Trevor John’s shooting percentage in his early days wasn’t very impressive. But then again, what can one expect from a 3-year-old?
Even at a young age he loved shooting before an audience, one that appreciated his effort.
Now a graduate transfer at Drexel from Cal Poly, John’s shooting percentage is much better than when he first would take shots during halftime while attending the games of his brother Tyler, who is 6½ years older.
“Even at 3 years old he wanted to shoot," his father Jay said in a recent phone interview. "There was only a 10-foot basket, and he might make two of 50. But he learned how to get his body aligned, shoot it straight, and he kept doing it.”
Jay John says the fans would scream when his son would make one of those shots. His son has been hoisting up shots ever since.
“I have been shooting a basketball since I could walk,” Trevor said, laughing.
Trevor John, who is 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds, has grown up in basketball gymnasiums. His father is a former head coach at Oregon State whose assistant coaching stops included Butler, Oregon, San Francisco, Arizona and California, where he is now an associate athletic director.
These days, Trevor John is shooting much better than 2-for-50. His first and only season at Drexel finds him second in the Colonial Athletic Association in three-pointers made per game (3.3), and sixth in three-point accuracy (41.9 percent).
John is averaging 12.3 points per game for the 12-14 Dragons, who are 6-7 in the CAA. He should soon put himself in the Drexel record books. John has made 85 three-pointers. The school single-season record is 92, by Dominic Mejia in 2005-06.
This is the first time in his college career that John has received extended minutes.
At Cal Poly, he redshirted his first year and then averaged 4.5 minutes as a redshirt freshman, 3.1 as a sophomore and 9.0 minutes last season.
At Drexel, getting on the court hasn’t been a problem. John is averaging 32.4 minutes per game.
Last season he battled some injuries, which didn’t help his playing time, but John doesn’t criticize his former team, only saying, “there were sometimes the minutes didn’t go the way I wanted.”
One of his greatest contributions to the Dragons is how John has enabled them to spread the floor on offense, something that occurs when there is a deadly long-range shooter.
“He helps me a lot,” said 6-foot-9 junior Alihan Demir, who is averaging 14.3 points and 6.7 rebounds. “They can’t help off of him, and if they do, I will pass it to him and have him take the three. But most of the time they don’t leave him, so it makes it easier for me inside.”
After John received his degree in finance, he wanted to transfer to a university where he could not only pursue a master’s degree but also find more time on the court.
He wasn’t very familiar with Philadelphia, but there was a connection to Drexel: assistant coach Paul Fortier. During John’s first two years at Cal Poly, Fortier was an assistant there before joining Zach Spiker at Drexel in April 2016.
At last spring’s Final Four in San Antonio, Fortier ran into Jay John, who told him his son was looking to transfer.
“I told Jay that we needed a shooter,” Fortier said last week. “I knew Trevor could shoot, had court awareness and a high basketball IQ.”
Fortier also knew that John was a West Coast guy and that he was considering schools such as St. Mary’s and Nevada.
“I thought it would be a long shot for him to come East,” Fortier said.
John visited Drexel with his family and liked the school, the coaches and the players.
The one adjustment was getting used to the humid summer and much more frigid winter.
Cal Poly is located in San Luis Obispo, Calif., about midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco.
“It was a little bit of a shock with the humidity when I got here in the summer, that is no joke,” John said. “Where I was previously, it would be 72-75 [degrees], sunny with an ocean breeze even in February.”
Then again, he has adjusted to the climate the same way he has adjusted to defenses that attempt to stop him from shooting threes.
“As with anything, it is all about how you respond,” John said. “At the end of the day, Philadelphia is a fantastic city.”
John, who has also hit 28 of 29 free throws (.966) has brought much more than shooting to Drexel, although that is what will define him as a player.
“He is getting a good deal more minutes with us than his last stop and he has made the most of his opportunity,” said Spiker, now in his third season at Drexel. “He has a really good voice and is a good example in terms of his approach.”
That approach means continuing to work at his craft, always looking to perfect that smooth jumper even more.
John says before he puts his business acumen to use, he would like to play professionally. He won’t worry about that until after the season. For now, he is just savoring his one year in Philadelphia.
“With my coaches and teammates, I could not have imagined a better overall positive experience,” John said. “This has been a nice home away from home for me.”