It’s difficult to truly measure how much Fred Hoiberg’s ability to coach shooting has benefited his players.
Some guys – such as Melvin Ejim – have steadily improved long-term (i.e. their entire careers) under the watchful eye of Hoiberg. Others – like Naz Long – have enjoyed improvements with Hoiberg’s guidance in the middle of a season (like the current one).
What is obvious, however, is how much the improved shooting affects the win-loss column.
Take, for example, Long.
The sophomore blasted out of the starting blocks this winter, hitting 8 three pointers in the season opener. Long, in fact, made 52% (36-of-69) from long range in the first 12 games of the year. The Cyclones won every game.
When Big 12 play started, Long’s success rate fell off. He made 26% (13-50) of his three-point attempts in the opening 11 contests of the conference campaign. The Cyclones were 6-5.
Hoiberg began working with Long on his tempo and confidence a couple weeks back. Shots started falling. Iowa State started winning again.
In the last 4 games, Long has made half (10-20) of his 3-point tries. The Cyclones won each game.
Shooting well certainly leads to winning ways and Hoiberg’s acumen in teaching that skill is paying big dividends.