Hubie Brown, one of the great teacher-coaches in the history of the game of basketball, once said, "Shooting makes up for a multitude of sins." This is something that is always on your mind as a coach, knowing that having a player who can make shots and be a consistent threat puts a great deal of pressure on the defense and opens up scoring opportunities for teammates.
But there are different types of knockdown shooters, and having one is not a cure-all for a team's offense. Fans need to realize that it is one thing to have the ability to make a high percentage of your shots, and another to understand how to get open even when facing a defense that is trying to run you off of the 3-point line or otherwise disrupt your rhythm. The best shooters know how to get open, and the best teams get their shooters the ball when and where they are most effective.
It's the coach's job to put his shooters in position to do what they do best. Does a player want to turn in off his right foot or left foot coming off screens? Does he need a rhythm dribble or is he best as a spot-up shooter playing off penetration or in transition?
Elite shooters know how to get open, set up and read screens well, move on penetration and are always "shot ready."
Here is my ranking of the five best shooters in college basketball, including a look at how their coaches and teammates will help them be most effective this season.
At 6-foot-5, Wood has the size to get shots off and, just as important, he has a quick release. Wood is effective getting out in transition, giving himself space and opportunities to shoot in rhythm. Coach Mark Gottfried runs a number of different sets for him; Wood does a great job coming off the down screen in NC State's triangle action as well as the double-down in the team's UCLA offense. Plus, he is patient as a baseline runner in rover action, stays low and does a great job of reading fades and curls off screens.
To read Seth Greenberg's full article about the nation's top five shooters, you must be an ESPN Insider.