Three-Point Shooting a New Year’s Resolution for DU Men’s Basketball

In their first sixteen games, Denver has launched 303 three-point attempts while their opponents shot from downtown 352 times. Denver is shooting .343 from beyond the arc and allowing opponents more makes (13) over the past sixteen games.

Denver is set with a three-guard rotation but the three-point shot needs to become a bigger part of DU’s game going forward. With a relatively small lineup, DU needs several outside gunners that can open up the inside for scoring and rebounding. Denver ranks 143 out of 351 teams on shooting percentage from three but 264th in attempts per game. With a relatively small lineup, Denver should be taking and making more three-point shots. With only 6.5 three-point makes per game, opponents can play ‘soft’ on DU’s shooters and cave in on Denver’s interior scorers.

DU’s Jordan Johnson is shooting .348 from downtown and Coban Porter is nailing .412 from beyond the arc. Forward Mikey Henn is hitting .393 on his 56 attempts, second on the team. However, Henn’s long-range game limits rebounding on the offensive end on misses. Forward Touko Tainamo, an emerging star for Denver, has the highest percentage of .429 on a limited number of three-point attempts (6-14). While Taelyr Gaitlin is having a poor shooting year behind the arc (.182), he has been quite reliable in the past. He shot a sizzling .453 last season, the best on the team.

Because there is a significant dropoff from these four players, Denver needs to create more opportunities for Johnson and Porter to shoot the three-ball while selectively going to Henn and Tainamo. Longer-term, DU must recruit another sharpshooter or two to open up games and provide Denver with breathing room in tight, highly contested games. Few plays in basketball demoralize an opponent more than a series of 3-point plays to blow open a tight game.

Denver faces North Dakota at Hamilton Gym today at 2 pm.

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