SAGU's 3-Point Bomber Ranked #2 in NAIA
They Went to Jared!
Gibson Strums the Riff
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- For most players the farther away they are from the target, the less successful they are at hitting it. Think archery. One thing is for sure. The longer the distance, the harder the object is to see.
Making a basket is easiest for those who can dunk it, and scoring a layup is considered a gimme.
Tossing the ball through the hoop from less than 15 feet is a comfortable distance for most. They count for two points. When shooting a free throw, most players swish over two-thirds of their tries. Of course, no one is guarding them, so it only counts for a single tally.
The percentage of accuracy drops steadily beyond 15-feet. Men who play college basketball are enticed to shoot beyond an arc painted on the hard-court. Tickle the twine from 20 feet, six inches and you are rewarded with a basket worth three-points. Same benefit for making one from that far away in international competition as well.
Over one thousand basketball players are on teams in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. Sinking shots worth three-points is a skill few can master, with only 130 making more than 30% of their attempts. Only 17 men can connect on 42% or better of their tries.
It’s not easy. For most.
Then there is Jared Gibson. The 6-foot-3 senior-to-be at Southwestern Assemblies of God University finished #2 in the nation in the number of three-pointers he made. He nailed roughly the same percentage from long distance (39%) as he did from inside the twenty-foot curve (40%).
Gibson stroked 103 triples. Only Shawn Savage, of Campbellsville University (Ky), made 108, connecting on 40% of his launches for the Tigers (17-15).
Teammate Ronald Horne (Waco, Tx / Univ of North Texas) ranked #12 nationally in treys with 91. The Red River Athletic Conference was well-represented, with two others in the Top 10; Corey Bingham (LSU-Shreveport) 98 treys and Robert Martinez (Our Lady of the Lake University) 93.
Known for his all-out style on the court, his faux-hawk and boyish smile, Gibson is all-business during games. He averaged 3.3 trifectas per game, which rated him fourth in the country and ahead of Savage’s 3.2. Horne fired 2.9 per game (#12 in NAIA).
What made Gibson’s long-range artillery so impressive were the number he triggered from outside 25 feet and beyond. The former Plano West High School star has drained numerous 3-balls from thirty feet. His sensor is as trusted as a fish-finder or a GPS satellite.
His ability to stretch opposing defenses created openings for teammates to operate in an offense that averaged 80.4 points per game (#17 in NAIA), 8.4 threes per game (#8 nationally) as well as drawing fouls, where SAGU stroked .727 (#8 on NAIA) of their free throws.
"J. Gibson lit it up from downtown, hitting four-of-five three pointers against us at SAGU,” said Habtom Keleta, Sports Information Director at Wiley College. “His ability to catch the rock, plant his feet and shoot are unmatched." Gibson pumped in 7-of-10 triples in two games this season against the Wildcats. But he made more than that against five other conference teams.
Donning purple and vegas gold, Gibson has knocked down 26, 81 and 103 treys in his three seasons, improving his accuracy from .306, to .355 to .390 this year.
Gibson plays the hits
Like the world famous guitar of the same name, Gibson strummed a hot riff that shot down a number of teams. His high-mark was a six-of-14 effort in a 99-89 win over the University of the Southwest (New Mexico).
He produced six games in which he gunned down five trifectas. Half of those games were wins; 5-of-9 when SAGU beat Missouri Valley College, 5-of-8 in a triumph against Jarvis Christian College, and 5-of-10 during a victory over Langston University.
Gibson connected on 5-of-12 in two setbacks to Bacone College and Texas Wesleyan University, and was 5-of-10 in a season-ending 102-98 loss at Mid-American Christian University.
He was held without a three-pointer by only one team. In the season-opener at the University of St. Thomas he went 0-for-4. Two teams limited him to just one; Texas Wesleyan and Paul Quinn College. He made two on six occasions, netted three in seven games and had four 3-balls in another eight contests.
Take Ten with Jared Gibson
He sat down following the Lions’ 12-19 season and answered ten questions
Q: What did ranking #2 in the country mean to you?
JG: It meant a great deal to me to be recognized as one of the top shooters in the country. Leading the Red River Conference in threes, that was a great honor as well! But in all honesty, making the RRAC All-Tournament team was the biggest honor. (SID’s Note: Gibson scored 29 points, and collected 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals and blocked one shot in a 97-83 loss to #3 Texas Wesleyan tournament loss)
Q: You didn't have many huge nights, but were consistent throughout. What do you attribute that to?
JG: I just tried to let the ‘game’ come to me on most nights.
Q: How would you describe your range?
JG: NBA and beyond.
Q: What is your depth?
JG: 30-40 feet, probably.
Q: How comfortable are you at pulling the trigger?
JG: I am very comfortable, especially going into my senior season. I’ve been in the Red River for three years now, and let me tell you, it’s not a weak conference. You can’t just run over teams. You have to battle it out every night. You can’t let up for a few seconds on anyone or you lose. It’s one of the top leagues in the nation. So you have to be comfortable while staying aggressive. You can’t be afraid.
Q: How much does it bother you to throw up a brick or an air ball?
JG: Well, obviously it is a bit embarrassing, but it really doesn’t bother me. I’ve seen Jordan and Kobe shoot them, so that tells me it happens to the best of us.
Q: Is there something that seems to light your fire?
JG: A coach or player yelling (at me), but mainly, trash-talking by the other team!
Q: How do you know you're "on"?
JG: When I feel like my shot is effortless, there isn’t a spot on the floor that I couldn’t make a shot! It’s a great feeling, even when you miss. It still feels good and you know the next one is going in!
Q: What sets up your three-pointers?
JG: Horne is definitely my main man! He sets up my 3-ball. He makes my job easy! You gotta respect the #1 scorer in the country! It usually takes more than one person to try to stop him. When they do, I’m wide open!
Q: The team ranked well in a number of offensive categories. What do the Lions need to do to get over the .500 mark this fall?
JG: All the above! Less turnovers. Better rebounding. Play more physical. Better team defense and we need to push the ball up the floor more.
I have no doubt that this is going to be a special season for SAGU because we have a new system under Coach (Donnie) Bostwick that covers all those areas.
Southwestern made 269 of 741 tries beyond the arc, a .363 success rate that was second in the Red River Athletic Conference to LSU-Shreveport’s .364. Of SAGU’s 62 shots per game, 24 were three-point tries.
The top four Lions to make it rain, and their percentage, included: Gibson 103 (.390), Horne 91 (.361), Peter Dutton 29 (.345), Matt Allbritton 24 (.414).
Opponents Seeing Red
Gibson had success against all eleven teams in the RRAC. The graph below includes St. Thomas, who will join the Red River this fall. It reveals the number of threes made and attempted in each game against those twelve teams. Each teams’ won-lost record is also reflected.
|OPPONENT||W-L||GAME TOTALS||COMBINE TOTALS|
|Langston University||4-23||4-5, 5-10||9-15 .600|
|University of the Southwest||16-14||3-6, 6-14||9-20 .450|
|Jarvis Christian College||14-18||3-10, 5-8||8-18 .444|
|Bacone College||14-15||3-9, 5-12||8-21 .381|
|Texas Wesleyan University*||30-4||1-4, 2-5, 5-12||8-21 .381|
|Wiley College||16-15||3-5, 4-5||7-10 .700|
|Huston-Tillotson University||4-27||4-12, 3-13||7-25 .280|
|LSU-Shreveport||30-4||4-8, 2-7||6-15 .400|
|Texas College**||1-27||4-8, 2-7||6-15 .400|
|Our Lady of the Lake University||23-10||4-6, 2-11||6-17 .353|
|Paul Quinn College||21-11||1-5, 3-7||4-12 .333|
|University of St Thomas||13-14||0-4, 4-12||4-16 .250|
*includes third game during the RRAC tournament
**TxC finished third in the regular season before forfeiting all but one win prior to the RRAC tourney