Fang Mitchell would be fine if Coppin State men's basketball stopped taking as many 3-pointers

Eagles' woes from behind arc have coach arguing for high-percentage scoring opportunities

January 15, 2014|By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun

The 3-point shot can easily and quickly turn the tide of a basketball game. For Coppin State, however, 3-pointers have been a rare commodity.

As of Sunday, the Eagles (5-11, 2-1 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) ranked 262nd among 345 Division I teams in 3-point accuracy, connecting on just 31.0 percent (104 of 336) of their attempts from deep. They have converted less than 31 percent of their 3-pointers in eight games this season, and coach Fang Mitchell said the team’s shooting woes should hint to players that other options might be more effective.

“We’re very inconsistent right now, and to be honest with you, I probably would prefer us not taking as many 3s as we’ve been taking and just taking the ball to the basket more,” he said Tuesday. “We have to be more patient and minimize the 3-point shots that we are taking. I don’t mind 3s I live and die a lot of times by the 3-point shot but as long as they’re good 3-point shots, and we haven’t taken many great 3-pointers. So we’re working on that, and we’re going to get better at that and move forward.”

Sophomore shooting guard Sterling Smith leads Coppin State in 3-pointers made (29) and 3-point field-goal percentage (40.3), and senior shooting guard Andre Armstrong ranks second with 23 3-pointers. But no other player has more than 13 thus far.

Mitchell said there are a few ways players can improve their deep-range accuracy.

“You can get in the gym and you can shoot,” he said. “The other thing is, take good 3-point shots, not just the first 3-point shot. Our shot selection has to be better, and if our shot selection improves and we shoot a few more 3s in practice, I think we’ll be ok.”

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