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Should Henry Ellenson stop shooting 3s?

No. 

Yes, he hasn’t been good at it. (After a 1-5 night in Providence, his season average is down to an awful 25.5% on 51 attempts.)

Yes, he has forced up way too many in poor situations. (He’s never taken less than two 3s in a game and only made two 3s in three games.)

Yes, he is much better and much more efficient a few steps in. (He’s hitting 43.8% of his 2-point jumpers.)

Taking all that in to account I still would go against the consensus and tell him to keep launching, even at a similar rate.

For starters, he’s got a sweet stroke. Every single time he releases from long distance, it looks like it’s going in. His form is picture perfect, and with his height and driving ability, doesn’t have to worry much about getting it blocked. He’s never been a great shooter from 3, even in high school, but the form and fundamentals are so sound, there’s a reason why every draft analysis has him as a prototypical stretch 4 in the NBA. It’s only a matter of time until they start falling.

Of course, just because scouts predict they will fall, doesn’t make it so, particularly if it’s coming at the expense of his team right now. But unlike earlier in the season, his attempts aren’t being forced. Take a look at every attempt from last night as an example. (Be sure to click on the image itself for the video of the result.)

1. MU 2-0; 18:27 1H

3pt 1

This was by far the worst 3 Henry took all night, and the only one he made. A ridiculous face-up jumper with a defender in his territory. The quickness with which he launches is off the charts for a guy his size. And it’s all done in one smooth motion. 

2. MU 5-0; 17:09 1H

3pt 2

This was a straight up heat check. He had all 5 points, had already made a tough trey and had a bit of room. Not the greatest of shots, but very defensible.

3. MU 22-10; 7:59 1H

3pt 3

A perfectly executed pick and roll with Traci gives Henry all the time in the world for an open 3 from straight away. I’d be mad if he didn’t take this shot. In fact, I was upset they didn’t run this play more often, despite the outcome.

4. MU 50-56; 7:23 2H

3pt4

The same pick and pop as in the first half, only with Duane this time. Another great look from straight away. He has to take this shot. 

5. MU 58-61; 3:10 2H

3pt5

 

This wasn’t a designed pick and roll, but with Cheatham torching the friars off the dribble, Bentil is caught over helping and leaving Henry wide open. Henry drops Bentil with a great fake and has a great, open look from straight on. I implore you to watch a few seconds befor that screengrab. Henry uses the pump fake gorgeously, something I haven’t seen much of. Yes, Haanif is a better shooter and has no one on him, but with 5 seconds left, this was the right call.

He’s making better decisions and tempering his trigger finger. The results may not be there, yet, but taking this shot away from him would hurt his overall progression, and Marquette’s spacing, which hasn’t been great the past few games.

The sample size isn’t small anymore, so the Dirk comparison is definitely a misnomer, but going back to the title, Henry should have a greener light than ever.

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Categories: Analysis

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2 Comments on “Should Henry Ellenson stop shooting 3s?”

  1. eddie
    January 6, 2016 at 5:04 pm #

    The better question would be “should Traci Carter be the starting guard”? reminds me of derrick wilson – no scoring from that position

  2. Tim
    January 7, 2016 at 6:02 pm #

    I am not an expert, but 3 out of 4 misses were short (the other appeared off line to left). His shot is also flat. Perhaps if he would release a little higher, getting his hand a bit more under the ball, he would generate more of an arc in this shot. If he is short this would at least give the ball more of a chance of bouncing up and in.

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