Texas Tech Hoops – Live by the Three, Die by the Three

One of the most wonderful things about basketball is the three point shot. If you caught the chat I had with Seth on the Tuesday post you can see where we believe the direction of the program is headed under Chris Beard. Actually, Seth brought up that basketball seems to be trending to the three-point first look on offense, then drive/slash to the bucket as the second option. The lost art of the big man getting the rock with his back to the rim is becoming more rare to see on the court.

If you run the type of offense that has a sort of “live by the three, die by the three” theme, then you better be prepared to lose games when you are not making the outside shot. If you go cold from downtown, that can be the difference between a W or an L. There are arguments from one side that talks about how the “live by the three, die by the three” motto is not true. The other side argues that the catchphrase is undoubtedly true.


A good example of why the three point shot is so popular can be explained from a post written on Double Clutch (an NBA blog)

“Stepping away from analytics; whilst the three ball is not (always) as sexy as a dunk or an acrobatic finish at the hoop, it’s still a thing of beauty and a damn sight sexier than a plain old mid-range jumper. Maybe the shot’s true appeal lies in the fact that any Joe has a chance to make a three, which juxtaposes strongly to the NBA’s beautiful dunk; itself an art form. Dunking requires some modicum of height and athleticism, so I think it’s safe to label the three-pointer ‘the people’s shot’. And let’s not forget All-Star Weekend, where the three-point competition has become is an increasingly popular event, helped by the unanimously recognized decline of the once fabled dunk contest.

Perhaps there is something psychological about the being behind the line that ramps up the importance of the shot. Could it be that having the ability to shoot from distance has opened the game up? Creating more space for a faster, more fan friendly style of play, which in turn has led to the league’s highest popularity ratings since a certain protruding tongue (re-re-)retired.”

And there it is for me, the three pointer opens up the game-plan. It does create a more rapid style of play. The thing it does is strech the defense to open up the lanes needed to cut to and attack the rim. Hence, Chris Beard with his motion offense at Texas Tech. Yes, this is the direction we are headed and the pattern we should see on the court as we find the right players to fit on the roster. I am still all-in on finding shooters that can shoot anywhere on the floor, yet I do truly believe that in the following seasons we will see Tech firing away from beyond the arc much more than before.

Taking our team stats into account this is what I can decipher… During Big 12 play we are currently sitting with a 3-5 record. The conference this year is extremely competitive and every team is fighting for its life. In our 5 losses we shot the three-pointer under 40% –

vs Baylor 22.2%
vs OSU 33.3%
vs OU 24.0%
vs KU 39.3%
vs ISU 28.6%

On the other hand all 3 of our Big 12 wins came when we shot 40% or over from downtown –

vs TCU 42.9%
vs KSU 40.0%
vs WVU 53.8%

Whether you love or hate the outside shot or believe in the motto “live by the three, die by the three”, one thing is true. Texas Tech wins its conference games when hitting their shots beyond the arc. The numbers don’t lie. Let’s hope we can stay above the 40% mark for the rest of the season, for each and every game. It seems that draining the three point shot really opens the court for Chris Beard’s offense and helps us out to play our game. Wreck ’em Tech!!!


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