Jayhawks in need of more 3-point shooting to support Lagerald Vick

photo by: Nick Krug

Kansas forward Dedric Lawson (1) pulls up for a three over Washburn guard Emeka Ogbonna (32) during the second half of an exhibition, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Lagerald Vick’s borderline ludicrous 3-point shooting over the course of the Kansas basketball team’s previous five games had the Jayhawks ranked seventh in the country in long-distance accuracy (43.9 percent) entering the week.

Those numbers notwithstanding, on the eve of KU’s seventh game, a home matchup with Wofford, Bill Self wasn’t buying the idea that he’s currently coaching a group of good 3-point shooters.

“It’s so misleading, because Lagerald’s shooting 60 something,” Self said, referencing the senior guard’s 28-for-47 success rate (59.6 percent).

The 16th-year Kansas coach, in fact, was more than aware of the disparity in his team’s 3-point shooting.

Speaking with reporters inside Allen Fieldhouse Monday, Self couldn’t recall the exact number — “I know it’s single figures,” he stated correctly — but he pointed out the rest of the roster had barely contributed to KU’s total of 37 made 3-pointers in the past five games.

Jayhawks not named Vick, in that stretch, accounted for just nine 3-pointers, while the senior guard from Memphis made 28.

Sophomore guard Marcus Garrett (1-for-6 in that span) made one 3-pointer versus Marquette. So did junior forward Dedric Lawson (1-for-5 on 3’s in KU’s past five games).

Charlie Moore (2-for-11 during Vick’s 3-fest) made one against Vermont and one vs. Tennessee.

Freshman guard Quentin Grimes (3-for-12 since going 6-for-10 in the opener against Michigan State) hit two against Vermont and one vs. Louisiana.

KU’s other first-year backcourt starter, Devon Dotson (2-for-5 from 3-point range since his 3-for-5 showing vs. Michigan State) knocked down one in the Vermont game and another against Tennessee.

Sophomore guard K.J. Lawson and junior forward Mitch Lightfoot both attempted one 3-pointer since the opener without making one.

Overall, the rest of the team combined to shoot 9-for-41 (22 percent) in wins over Vermont, Louisiana, Marquette, Tennessee and Stanford while Vick rained in 3-pointers.

“That shows you a lot,” Self said of the disparity. “That we’re fortunate that we have the record we have, but also I think when other guys start seeing the ball go in the hole I think it’ll definitely change our team.”

It’s safe to say No. 2 KU (6-0) would benefit from another player or two stepping up and becoming a consistent 3-point shooting option so Vick doesn’t have to do all the work in that department.

“Yeah, I do agree with that,” Garrett said. “But with the way he’s shooting right now he’s not missing. He’s basically carrying the slack for everyone else. I think down the road we could use a couple more guys knocking in some 3’s like he is.”

So who are the top candidates to fill that role?

Without hesitation, Garrett named redshirt sophomore point guard Moore and freshman shooting guard Grimes.

Self, too, brought up those two names first when presented with the same question.

“Charlie’s made two this year,” Self said with a grin. “Charlie and Q, you’d think, would be the ones, and then Dedric needs to be a guy that can stretch it. He’s only made, I think, one this year, if I’m not mistaken. One or two.”

Indeed, Lawson is 1-for-7 from beyond the arc through six games. A surprising statistic, as Self pointed out, considering Lawson shot 4-for-4 in one exhibition against Washburn and 2-for-4 in the other preseason warmup, against Emporia State.

“We know we have capable guys,” Self said. “But they just haven’t had success knocking them down yet.”

KU’s 3-point Shooting Through 6 Games

Lagerald Vick — 28-for-47 (59.6%)

Quentin Grimes — 9-for-22 (40.9%)

Devon Dotson — 5-for-10 (50%)

Charlie Moore — 2-for-12 (16.7%)

K.J. Lawson — 1-for-2 (50%)

Marcus Garrett — 1-for-6 (16.7%)

Dedric Lawson — 1-for-7 (14.3%)

Mitch Lightfoot — 0-for-1 (0%)


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