In a completely blind test, without any statistics, I would say that James Young has the prettiest shot of any player in the Calipari era. Doron Lamb certainly had a good looking one too, but Young’s shot seems to have the best form of anybody. Unfortunately for Young and the team, stats do matter. And I’ve noticed that it seems to me that Young is spending a lot of time in the last month roaming the perimeter for his first chance to fire it up. Which if you are Doron Lamb and shooting nearly 50% from 3 is a perfectly reasonable strategy. Certainly it is playing to your strength.
But is 3-point shooting really James Young’s strength? Below you will find the 9 seasons in the Calipari era where a player took 43% or more of his shots from 3. And then you will see those 9 seasons ranked by shooting percentage:
% OF FIELD GOAL ATTEMPTS THAT WERE 3’S
Darnell Dodson (2009-10): 144 of 192 (75.0%)
Julius Mays (2012-13): 175 of 247 (70.8%)
James Young (2013-14): 103 of 171 (60.2%)
Kyle Wiltjer (2012-13): 150 of 278 (53.9%)
Kyle Wiltjer (2011-12): 81 of 162 (50.0%)
Darius Miller (2011-12): 149 of 302 (49.3%)
Brandon Knight (2010-11): 231 of 513 (45.0%)
Doron Lamb (2011-12): 163 of 369 (44.2%)
Doron Lamb (2010-11): 140 of 324 (43.2%)
3-POINT FIELD GOAL % (SAME LIST)
Doron Lamb (2010-11): 48.6%
Doron Lamb (2011-12): 46.6%
Kyle Wiltjer (2011-12): 43.2%
Brandon Knight (2010-11): 37.7%
Darius Miller (2011-12): 37.6%
Julius Mays (2012-13): 37.1%
Kyle Wiltjer (2012-13): 36.7%
Darnell Dodson (2009-10): 34.7%
James Young (2013-14): 32.0%
I don’t know but that is fairly concerning to me. The reason being that not only is Young shooting a worse percentage from behind the arc than all those guys, but at the end of the season he will have taken more shots than anybody else on the list other than Brandon Knight.
With that said, I am not sure there is another player on the team I would want taking 3’s more than Young, even with the lower percentage. But I wonder if this idea there has to be a designated 3-point shooter is a good idea for this squad. Because it seems to have limited Young to doing something he isn’t doing particularly well right now. Maybe he is just in a kind of slump and will soon break out of it and finish the year shooting above 35%.
But what do you think after watching the team all season? Is James Young’s ability being used to its fullest with him primarily shooting 3-point jump shots?