shot 36.2 percent and the winning team (Kalamazoo Central) shot 33.3 percent. In the Class A semifinals Central shot 31.5 percent and won. That’s because Southfield shot 32 percent. In the other semifinal Bay City Western shot a respectable 45 percent and Southeastern, which won 53-49, shot 36.7 percent.
The winning team in these three games failed to shoot 37 percent. I understand that Central, Southfield and Southeastern all had fine defensive teams. And, although I only saw Western play once, I assume it also had a fine defensive team throughout the season. And these factors all played into the fact that these games were ragged at times, simply ugly at other times.
Overall, of the 16 teams that made the semifinal, Schoolcraft, in Class C, was the only team to shoot 50 percent.
It makes me wonder how much time is spent in practice shooting jump shots. I didn’t see a lot of good shooters. Luke Ryskamp of Schoolcraft is an exception. He was 18-for-26 from the field in the two games he played. There were other good shooters, too, but there weren’t many. I realize good defenses can be a factor and that solid man-to-man defenses can really bring down shooting percentages. I’m just thinking back on the whole season and I can’t recall that many outstanding jump shooters.
Now that the AAU season is upon us maybe these players can take a break from all the games and shoot 200 to 300 jump shots each day as part of their plan to become better basketball players.