Duke Basketball: Jack White to get an early look at extended 3-point line

(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

Duke basketball co-captain Jack White will participate in the World University Games in Naples, Italy this summer, where he will get an advanced look at the extended 3-point line coming to NCAA Div-1 hoops next season.

When the World University Games tip off this summer, senior power forward Jack White will be the lone Duke basketball player lacing them up.  As a member of team Australia, White will join 10 other NCAA athletes from down under, while the USA will be represented by ACC foe Clemson Tigers.

While I’m sure the rest of the country has been hard at work stretching their 3-point range – it will be moved from 20 feet, 9 inches to 22 feet, 1 3/4th inches — this will be a prime opportunity for White to get some live game looks from the new FIBA range.

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When this was piloted for the NCAA during last year’s NIT tournament there was a slightly more than 2% drop in 3-pointers made – down to 33% from a season average of 35.2% – as the NCAA attempts to curtail the abundance of 3-pointers attempted as well as open up the lane for more driving and mid-range opportunities.

White’s struggle with the deep ball was well documented last year, including a migraine-inducing 0-28 stretch during ACC play, and likely led to his reduction of minutes down the stretch despite the mounting injuries around him.

Hopefully, some off-season work and the chance to take shots at game speed will pay dividends for the senior coming into the 2019-2020 season.  White can, and should, be an integral part of Duke’s line up if he can develop a reliable outside shot.

Think Matt Jones of the 2015 National Championship team.

Jones was a reliable, hard-working defender and rebounder who seemed to do the little things and hit the big shots when the team needed them.  He played about 21 minutes a game that year while averaging 6 points per.  This seems like a reasonable goal for White this year in a crucial sixth-man role as he comes in to give rest or relieve foul trouble for wings like Cassius Stanley and Wendell Moore.

If Vernon Carey Jr. draws Jahlil Okafor type doubles and is able to pass out of them with the same vision the 2015 big man did, the kick out three should be a devastating weapon for Duke this year.  This will require improvement from White, and returning point guard Tre Jones, but both seem to have the work ethic and mechanics to improve year over year.

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Add to that Matthew Hurt’s proven range and Stanley’s improving jumper and we could see it raining threes in Durham this season.