As we near the midway point of the college basketball season, several things have become obvious: Kentucky’s John Wall is the best player in the country, Texas (not Kansas!) is the deepest team in the land, the Pac-10 is atrocious, and the A-10 has three teams in the RPI Top 20 and three in Ken Pom’s Top 30. Things that are less certain: Who is the best white shooter in college basketball?
With some help from Jeff Goodman’s preseason list of the best shooters in basketball list over at Fox Sports, here goes:
Jon Diebler, Ohio State: Kid scored 67 points in a high school game. He’s shooting 45 percent from three this year. We not-so-fondly remember his 2-for-12 stinker against Siena in the first round of the NCAA tourney last year.
Jon Scheyer, Duke: Scored an astonishing 21 points in 75 seconds once in high school. Has lit up bad teams from deep (Radford, Long Beach State, etc) and has struggled in big spots (Villanova last year: 3-for-18). Some say he’s an ACC POY candidate. That’s going overboard. But it is undeniable that he has improved since his sophomore season (when yes, we ripped him).
Ryan Wittman, Cornell: Son of a pretty good NBA shooter. Lock to be the Ivy League player of the year. Has shot over 40 percent from three each of his four seasons at Cornell (while attempting no fewer than six three’s a game). Dropped 33 on Syracuse last year (including nine three’s) and 24 on Kansas this year. Has made five or more triples in five games this season (overall Cornell is 14-3).
Rotnei Clarke, Arkansas: Unabashed gunner with unlimited range and supposedly hit 94-of-100 three’s during a high school workout. Shooting an astonishing 50 percent from three this season (55-for-110). Made 13 three’s in one game this season; 10 in another. Only a sophomore and should be multi-dimensional by his senior year.
Brad Redford, Xavier: Little-known sophomore was Mr. Basketball in Michigan in 2008 (joining an elite fraternity: J Rich, Battier, Mark Macon, C Webb, etc) and shot 46 percent from three. He’s at 47 percent this year. Isn’t getting the minutes (16) or shots (4) that the other guys on this list are, but that should improve in the next two years.