Believe it or not, a guy who plays exclusively in the back court and for about 29 minutes per game hasn’t made a 3-pointer since Feb. 16, 2011.
That’d be Juwan Staten, who we must also remember didn’t play last season after transferring from Dayton, where he led the Atlantic 10 in assists and where he missed 22 of his 26 3-point attempts in 2010-11. But he was 1-for-1 that day against what was the league’s best 3-point defense as the Flyers rocked Charlotte behind Staten’s 13 points and four assists.
That’s a long drought for someone as present as as seemingly important as a point guard. I mean, he hasn’t accidentally made one at the end of a half or a shot clock. And he doesn’t really even try. I’ve been tracking this a while and the thought never seems to go through his mind. He eschews 3s in warmups, too.
The team trickles out of the locker room to the floor about 90 minutes before the game and works on things or messes around with stuff on their own time. Staten didn’t even come out today until the team started stretching. Then when it was time for pregame drills he was all layups and short jumpers even with the option to step or float back behind the line. That’s his game, though. He doesn’t break character.
He’s aware of the rut — I probably had something to do with that — just as he’s aware of his strengths and limitations. Yet he and Kansas freshman Rio Adams are the only guards on scholarship in the Big 12 Conference who haven’t made a 3 this season — and Adams has played in seven fewer games and about one-seventh the amount of minutes.
It’s weird, unless you’re Staten.
“My whole life, I’ve never been a 3-point shooter,” he said. “If I’m wide open, I’ll take it.”
And there’s another quality assist from Staten, because it sets up an interesting debate. Can you be an optimal point guard without the threat of a 3-point shot?
“That’s a good question,” he said. “If you can find other ways to be effective in the games, I don’t really think 3-pointers are that important.”
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