Shoot It, Jay

Posted on February 4, 2019, in The Team by Seattle Hoo.

In his college career, Jay Huff is a 43% three-point shooter.  He was 2-7 as a freshman, and now as a sophomore so far he is 7-14, for a cool 50%.  He has never attempted more than two in a single game.

Jay takes the floor seemingly with the idea that his job is to release pressure, reverse the ball, and set ball screens.  And if there's nobody with a better shot at the moment, and he is completely uncovered, then shoot.

Huff doesn't even play 10 minutes per game and he averages 5 ppg.  He shoots over 70% from 2, 50% from three, and has an ORtg of 133. We've all seen the variety of things he can do with the ball (post moves are not a strength of his yet) and how he changes the offense when he is a threat.

When Jay Huff is on the floor, he should be a primary shooting option and have the mindset of one. Watch the video here and tell me if Virginia was likely to get a better shot on each of these three possessions than the one Huff passed up.

Ask yourself for each of the three plays here, was a better shot likely?

Would Kyle Guy pass up any of those shots?   Ty Jerome?  De'Andre Hunter?  Guy shoots a three every 5 minutes played; Jerome every 6 minutes played.  Huff takes a three every 12 minutes played.  Jay Huff is no less of a reliable three-point threat than those three guys.  He should be every bit as aggressive taking his shot as they are.  Anytime he catches the ball and can get a good visual bead on the front of the rim, he should be rising up to take the shot.

Jay needs very little room to be open for the three against a normal-sized guard.  No guard can impede his view of the rim or bother his release.  He would have to bring the ball to his shooting pocket closer to his chest than that out-front swing, but that's just good form anyway.

If Duke is going to switch 1-5 again, one way Virginia can get three-point looks anyway is to engineer switches between Tre Jones and Huff's defender.  Have Huff set the ball screen with Jones's man (preferably Guy or Jerome) then get Jay to the top of the key and get him the ball.  He'll have no obstruction to his vision; the rim and the cuts will be open to his eye.

Jay still is enough of a drag on the team's defensive efficiency stats that he needs to be an active three-point threat to be a plus in his time on the floor.  He should not be passing up shots like the ones in the video.

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Jay Huff, Miami (February 2, 2019)