Saturday, August 30, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

The Pitonovan Three Ball Count

As coaches, Rick Pitino and Billy Donovan have cherished the three-pointer.

The Pitonovan Three Ball Count

We're going to go out on a limb and suggest you might see more than a few three-pointers in Saturday's first regional final (Louisville vs. Florida). And we have 28,440 reasons why.

That is the number of three-pointers attempted by college teams coached by either Rick Pitino or Billy Donovan, who will match wits (and gunslingers) in that game. They have made 10,435 (36.7%).

Surprisingly enough (or not, actually) the best three-point shooting percentage for any of these 38 teams is the one year in which they teamed up: Pitino's 1986-87 Providence Friars, who shot 42.1 percent from the (shortened) arc, with Donovan, Delray Brooks and Ernie Lewis combining for 634 of the teams' 665 attempts.

If Donovan's Gators (892 3FGA) toss up 15 three balls today, it will be the most 3FG attempts for either coach's teams in one season, surpassing the 906 launched by Pitino's 2004-05 Cardinals.

A year-by-year look at the three balls launched by Pitino- and Donovan-coached college teams:

  RICK PITINO BILLY DONOVAN
Season        School     3FG   3FGA Pct. School   3FG    3FGA Pct.
1986-87 Providence      280 665    42.1%
1989-90 Kentucky 281 810 34.7%
1990-91   242 715 33.8%
1991-92   317 888 35.7%
1992-93   340 862 39.4%
1993-94   301 857 35.1%
1994-95   276 736 37.5% Marshall    253 693 36.5%
1995-96   266 670 39.7%   284 712 39.9%
1996-97   287 777 36.9% Florida 254 680 37.4%
1997-98   285 712 40.0%
1998-99   289 762 37.9%
1999-00   266 732 36.3%
2000-01   256 668 38.3%
2001-02 Louisville 261 776 33.6%   232 658 35.3%
2002-03   272 752 36.2%   287 735 39.0%
2003-04   241 713 33.8%   249 661 37.7%
2004-05   361 906 39.8%   244 626 39.0%
2005-06   279 787 35.5%   289 738 39.2%
2006-07   250 751 33.3%   297 727 40.9%
2007-08   272 778 35.0%   272 749 36.3%
2008-09   305 827 36.9%   294 802 36.7%
2009-10   262 777 33.7%   203 648 31.3%
2010-11   309 854 36.2%   223 661 35.2%
2011-12   214 683 31.3%   342 892 38.3%
   Totals   5615 15584 36.0%   4819 12856 37.5%
Bob Vetrone Jr.
About this blog

Boop – who goes by Bob Vetrone Jr. when he is undercover or paying bills – has been at the Daily News since 1982, after working for five years at the Philadelphia Bulletin up to its closing. Along with helping to build the sports scoreboards most nights, he has had great input into the papers’ special sports pullouts – March Madness, Broad Street Run, Record Breakers, Greatest Moments – as well as its day-to-day, award-winning event coverage.

A 1980 graduate of North Catholic, he took some evening college courses. Those lasted right up until the first conflict with a Big 5 doubleheader.

His favorite books growing up were the NBA Guide and the Baseball Encyclopedia, which was, for all intents and purposes, the Internet before there was an Internet.

He has been immersed in sports statistics since the early 70s, when his father (long-time sports writer, broadcaster and the Daily News’ Buck The Bartender), would take him into the Bulletin newsroom overnight in the summer and let him update the Phillies statistics in a little, black spiral notebook. But things have changed tremendously in the decades since … He now uses a big, black spiral notebook.

To listen to Boop on 94WIP, click here.

Reach Bob at vetronb@phillynews.com.

Bob Vetrone Jr.
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