For those who follow the offseason on Twitter or the Rumble, you know that sophomore transfer Max Hooper has been tweeting about his shooting exploits in practice. And they are impressive - hitting 85% of his shots on many occasions per the photographs, not leaving the gym until he's hit 500 shots (per the New York Post's solid profile of Max Hooper).
In these workouts - and in his high school highlight reel - he looks like a deadeye shooter. I mean, watch this.
Hard work in lonely offseason gym sessions will hopefully pay off for the Red Storm, who need the help.
You probably know this, but St. John's didn't shoot the ball well last year, connecting on 27% of their threes on the season (343rd in the nation out of 347 teams) and taking threes on 22% of their attempted field goals (341st in the nation).
The Johnnies were last in Big East play in three point shooting percentage (25%) and in three-pointers attempted (25%), and had the second-worst offense in the league.
So having the three-point weapon on the bench could only help, right?
The Johnnies had a three-point weapon in Marc-Antoine Bourgault. They still do. But Bourgault struggled in limited minutes and perhaps with confidence. He saw real minutes (and starts) in the early February period where D`Angelo Harrison started to falter on the court and off, saw a lot of the bench, and saw more minutes against Marquette in the regular-season finale, when Steve Lavin was running out of players to play (and brought out walk-on David Lipscomb).
The Johnnies had a three-point weapon in D`Angelo Harrison, who shot 37% from outside the arc his freshman year. But he has had well-publicized issues being a good member of the team and was booted. The NY Post updates us that he is on his way back, but it's important to note that on what should have been a better St. John's team, he shot below 32% on his treys.
There's more to three-point shooting than in-practice ability. And some of that has to do with the team being willing and able to find shooters at the right time and with the right pass to take advantage of a quick trigger.
Will that quick trigger of Max Hooper be able to find the right spots on the floor? Will Hooper be able to find the right spots if the rest of the offense doesn't improve? Will the screen-and-jump shot offense of the guards be conducive to locating a talented shooter?
The hype for Hooper is there and it is catching. But it takes a team to activate a shooting weapon on the wing.