Monday, February 15, 2010

Mike Mercer and South Florida Struggle from Behind the Arc

Mike Mercer has scored on some highlight-reel style dunks lately. However, he is just 1 of 17 from three-point range in Big East play.

South Florida is 5 and 7 in the conference, and for Stan Heath's team to make it into the NCAA Tournament, they'll have to hit at least a few from long range, and hope to go on some kind of streak. As it stands, the team is shooting just 22 percent from behind the arc.

Mercer's problem, in my opinion, is that he has gone back to his old shooting style. Coach Felton gave Mercer a drill in which he had to shoot the ball with one hand, over and over, until he could make baskets from the foul line and beyond. Mercer accepted the instruction, and in one game in the Dominican Republic, Mercer shot 8 three-pointers, if memory serves me.

Unfortunately, the lessons from the drill didn't stick. From what I could see on ESPN 360, Mercer has reverted to his high school shooting form, a Vern Fleming type knuckle ball, shot from across his body. Mercer shoots it with lots of arc, but not nearly enough accuracy.

Good to see that his knees are holding up. If he can get them to full strength again and square his elbow to shoot the ball, he might be able to continue playing basketball after his eligibility at the college level ends later this year.

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