There was a story about Lebron a few years ago, I don’t remember where I read it, where he was asked about his his number one qualification for a teammate. He basically said “just hit open shots.” Lebron has an offensive gravity, he draws defenders to cheat off of their man and can create open looks for people just by having the ball. Part of “making your teammates better” is “making your teammates wide open.”
What we saw against Arkansas was Auburn players hitting open shots. Basketball looks so much better when guys hit the open ones. Anfernee Mclemore, a guy whose season has been as yo-yo in quality as the Auburn team itself, has developed a knack for being wide open from three. Against Arkansas, he hit his open looks. Jared Harper, Bryce Brown, and especially Chuma Okeke require defensive game-planning. They require constant attention. Coaches yell at players to cover those guys when they have the slightest amount of space. Anfernee Mclemore is not one of those guys, but if he can make his open shots then he will murder opposing teams. You can’t account for five three point shooters very effectively with most college basketball lineups.
Against Vanderbilt (in the worst basketball gym in the known universe) Auburn shot poorly. Auburn hovers around 48% shooting in its wins this season, and was at 36% against Ole Miss and Vandy. Defense bailed the Tigers out against the ‘Dores, but nothing could bail the Hogs out. Auburn shot 52% from three against Arkansas, which basically means the Tigers should have taken less twos than they did. If you are making more than five out of every ten three pointers, shoot until your arms fall off. When Auburn has its role players hitting open shots, it is unbeatable.
Life is like that too. Every time a person gets to be 100 years old or so, some reporter will ask that person what the “secret” is to a long life. We all want to live longer. We all want to live better lives and be more successful and better looking and better equipped to deal with stress. We want a pill, chart, rule, or system that will get us there. Sometimes people will cheat the system, breaking the law or getting a “shortcut” to the finish line they want. Friends, I am here to tell you none of that stuff will work. There is no pill, chart, rule, or system. There is no magic set of words that will give you happiness, success, or a flat stomach.
You just gotta make open shots.
Doing the things available to you in the moment seems to be the key to both basketball and life. Getting the rebounds that fall to you, not trying to do the things that are outside of your skillset, and keeping your eyes open for opportunities. We aren’t all Lebron, heck, we aren’t all Jared Harper, but if we can be a bit more like Anfernee Mclemore and just hit the open ones, good things will happen.
No change. 212.
I need to take more shots.
You guys comment below a workout for this week, and I’ll try to do it, weather permitting. I might lose weight if I need to build an ark here soon.