Senior Scott Bamforth shoots 90% from the line. - Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Mid-major land holds claim to the nation's best shooting team.
If your college basketball nerdiness leads you to peruse stat lists and sports-reference.com like it does me, you would have seen this year's top shooting team comes from the Big Sky, the mid-major torch holder of the intermountain West. The Weber State Wildcats are hitting their stride, a year after saying goodbye to an all-time great.
As a junior, Damian Lillard shot 47 percent from the field and 41 percent from behind the three-point line for Weber State. One of the most efficient players of the 2011-12 season capitalized on his success and was drafted sixth overall by the Portland Trail Blazers.
Despite the loss of the player running away with the NBA Rookie of the Year race, Weber State still calls itself the best shooting team of the 2012-13 season.
As a team, Weber State shoots 51.2 percent from the field and 43.4 percent from behind the arc. In its last four wins, as Weber tries to track down the conference-leading Montana Grizzlies, it has shot 34-for-66 from deep, a blistering 51.5 percent.
The team's outside shooting efforts are led by leading scorer Davion Berry, the heir-apparent to Lillard. The junior-college transfer landed in Ogden, Utah as a childhood friend and AAU circuit-mate of Lillard's in Oakland. Berry has tallied 14.9 points per game on 50.4 percent shooting, including 44.4 percent from three.
While fellow starting guards Scott Bamforth (45.2, 44.1) and Jordan Richardson (49.0, 46.6) have helped scorch the nets from the outside, Weber State doesn't hurt itself when the guards throw it into the post either. Senior forward Frank Otis has been in the top ten of field goal percentage all season, and is currently shooting 64 percent from the floor.
Junior center Kyle Tresnak also converts on 56 percent of his tries from the post, making Otis and Tresnak a formidable scoring duo in the post.
After scuffling a bit early in the season against teams like San Jose State and Utah State, the Wildcats are hitting their stride at the right time. With an overall shooting proficiency -- and with the three-ball as the great equalizer of college hoops -- Weber State is a team most high-majors wouldn't want to see in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
If the Wildcats can actually go dancing, that is.