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Why two jumpers from Paul Scruggs might be the most important thing ever for Xavier

With two flicks of his wrist, Paul Scruggs put Xavier’s season on an upward trajectory.

He’s a sniper now.
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Xavier’s point guards came into the Creighton game shooting a combined 5-42 from beyond the arc. That’s obviously a fairly easy scouting report to write and execute; just don’t worry about a Xavier point guard taking a jumper. Using the highly-advanced scouting software I have - Facebook videos and the screenshot function on my phone - I’m going illustrate why that’s a problem.

Here the Creighton defender is clearly under orders to let Paul shoot. Witness his posture; he look more like he’s fronting a post than closing out a shooter:

He’s clearly unperturbed about the idea of Scruggs shooting an uncontested three.

You’ll recall that Paul splashed that. Of course, one or two jumpers isn’t going to change a scouting report in the game. Witness here that Paul’s man is still about 20 feet off of him when Paul is at the arc:

Math don’t lie.

Even with another defender on that side for support, Scruggs’s man still leaves plenty of room for a catch-and-shoot situation to develop:

Trevon is also not interested in Paul shooting more jumpers.

Obviously, two threes aren’t going to change the scouting report on Paul Scruggs. If he can prove that he needs to at least be respected as a shooter, that will keep his defender from camping in the lane like the screenshots above show. In the bottom one, Tre is looking for the lob over the top to Big Sean, but it’s not there because of a Creighton double. The middle one ended in points when Tre hit Kaiser with a perfect pass while Paul’s defender just stood there and watched for some reason; most opponents won’t be so accommodating.

In the meantime, it’s clear that Xavier has identified ways to try to clear the PG from a position where his man can easily help and that both Scruggs and Goodin are working to force teams to check them.

I guess Paul’s gonna shoot 80% from deep from here on out.