When was the last time a Hog basketball team had any real success on the road? Sadly, you have to go back when the Hogs were "Rollin with Nolan."
The key ingredient to SEC road success
Talk to Nolan or "The Shootah," former sharpshooter Pat Bradley, and they will say you have to knock down some shots. The Hogs had a lot of problems Saturday at South Carolina and poor shooting was at the top of the list.
I can't include Marshawn Powell in the poor shooting discussion. Marshawn hit 9 of 14 from the floor including one three-pointer on his way to scoring a game-high 22 points. The rest of the Hogs went 12 of 47 from the floor, including a pathetic 1 of 15 from three-point range. I didn't chart it but I would guess that at least 10 of those attempts clanked off the front of the rim.
This was supposed to be a better three-point shooting team. Last season, Madracus Wade was one of the most accurate three-point shooters in the SEC. Prior to the season, Bleacher Report ranked sophomore BJ Young as the nation's 6th best shooting guard. Throw in a three-point specialist from Memphis, Anthlon Bell, and it's bombs away for the Hogs.
The mid-season returns are somewhere between troubling and horrific. Wade, who hit an SEC best 47.6 percent from three-point range last season, is 15 of 53 on three-point attempts. That works out to 28.3 percent. Young has shot 10 more threes than Wade and has made two less leaving him at 20 percent. Freshman Antlon Bell leads the Hogs with 19 three-pointers but he's attempted a team high 64 (29 percent).
The Hogs two best three point shooters are Marshawn Powell and Kikko Haydar. This pre-season, three point daily double would have generated a huge return at Oaklawn Park.
Look at the stats of the 1994 National Championship team and you'll see how many shooters Nolan had on that team: Scotty Thurman, Al Dillard, Davor Rimac, Dwight Stewart, Roger Crawford and Clint McDaniel; six Hogs who were capable of igniting a run - home or away - with a big three pointer.
As a team, the '94 Hogs shot 39 percent from three-point range. They hit 301 three pointers in the 1994 season. They were one of the most productive outside shooting teams in the country.
Better shooting = more road wins.