Quentin Hillsman has said he wants Syracuse to shoot 30 3-pointers every game. He said he hopes for 10 makes from beyond the arc every time out.Syracuse’s route to reaching those numbers hasn’t always looked efficient on paper. The Orange shoots just 30.8 percent from distance. Even when SU’s players miss shots, Hillsman urges them to keep shooting, and for good reason.The Orange (17-5, 5-4 Atlantic Coast) ranks third in the country with 679 3-pointers attempted, ninth with 209 made 3-pointers and 11th with 9.5 made 3s per game. But Syracuse ranks 209th in 3-point field goal percentage at 30.8 percent. But, its effective field goal percentage bears out a much more productive offensive team.Effective field goal percentage accounts for the fact that 3-pointers are worth 50 percent more than 2s. Thirty-three percent from 3 equals 50 percent from 2. So for Syracuse, the amount of 3s it attempts are bound to make the Orange more effective scoring than the simple percentages.Syracuse has tallied a 48.5 effective field goal percentage on the season. That’s higher than its 41.1 percent overall from the field.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSometimes, the strategy to keep shooting it from deep backfires. Against N.C. State on Jan. 14 and Miami on Jan. 18, Syracuse made nine 3s, near its season average. But against the Wolfpack, SU missed 20 3s and the Orange went on to miss 26 3s against the Hurricanes. The Orange lost both those games.“It doesn’t matter how many shots I miss, he’s gonna tell me to keep shooting,” Gabrielle Cooper said on Nov. 28.In the long run, the strategy pays off for the Orange. Percentages that on paper look putrid from inside the arc can still be somewhat effective from deep. Tiana Mangakahia makes 26.2 percent from deep, Digna Strautmane makes 22.6 percent from 3 and Isis Young makes 29.2 percent from downtown. But all three are firmly above 40 percent in effective field goal percentage, much more bearable because of the frequency with which they shoot the 3-ball.Against then-No. 11 Florida State on Jan. 7, Syracuse took 20 3s in the first half. It made just five. That 25 percent from 3 equates to a still unimpressive 37.5 percent from two. But SU didn’t shy away from letting it fly in the second half. The Orange shot 16 second-half 3s and made eight on the way to an upset victory. Miranda Drummond made 3-for-8 from 3 in the first half but then was a perfect 5-for-5 in the second half.In every game except a loss to then-No. 5 Mississippi State, Syracuse has shot more 3s than its opponent. Sometimes, the hot shooting comes in the first half, unlike the game against FSU.Against Pittsburgh, SU shot 8-for-14 in the first half from distance. But the Orange only made 2-of-16 in the second. The power of the 3 had already done the necessary damage, though. A 13-point halftime lead proved too much for the Panthers to overcome, and 24 of SU’s 44 point in the half came from beyond the arc. Cooper went 4-for-6 from 3 in the first half and then missed all four attempts from deep in the second.“When I get the ball, I try to get the ball up there and do what I do,” Gabrielle Cooper said on Nov. 28, summing up Hillsman and SU’s strategy.The Orange takes and makes almost as many 3s as any team in the country. But the rate at which SU makes them is mediocre, at best. By sheer volume of attempts and conversions, though, Syracuse makes up for that mediocrity with an absolute ferocity with which it stands by the 3-ball.“Hoping for the day that they could start knocking down some more of those 3-point shots,” Hillsman said on Nov. 28. “I think it’s gonna change the whole complexion of the way we play.” Comments Published on January 29, 2018 at 10:25 pm Contact Billy: firstname.lastname@example.org | @Wheyen3 Facebook Twitter Google+
“We are not quitters,” head coach Brett Masi said after the match. “It just shows the amount of heart and desire that these guys have, and [our] never — say — done mentality.” Later, during an intense semifinal against then-No. 13 Michigan, USC fell into a 3-1 hole with its only point coming from Smith. Once again, the Trojans did not back down, as Dostanic, Jackson and Cukierman won their matches to deliver the Trojans a 4-3 victory. “Winning the national indoors definitely is something that’s a goal, and they are going to look at it and [say], ‘This is a super special moment,’” Masi said. “The way we won it and how we did it, that just builds us and gives us more and more confidence.” After defeating Michigan, USC faced then-No. 5 North Carolina in the tournament’s finals. The Tar Heels were coming off an impressive victory against Ohio State, sweeping the Buckeyes 4-0. The men’s team will now look ahead to weekend matches against Army and Air Force at Marks Stadium while the women’s team will prepare to face San Diego State and UCSD Friday and Saturday on the road. In the quarterfinals, the Trojans faced a familiar foe in the No. 8 Stanford Cardinal, who the Trojans easily handled 6-1 earlier this season. USC repeated the performance Saturday, winning 4-0. USC took its top players to the competition: then-No. 1 junior Daniel Cukierman, No. 15 sophomore Mor Bulis, No. 24 senior Brandon Holt, No. 33 senior Riley Smith, No. 65 freshman Stefan Dostanic, No. 69 freshman Ryder Jackson and sophomore Bradley Frye all traveled to Madison. Masi said he thinks the win will provide a confidence boost for the squad. In the Round of 16 Friday, USC had a minor scare during a match against then-No. 11 TCU. The Trojans dug themselves into a 2-1 deficit early, with their lone point coming from Dostanic. Fortunately for USC, Smith, Bulis and Cukierman all fought back, winning the match 4-2. Up 3-2, the Trojans only needed one more win to take the matchup; however, the team failed to cement the victory. Van Alphen lost to No. 122 junior Ally Bojczuk, 6-4, 3-6, 1-6, and Jaeger lost in a tight match against redshirt sophomore Julia Lilien, losing a tiebreaker in the final set, 6-3, 4-6, 6-7 (3). In singles, the Trojans started off slow as Holt retired in his match against Blumberg because of illness, which tied up the score 1-1. This didn’t faze the Trojans. Cukierman, Dostanic and Bulis all proceeded to win in straight sets against their opponents, winning the final 4-1. In doubles play against UNC, it came down to the wire as the two teams were tied 1-1. The No. 58 partnership of Cukierman and Smith was able to seal the deal against UNC senior William Blumberg and sophomore Brian Cernoch in a tiebreaker 7-6 (5). The USC men’s tennis team traveled to Madison, Wis., this past weekend and triumphed over some of the toughest competition in the country to take home the ITA National Team Indoor title. Over 1,300 miles away, the then-No. 19 USC women’s team fell to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at the USTA College MatchDay event in Orlando, Fla. Senior Riley Smith paired with junior Daniel Cukierman to help deliver the Trojans the ITA National Team Indoor Championship. (Daily Trojan File Photo) While the men’s team competed in Madison, the women’s team faced off against Notre Dame as part of the USTA’s College MatchDay event. USC freshmen Eryn Cayetano and Payton Saca; sophomores Estella Jaeger and No. 119 Danielle Willson; and seniors No. 108 Sydney Van Alphen and No. 15 Angela Kulikov represented USC at the event. In a hard-fought match, USC fell 4-3 to the Irish. The Trojans went up early, winning the doubles point thanks to the partnerships of Jaeger and Willson and Cayetano and Kulikov. However, in singles play, the Irish came back, quickly winning two points in a row as Saca and Willson both fell. Still, the Trojans were relentless, as Cayetano beat junior Cameron Corse in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3, and Kulikov won in similar fashion against senior Zoe Spence, 6-4, 6-2. “Inspirational, one-of-a-kind, never seen anything like it,” Masi said. “We were very sick, we have injuries, we have everything, [but] every guy on the team stepped up and did their part, and if it wasn’t for that courageous effort, we don’t get it done [today].” Last week the men’s team experienced its fair share of ups and downs. After ranking No. 1 in the nation, the Trojans lost to the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes. USC bounced back during its next match against Wisconsin and presumably hoped to carry the momentum from that win into the ITA National Team Indoor Tournament, an event the Trojans hadn’t won since 2012.