SHOOTERS YOU’RE LIKELY TO SEE IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT, NUMBERS 16-20
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During the course of the next two fortnights, we’ll be here on Barkley’s Backboard counting down the top 20 best shooters in college basketball you’re likely to see in the NCAA Tournament.This last part is important, so we italicized it. With apologies to Oakland’s Travis Bader and North Florida’s Parker Smith and anyone who plays for 0-20 Grambling State — even if you’re making 20 3s a night, and the net literally burns off NBA JAM-style every time you shoot — you’re not making this list if your team doesn’t have a realistic shot at making The Dance. We’re sorry. It’s not you, it’s your crappy, crappy team.
Anyway, now that all the caveats that our friend who’s dating a lawyer made us say are out of the way, we’re counting down, Casey Kasem-style, 20 to 1 – starting with Nos. 20-16:
20. KENNY BOYNTON (Florida, 6-foot-2, Senior)
48-of-138 3-pointers; 35% 3-point FG; 2.3 made 3-pointers per game
What You Need To Know: One of the PGs on this list, Boynton’s been around since before Al Gore invented Geocities (2009), which helps explain why he’s third all-time in scoring at Florida (suck it, Udonis Haslem!), and the all-time leader in 3s made. He hit 110 last year, and is actually having a bit of an off year, averaging almost one less 3 made a game, but don’t be fooled: Dude is a true streak shooter with 26-foot range, and has no conscience putting up deep, pull-up treys on fast breaks, which probably doesn’t infuriate Billy Donovan.
Game of the Year: He crushed 8 of 10 3s versus Yale, which make up for its lack of basketball skills with great a cappella group, and average academics.
NBA Player You Can Compare Him To In Order To Impress Charles Barkley: Well, on NBADraft.net, some dude named Aran Smith says he’s like Tony Delk. And while at Kentucky, Tony Delk wore what looked like aggressively long board shorts. So, we’re going to say Tony Delk.
Chance You’ll See Him In The NCAA Tournament: 100%. Florida (despite just losing to Arkansas by, like, 80 or something) was — as of this writing — the second-ranked team in the country.
Fun Fact: He was the first seventh grader to compete in the finals of the 350-team Big Time Tourney in Vegas. Also, more importantly, Jake “The Snake” Roberts is from his hometown.
19. NICK KELLOGG (Ohio, 6-foot-3, Junior)
42-of-111 3-pointers; 38% 3-point FG; 2.0 made 3-pointers per game
What You Need To Know: A career 43% 3-point shooter and second in the MAC in 3s last year, Kellogg basically plays the sniper role, roaming around behind the arc and looking for his shot; 75% of them this year are from deep. Also, though sadly he’s not an heir to the cereal fortune, his dad is college basketball analyst Clark Kellogg, the dude who almost beat Obama in a game of HORSE on national TV before he realized that was a horrible idea. So that’s something.
Game of the Year: Nick knocked down 5 of 7 triples in a win against Miami of Ohio, which is not quite as prestigious an academic institution as Cleveland of Florida.
NBA Player You Can Compare Him To: Aran Smith on NBADraft.net doesn’t say anything about him, so we’d liken him to Roger Mason Jr. on New Orleans: great long range and mid-range shooter, can defend, used to living in the shadow of Roger Mason Sr.
Chance You’ll See Him In The NCAA Tournament: 70%. Miami of Ohio made the Sweet Sixteen last year, and everyone remembers his dad pretending like he cared about broadcasting the Lehigh-Xavier game while he feverishly checked his Motorola RAZR for updates. This year, Miami of Ohio is currently second in the MAC behind Akron, but — at 85th in the RPI — it may going to have to win the conference tourney to get in.
Fun Fact: In 1983, Converse signed his dad to an endorsement deal to release his own “Special K” sneaker, which flopped when it turned out Clark had chronic knee problems. Oh, also, Nick was really good at soccer in high school!
18. CHRIS CZERAPOWICZ (Davidson, 6-7, Junior)
41-of-99 3-pointers; 41% 3-point FG; 2.0 made 3-pointers per game
What You Need To Know: Even though Southerners traditionally dislike tall people from Gothenburg, Sweden, Chris has found a home at Steph Curry’s alma mater in N.C., knocking down more than 40% from 3, and using his height as a guard to shoot over the shorter, non-Swedish people guarding him.
Game of the Year: He was 4 of 5 from 3 in an close, early season loss to New Mexico, which is coached by Steve Alford, Kingsbury Factor shooter emeritus (and guy with generally great hair).
NBA Player You Can Compare Him To: The only Swedish player in the NBA right now is the Pistons’ Jonas Jerebko, but he’s a power forward. Hmmm. Rik Smits was from the Netherlands but he’s too tall so that doesn’t work. … I’m just going to say Detlef Schrempf. Or Andrei Kirilenko. Or, you know, Matt Carroll or someone.
Chance You’ll See Him In The NCAA Tournament: 80%. Davidson is 10-1 in the Southern Conference and it plays a pretty competitive non-conference schedule, so the Wildcats’ chances of making the tourney are quite handsome indeed.
Fun Fact: His high school was called Sandagymnasiet. There is literally no way to translate that. Or the things he says on Twitter that get retweeted by girls named Jonna Raflund: “Spenderade nagra av dom basta aren av mitt liv.” You’re a complicated man, Chris Czerapowicz. But you know you are.
17. BRYSON JOHNSON (Bucknell, 6-2, Senior)
50-of-118 3-pointers; 42% 3-point FG; 2.2 made 3-pointers per game
What You Need To Know: Dude is from Nova Scotia, which means New Scotland in languages that Chris Czerapowicz doesn’t use on Twitter. Bucknell’s website calls him a “sharp shooting guard from north of the border.” We call him the guy who already has Bucknell’s record for most 3s all-time and made: 99 at 46% two years ago.
Game of the Year: Last week, Bryson went 6 of 10 from 3, helping the Bisons shipwreck Navy. You know? Because they’ve got ships and stuff? Moving on!
NBA Player You Can Compare Him To: Um. Are you allowed to compare Patriot League players to guys in the NBA? Let’s say former Celtic Dana Barros and then rethink this category.
Chance You’ll See Him In The NCAA Tournament: 85%. Now that C.J. McCollum — the breakout star of last year’s NCAA tourney from Lehigh, who almost singlehandedly beat Duke — is out possibly the rest of the year with a broken foot, Bucknell (at 19-4 and 6-1 in conference) is definitely the favorite. Unless you win the Patriot League, you’re not going anywhere, and even if you win, you’re still a 15 seed, tops.
Fun Fact: John Feinstein wrote a book about the Patriot League. It was called The Last Amateurs. Here’s a quote, “No one in the Bucknell locker room felt cocky at halftime.” Anyway, you probably shouldn’t read it.
16. MATT DELLAVEDOVA (St. Mary’s, 6-4, Senior)
55-of141 3-pointers; 39% 3-point FG; 2.4 3-pointers made per game
What You Need To Know: Matty is an Aussie. People from Australia called him Delly. He’s on the Australian National Team and played in the Olympics in London. He wears strangely colored mouth guards. He’s been called “the Australian Steve Nash.” He’s a definite NBA prospect. His 3-point shot is effective, but not very pretty. Nor, it could be said, is he.
Game of the Year: He crushed six 3s against Jackson State early in the season. St. Mary’s won by 53 points, so maybe that’s not fair. But you know what, friends? Sometimes life isn’t fair. It’s staying.
NBA Player You Can Compare Him To: He isn’t called “the Australian Steve Nash” because he looks like Nash Bridges’ stepbrother Steve. So, Zach Randolph. Just kidding, Steve Nash.
Chance You’ll See Him In The NCAA Tournament: 97%. St. Mary’s is 19-4 and 8-1 in the West Coast Conference. Only problem is, they play in the same league as the sixth-ranked Gonzaga Whatever They’re Calleds. But, even if St. Mary’s doesn’t win its conference, it should get an at-large bid.
Fun Fact: He played at the Australian Institute of Sport, which is like the Oak Hill of Australia, except those straight-shooting Aussies don’t pretend it’s anything other than a crazy sports factory, even in the name.