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Top 10 NCAA Shooting Teams Halfway Through Season

Posted by Noah Basketball on Jan 28, 2021 4:00:36 PM

As the NCAA men’s basketball season continues to roll on towards the Big Dance in Indiana this year, we wanted to highlight the top ten shooting teams in the NCAA, as well as some teams to watch in the upcoming weeks. Conference play proves to be a gauntlet for some teams, and for others, their fiery ways prior to league play have continued. Here’s the list of the top ten shooting teams in the NCAA right now.

10. Tennessee

Starting this list at number 10 are Rick Barnes’ Volunteers. Rocky Top continues to light it up as Jaden Springer, Victor Bailey, and Yves Pons led the Vols to a 9-1 record, shooting 46.5 percent from the field, 75 percent from the free throw line and an average of 77 points per game. The favorites in the SEC bounced back from an early conference loss to Alabama with wins over upstarts Arkansas and Texas A&M. Tennessee looks to keep up their winning ways in the coming weeks, despite losing a few games due to COVID-19.

9. Illinois 

Next on this list is the Fighting Illini of Illinois. Despite their recent struggles defensively, Illinois still boasts a 50.9 field goal percentage on the year, as well as a rising 3-point percentage. Junior guard Ayo Dosunmu leads the team with an average of 21.7 points per game, and his sidekick, Kofi Cockburn, the 7’0” center, just behind him at 17.4. The Illini look to overcome their recent losses to Ohio State and Maryland in order to solidify their place as one of the top teams in the B1G. 

8. Texas

Shaka Smart’s Longhorns come in at number 8 on this list. As one of the best teams in the country this year, Texas looks like they can run the table in the Big 12 and beyond. Despite a heartbreaking loss on the road to Mac McClung and the Texas Tech Red Raiders, the Longhorns sit at 10-2 and shoot 45 percent from the field. Led by junior guard, Andrew Jones, and star freshman, Greg Brown, Texas looks to bounce back in a big way leading up to their marquee matchup at home against Baylor on February 2. 

7. Virginia

At number 7 we have the Virginia Cavaliers. Tony Bennett’s squad shoots 49.7 percent from the field and an even better 79.8 percent from the free throw line. Senior forwards Jay Huff and Sam Hauser lead the way in terms of scoring for the team. The two will look to further light up the nets as Virginia tries to defend its national title from 2019. 

6. Villanova

Jay Wright’s Wildcats reside at number 6. Shooting almost 48 percent from the field, Villanova once again is proving why they belong in the conversation as one of the best teams in all of college basketball. Former McDonald’s All-American and IMG Academy standout Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, along with senior guard Connor Gillespie, lead the team in scoring, averaging 15.4 and 16.0 points per game, respectively. The Wildcats lead the Big East as we near the end of conference play, and should pose as a force to be reckoned with come tournament time.

5. Creighton

Stellar guard play helped land Creighton in the 5th spot on our list. With 3 guards averaging over 10 points per game, the Bluejays currently trail only Villanova in the Big East. Coming off of a tough road loss to Butler in overtime, the Jays still shoot 49.4 percent from the field and 38 percent from 3. With a few weeks to go until their matchup with the Wildcats, Creighton looks to get even more production from their guards and bounce back strong from their recent loss. 

4. Iowa

The Iowa Hawkeyes come in considered by many to be the best team in college basketball, yet they appear at number 4 on this list. Wooden Award favorite, Luka Garza, continues to put together yet another stellar season in black and yellow, averaging a whopping 26.9 points per game. The team averages 92.2 points per game and shoots 49.4 percent from the field. The Hawkeyes potent offense allows for their positioning as a potential 1 seed in Indiana. With Garza on the floor, it is hard to count them out down the stretch. 

3. Baylor

The best team in the Big 12 all year, the Baylor Bears, comes in at number 3. At 13-0, coach Scott Drew’s team looks primed to make a deep run in this year’s tournament. Experienced guard play and production from the entire team are the keys to success for the Bears, as they boast a shot percentage of 50.4 percent from the field and 42.6 percent from behind the arc. Led by Auburn transfer guard Davion Mitchell and guards MaCio Teague and Jared Butler, Baylor finds themselves in a perfect position to run the table in the conference. The team hosts Oklahoma State and Cade Cunningham on January 23, the unpredictable Auburn Tigers on January 30, and 3 days later travel to Austin to take on the Longhorns. All 3 of these games should give us a clearer picture of the Bears’ validity atop many of the rankings. 

2. Michigan 

At #2 on this list, the Michigan Wolverines. Juwan Howard’s team continues to dominate, averaging 51.4 percent from the field and 77 percent from the free throw line. The team dominates the paint as their leading scorer, freshman center Hunter Dickinson, averages 15.7 points per game. Despite an ugly loss to Minnesota, the Wolverines bounced back with a convincing 87-63 win over Maryland. The win over the Terps should serve as a warning to the rest of the B1G that Michigan can overcome ugly losses with dominating wins. The fate of the B1G lies in the hands of March 4, as the Wolverines square off with Garza and the Hawkeyes. Until then, expect Michigan to continue feeding Dickinson down low and beating teams by double-digits. 

1. Gonzaga

The Gonzaga Bulldogs take the top spot on this list. This should come as no surprise as the Bulldogs are putting together a season that is turning heads across the country and makes them the perennial favorites heading down the home stretch towards March. The Bulldogs are shooting an impressive 55.4 percent from the field, and rising star guard, Jalen Suggs, looks ready to light it up for the rest of the year. Mark Few’s team lives for dominating wins and they’ve shown no signs of slowing down behind Suggs, Corey Kispert and the rest of the Gonzaga squad. 

Teams to Watch

Clemson- At 9-3, the Tigers are shooting up the rankings as an upstart team in the ACC. Led by senior forward Aamir Simms and sophomore guard Nick Honor, they look to build on their 42.3 percent from the field, as well as their 72.4 percent from the charity stripe. Look for Clemson to be a sleeper team headed into March and could turn some heads during the remainder of ACC play. 


St. Louis- The Bilikens of the Atlantic 10 conference have quietly put together a campaign that could turn heads come Selection Sunday. At 7-1, they currently shoot at a 51 percent clip from the field, with an impressive 41 percent mark from behind the 3-pt line. 

 

Belmont- The Bruins ride high at 13-1, with their lone loss coming at home early to Samford. Since the loss, Belmont caught fire, dominating their opponents, averaging 80 points per game and shooting 49.3 percent from the field. To sweeten their performance, the team shoots an impressive 74 percent from the charity stripe. Look for the Bruins in March as the favorite to win the Ohio Valley Conference once again. 

 

Drake- At 13-0, Drake currently boasts a 53 percent field goal percentage, as well as a 43 percent clip from behind the arc. The Bulldogs keep dominating teams on the offensive side, averaging 83.9 points per game, making them one of the most efficient teams in all of college basketball. 

 

Alabama- The lone remaining undefeated team in SEC play, the Crimson Tide, led by stellar play from Herb Jones and Jaden Shackelford, sit at 11-3 and are scoring about 80 points per game. After breaking the SEC record for most 3’s in a game, the Crimson Tide find themselves firmly in the driver’s seat heading down the home stretch. 

 

Sources 

https://www.sports-reference.com/cbb/seasons/2021-school-stats.html