North Texas Daily

Mean Green basketball teams place emphasis on inside-out style offense

Mean Green basketball teams place emphasis on inside-out style offense

Mean Green basketball teams place emphasis on inside-out style offense
February 17
15:41 2014

Ehsan Azad // Staff Writer

With the Conference USA tournament near, both Mean Green basketball teams are struggling to shoot the ball beyond the three-point line.

The men’s team currently ranks seventh out of the 16 conference teams in three-point percentage, while the women’s team is ranked 11th. Though the teams are still looking to improve the efficiency, both are more focused on scoring near the rim.

This year, the men’s team is shooting 33.8 percent from the three-point line, better than the 28.5 percent last season, and averages five made three-point field goals a game. Regardless of the numbers, head coach Tony Benford said he wants his team to have an inside-out offense.

“We preach all the time about getting paint touches,” Benford said. “We want to get 51 paint touches a game, meaning by the pass, off the bounce and that opens up the outside game for our shooters.”

Benford said that the team has plenty of players that can shoot the ball well from the three-point line, but he wants them to go to the rim. Benford said that with conference play, teams know who their shooters are and attack them, which has resulted in the low numbers.

Sophomore guard Maurice Aniefiok, the best three-point shooter on the team at 40.3 percent, said the team is doing much better and everyone is still working to get better at shooting. He said he’s always working on his shot, shooting about 700 times a week.

“If you watch me [this season], that’s what I have been really working on,” Aniefiok said.

The women’s team is also struggling to shoot the ball effectively this season as well, shooting 28.3 percent from the three-point line, averaging 4.8 three-point field goals a game.

“We have just missed some shots,” head coach Mike Petersen said. “To me the deal is when those shots come, where they come from and who do they come from.”

Even with the struggles, Petersen still wants the team to play more of an inside-out game and to shoot only when wide open.

“We are not going to win games because we take 30 threes,” Petersen said.

Petersen said senior guard Laura McCoy has been a reliable three-point shooter in her career, and has picked up her shooting after a rough start. McCoy said the problems are more with confidence in shooting the ball and long shooting lulls can hurt.

“We have to keep practicing, keep working on it and it will come,” McCoy said.

The C-USA tournament starts March 12 in El Paso.

Feature photo: Senior guard Brandan Walton shoots from beyond the three-point line. Walton made one of three shots from three-point range against East Carolina University on Saturday night at the Super Pit. Photo by Edward Balusek / Staff Photographer 

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