Everyone has heard Bill Self say it, “three pointers are fool’s gold” and I completely agree and here is why.
The thing that I believe a lot of people think he is saying is that he doesn’t like the three point shot, but that’s not at all what he is trying to tell us. The “fool’s gold’ isn’t the three pointers themselves, the “fool’s gold” is that if a team hits 14 or 15 shots from behind the arc in a game it can hide so many flaws. In games that Kansas hits 14 threes it makes everyone turn a blind eye to the fact they can’t guard the three point line and that they lack the aggressive nature that gets them to the free throw line (hence the lack of free throw shooting from this year’s team).
When teams are capable of hitting that many threes, then it more often than not causes them to settle for long shots and to become very one dimensional no matter if the shots are falling or not. The more shots that Kansas, or other teams for that matter can hit from deep the more they just settle for long shots on the offensive end, which I believe in turn causes them to settle on the defensive end. It causes teams to become less aggressive and become complacent with just shooting threes instead of driving to the basket. When you become complacent in one aspect of any game, it normally causes you to become complacent in all aspects of a game.
This year’s team has a major issue with three point shooting. Yes, they can hit them, but they also showed that they don’t know what to do if they can’t hit them. This Bill Self team isn’t like his teams in the past that could go cold shooting from distance but still grind out a 59-55 game, because they lack more than one dimension. This team has the mindset that if they shoot threes then all the other problems will just disappear. This team, to me, is the definition of “fool’s gold” and we have already seen it this year. They are lazy on defense, they can’t rebound, and they can’t gaurd the three point line. They rely on fixing any of their mistakes by hitting a three point shot on the other end, and that is just not how you can win big games.
The old saying “offense wins games, defense wins championships” is another example of why Self has been quoted saying that three point shots are “fool’s gold.” When it comes crunch time in March, the defense won’t go cold from the field and shoot 5-25 from three point range.
So the next time you hear Bill Self commenting about shooting threes, pay more attention to why he is saying it, instead of just getting upset because you like seeing three pointers.