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Micah Mason’s Chance At An NCAA Record

If Micah Mason can do this at a high rate this upcoming season, he could be a NCAA record holder Photo by Keith Srakocic/AP

If Micah Mason can do this at a high rate this upcoming season, he could be a NCAA record holder
Photo by Keith Srakocic/AP

Playing the What If game will eventually drive you crazy, but let’s give it a shot anyway. What If Ron Everhart recruited Micah Mason out of Highlands High School in 2012? Would T.J. McConnell have stayed? Would a back court of T.J. McConnell and Micah Mason been successful? What If that saved Everhart’s job and he wasn’t fired? Would Micah Mason’s development path be any different?

Instead, Mason went to lower tier Drake University all the way in Iowa. As is common with many freshman, Mason was used sparingly, but when he was in he made the most of his time from beyond the 3-point line with a 50.6% season. When his POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome) flared up, Mason decided to transfer closer to home in order to get it under control. New coach Jim Ferry offered Mason a scholarship and scooped him up in a win-win scenario for both parties. Since it was a medically-cleared transfer, Mason didn’t have to sit out a season and lose a year of eligibility.

His sophomore season on the Bluff was not only record-setting, but record-smashing in terms of three-point percentage. Mason shot an incredible 56.0% (65 made/116 attempts). The second highest single-season record of three-point percentage was Courtney Wallace’s 2000-01 season of 44.1%. Big things were expected of Mason going into his pivotal junior year this past season.

Instead, there was some regression due to two factors: Coach Jim Ferry’s attempt to put the ball in the hands of his most sure-handed guard by making Mason the point guard and a decreased ability to create his own shot. His three-point percentage slumped to a number that mere mortals wake up in a cold sweat thinking about — 44.7%. This number was so bad that it is merely the second-highest three-point percentage in school history by only 0.6%. Once Mason flip-flopped with Derrick Colter and returned to the shooting guard spot, his game relaxed and he wasn’t trying to put a square peg in a round hole. Over his final ten A-10 games, Mason shot a more Mason-esque 35 of 71 from beyond the arc (49.3%).

So heading into his final year at Duquesne, Micah Mason now has a career aggregate three-point percentage of 49.2%. The career NCAA record-holder for three-point percentage is Tony Bennett (not the singer) of Wisconsin-Green Bay and he has held it since 1992 at 49.7%. If you’re looking for Tony Bennett today, he’s currently bludgeoning opponents’ will to live as the head coach of the Virginia Cavaliers.

With Mason, presumably, slotted in as the shooting guard, it’s realistic to expect things to return to normal in terms of his shooting. Combined with an improved squad in terms of depth and some heightened expectations for the 2015-16 season, all the pieces seem to be in place for Mason to take a run at the NCAA career record. The minimum standards are 200 3-pointers made and 2 per game, both of which Mason should have under control — he’s currently at 193 made in 86 games (2.24/game) — so it’s really just a numbers game to figure out a realistic shooting season for him.

While at Duquesne, Mason’s minutes have gone from 28.4/game in his sophomore season to 32.6/game in his junior year. With the advent of Rene Castro and the arrival of newcomer Josh Steel, it’s hard to see Mason’s minutes going up much next year. His three-point attempts went from 116 in his sophomore year to 197 last year; it’s safe to say that if the Dukes are going to be successful next year, Mason will be a big part of the offense, so let’s look at a range of three-pointers he will need over a range of attempts to break the record and set it at 49.8%.

Career To Date
193 392 49.2
2015-16 Range of Outcomes
97 190 51.1 49.8
102 200 51 49.8
107 210 51 49.8
112 220 50.9 49.8
117 230 50.9 49.8

As can be seen above, Mason’s going to need to put up a season from beyond the arc that starts with a “5” and preferably ends with a “1”. Yes, the upcoming season is filled with hope for Duquesne, but it’s not as if a trip to the NCAA Tournament is on the horizon. If Micah Mason can etch his name onto a NCAA record, while Duquesne puts up a winning season, that’s a win-win outcome for both the team and the player. It may be a second-tier record, but it’s still a record that Duquesne wouldn’t mind being attached to.

About Kevin Creagh (174 Articles)
Nerd engineer by day, nerd writer at night. Kevin is the co-founder of The Point of Pittsburgh. He is the author of Creating Christ, a sci-fi novel available on Amazon.

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