In a shocking turn of events, in-the-middle of a Global Pandemic University of Green-Bay Wisconsin fired head coach Linc Darner, who had winning seasons in 4 of his 5 seasons and was seen as a shock to most in the College Hoops Industry. What ended up happening, well I’m sure you could have guessed it or there’s no story here, he returned to UWGB for head coach Will Ryan.
Josh Jefferson the first half of the duo started, he is a JUCO player for Lake Land CC, he averaged 22.8 points per game while shooting 44% from three, that’s unreal. For reference, that would have put him the Top-25 in All of D1 College Basketball this season. Obviously, JUCO is a different game with less talent, but it’s not easy to drop 22 points per game anywhere, maybe your local LA Fitness but that’s about it. In his lone season for the Redbirds, he had 9 points per game while shooting 40% from three. This is very-elite still that would have put him just outside of the Top-100 for all shooters in College Basketball this season, but still elite. Jefferson then went on to sit this season due to NCAA Transfer Rules, but he will play this season for the Phoenix and he will be a very good player and do what he does best, shooting the three.
Who is the other piece of the duo? He was #20 in 3-Point Percentage this season, senior Guard P.J. Pipes is in. Pipes shot 44.7% from three this season, that number is just absurd, shooting 34% from three is where you begin to say, Okay he can hit them consistently enough, but 44% percent, you’re making nearly half of your three’s. There are not many teams in the nation that has two guys who have-and-will shoot 40+% from three. A big reason I’m talking about them? Simple, nobody is talking about them. Mid-Major’s need more love, if Jefferson and Pipes were at high-major schools shooting the percentage they do people would be talking about how good of shooters they are, but playing in the Horizon League and not the ACC doesn’t make them any worse of shooters, it just means fewer people will watch your games.
As far as I can tell, and there may be more but as far as I see only two other team returns 2 players who shot 40+% from three, the teams? Creighton’s Mitch Ballock, Marcus Zegarowski, and Virginia Tech’s Jalen Cone and Hunter Catoor. A lot of the other players on the TOP-100 list have since graduated or left for the NBA, such as Andre Wesson, Kaleb Wesson, Jake Toolson, Saddiq Bey, Desure Buie, Cassius Winston, Immanuel Quickley, and Jahmi’us Ramsey.
The Horizon League has a lot of teams with a ton of potential. Wright State returns Loudon Love, but they lose Cole Gentry, Bill Wampler. Northern Kentucky loses Tyler Sharpe, Jalen Tate (Arkansas), Dantez Walton, so they are depleted quite a bit. UIC loses Tarkus Ferguson, Marcus Ottey, Jordan Blount, and Godwin Boahen. Cleveland State returns most of its players, but I honestly just don’t think they’re a good team. IUPUI won 6 games last season but return Marcus Burk and Jaylen Minnett, so I imagine they’ll turn it around at least a bit. Detroit Mercy has Antoine Davis but he’s their only good player and he takes a vast majority of the shots, so they’ll continue to not be a very good team. The other teams Milwaukee and Oakland we can just scoot past. UWGB and Youngstown State are my 2 teams at the top of the Horizon League. Green Bay has a star in Amari Davis, 2 elite-shooters in Pipes and Jefferson, the Phoenix will be vastly improved this season. The Phoenix made the Tournament once in the last 24 years, which was in 2016 and they look to change that this season. This year the Phoenix have a very good chance to make the NCAA Tournament.