Double Bonus: Virginia Tech

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Virginia’s Paul Jesperson has made 6 of his last 7 attempts from 3-point range.

For the first time since the 2006-07 season, the Virginia men’s basketball team owns an 8-3 record in ACC play. Virginia Tech became the latest team to fall to the Cavaliers, who took down their in-state rivals 73-55 at the John Paul Jones Arena where they have won 14 straight games. What helped the Hoos blow out the Hokies this time around? The “Double Bonus” looks at some of the details not named Joe Harris , who torched the VT defense for a career-high 26 points.

Jesperson’s Jumper

In the NC State Double Bonus article, I included a note about Paul Jesperson ‘s shooting mechanics since he seemed to be barley missing on a lot of his shot attempts. I wrote the following: “He also needs to do better with his pre-catch mechanics. I think one reason his shots come up short is that his hips are a little too elevated on the catch so that slight lack of power or slightly slower release (takes an extra beat to get the hips down) is taking just enough off the ball to cause a miss.”

It looks to me like Jesperson has made that adjustment the last two games. He has his legs and hips fully under him on shots the last two games, making his elevation and release more consistent. The results? The sophomore made 4 of 6 shots (4 of 4 triples) at Maryland for 12 points and 3 of 5 shots (2 of 3 triples) against Virginia Tech for 8 points. That means he has made 6 of his last 7 attempts from 3-point range, a clip of 85.7%. That has boosted his percentage from beyond the arc to 38.8% (26 of 67) as nearly 1/4 of his 3-pointers on the season have come in the last two games.

Jesperson said he has been hard at work on his form.

“Coach [Ritchie] McKay is always talking to me about being down and ready and really hunting my shot and being ready to shoot at all times,” Jesperson said.