Shooting Success Helping Hoos

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Sammy Zeglinski and the Hoos continue to shoot well from 3-point range.

At Media Day for basketball this fall, reporters asked UVa coach Tony Bennett about his new team’s shooting and, in particular, about the team’s 3-point shooting ability. The question included a reference to the Cavaliers’ poor outside shooting last season when they shot a paltry 31.6% from beyond the line. Bennett joked that the reporter meant Virginia had shooters and not makers.

Things sure have changed in a few short months. The Hoos have quite a few makers from beyond the arc, a trend that continued in a 75-57 win against Miami on Saturday night.

The Cavaliers sank 6 of 14 triples against the Hurricanes, a clip of 42.9%. Entering the game, the visitors had held opponents to 28.4% shooting from outside the arc. Even after factoring in the good shooting night for the Hoos, Miami allows just 29.6% shooting from downtown on the season. In other words, the Canes don’t let teams get many good looks or make many shots from 3-point land.

Virginia did.

“Virginia was young last year and I felt they would be good this year. They have good personnel and they are playing very confident as a team right now,” Miami coach Frank Haith said. “They shoot the ball incredibly – coming off screens. Sammy Zeglinski is a good player, Jeff Jones is a good player, [Mustapha] Farrakahn is a good player – all those guys are players.”

Indeed, that trio did the outside damage against the Hurricanes. Jones hit all three of his long-ball attempts and Farrakhan made both of his. Zeglinski made just 2 of 6 3-pointers in this one, an uncharacteristic night for the season; he has made 48.6% of his 3-point attempts on the season. Zeglinksi has made at least two triples for 10 consecutive games.

Those three have been the Cavaliers’ top sharpshooters on the season as well. In addition to Zeglinski’s 48.6% on the year, Jones has converted on 48.9% of his 3-pointers and Farrakhan has canned 41.7% of his attempts. In addition to those players, Sylven Landesberg