Every coach wants his players to use sound judgment to take good shots throughout the course of a 40-minute college game.
If only it were so simple for freshmen.
“I think in terms of shot selection, freshmen coming in, their shot selection has to be redefined because they’re coming from systems where any shot was acceptable because they were the best player on the court and the offense went through them,” Seth Greenberg, the former Virginia Tech and current ESPN analyst, explained during pregame at the Jimmy V Classic on Tuesday.
“Then they get to college and they’re one of the five best players on the team. I think the biggest thing you’re seeing in college basketball today, right now, is that mature teams are so much further along in terms of chemistry and how hard you need to play to be successful.”
To give you an idea of the learning curve freshmen undergo regarding shot selection, consider this about Tuesday night’s Georgetown vs. Texas and NC State vs. UConn matchups: Freshmen shot a combined 14-for-54 (26 percent) from the field. NC State was 4-for-14, UConn was 1-for-5, Texas was 6-for-23 and Georgetown was 3-for-12.
“The game is definitely faster than high school,” said Omar Calhoun, a 6-5 freshman shooting guard and New York native who starts and plays over 31 minutes per game for Connecticut. “I mean, there’s more plays being ran. It’s different, the situations that you’re going to be put in. It’s an adjustment.
“There are definitely stronger, more athletic players so you have to make sure you’re picking your spots and getting open on the court because everyone can really play. It’s physicality; everyone is stronger, so you have to put your body into people. You’re not gonna just pop out to get the ball, so you have to do the little things in order to get open. I mean starting off you definitely get tired, but it’s an adjustment and you get used to it.”