USI coach Rodney Watson has said his team needs point guard Bobo Drummond’s 3-point shooting (in fact, he once wished the Eagles had had it last season, when Drummond was redshirted after he transferred to USI in the middle of the year). Well, it’s finally working out the way Watson had hoped.
The 5-foot-10 sophomore point guard leads the team with 12 3-point baskets — of the 18 he’s made overall — through five games. And 10 of those treys came in two games: his 5-for-12 performance from beyond the arc in the victory over Shorter University and his 5-for-10 effort in the win over Indiana East. For the season, Drummond is 12-for-32 (37.5 percent) from 3-point range.
But the Eagles need every bit of offense they can generate. George Edwards may be continuing his Aaron Nelson impersonation in the paint with his double-doubles, but you can bet that won’t continue come the GLVC portion of the schedule. Outside shooting appears to be the only constant offense on this team this season, and anybody who can hit 3-pointers with consistency isn’t a luxury but a necessity.
But there’s more to success than that, and Drummond knows what needs to be done. Play better defense, he says.
“Defense is our main focus,” he told me. “It’s one, two and three (in importance). Right now, our offense is a little ahead of our defense. But great teams I watch on TV, they don’t really rely on their offense; they rely on their defense. It’s about who wants to get down in a stance for 40 minutes on defense.”
He’s right, of course. USI is averaging 86.2 points. But it’s also giving up an average of 73.8. That won’t lead to much success in the conference. Digging further into the team stats, the Eagles have sunk 153 baskets — but have allowed 142. That’s not much of a difference. Neither is USI’s field-goal percentage of 46.9 percent and opponents’ FG average of 46.6 percent.
Keep hitting those field goals, but do it a little bit better, and also start getting more of a hand in the opposition shooters’ faces. The more separation USI gets in the number of baskets it makes compared to the number of baskets its opponent makes can only make winning easier.