Part VIII: Duke Shooters of the Decade

This is the eighth in a series of Duke’s All-Decade teams, as named by various Chronicle writers, past and present. At the end of the series, you will be able to vote for your own All-Decade team, and your votes will determine The Sports Blog’s final choice. Stay tuned over the next two weeks for more All-Decade choices.

Generic Script

As part of the Chronicle’s ongoing effort to rank anything that can be quantified regarding Duke Athletics, especially Duke Basketball, I am unveiling, today, a ranking of the best pure shooters of the past decade.

Now, this ranking represents more than just me scrolling through the statistical archives and selecting the highest field goal percentages of the last ten years—sorry Carlos Boozer, Shelden Williams, Casey Sanders and Brian Zoubek. Factors including field goal percentage, three point accuracy, free throw percentage and ability to hit the big shot down the stretch were all taken into consideration.

This listing is being put together to honor those players that represent what Duke Basketball has come to stand for: a bunch of guys that can absolutely stroke jump shots.

So, in tribute to “buckets,” “yes,” “money,” “swish,” “he’s on fire, baby” and all other corny expressions that color commentators have invented over the years to describe it when a player is really pouring ‘em in, here it goes:

Jay Williams

This is a pretty easy pick. The 2001 National Champion and Wooden Award winner in 2002 put fear in opposing fans’ hearts whenever he rose up for a 3-pointer. Over his three year career, Williams was just barely under 40 percent from deep, pretty impressive for a guy that hoisted a lot of treys. The only knock on this guy would be his uncharacteriscally low free throw percentage, 67.0, which we know could prove problematic.

Mike Dunleavy Jr.

Dunleavy was another guy that bolted for the NBA draft a year before his eligibility expired. But, the eventual No. 3 overall pick got plenty accomplished in a Blue Devil uniform. In his last season, he shot 48 percent overall and 38 percent from downtown and hit some pretty crucial shots during that 2001 title run.

Daniel Ewing

Ewing is one of the more overlooked Dukies of the last decade. While the Texan came in very highly touted, his time as a Blue Devil overlapped that of a lot of Duke greats (Boozer, Dunleavy, Williams, Redick, and Chris Duhon). But, in his four years, he shot the 3-ball at over a 40 percent clip in all of his seasons and was also stellar from the charity stripe.

J.J. Redick

Redick is the guy that your eyes shot down this list looking for as soon as you read the post's title. Plain and simple, this guy is one of the best 3-point shooters in college basketball history. The sharpshooter from Roanoke, VA. finished up as the Division I all-time leader in 3-point field goals made with 457. Also, at one point he set an ACC record by making 54 free throws in a row. His senior year, he captivated the country averaging 26.8 points a night on his way to both the Wooden and Naismith Awards. Need any more proof of his excellence, just ask Texas or Georgetown—both were victims of 41-point performances.

Jon Scheyer

Scheyer is almost as accurate from 3-point range (40 percent) as he is from the floor (41 percent). Beyond averaging over 18 points a game so far in his senior campaign, what sets Scheyer apart is his 86 percent career mark at the free throw line, which puts him almost in Redick’s company.

Honorable Mention

  • Luol Deng: This McDonald’s All-American out of New Jersey via the British side of the pond didn’t stick around campus long enough to make the actual team. But, in his single season in Durham, he helped the Blue Devils to the 2004 Final Four and lead all ACC rookies in scoring and field goal percentage. For a freshman capable of scoring in many different ways, shooting just under 48 percent from the floor and 71 percent from the line isn’t shabby.
  • Lee Melchionni: While the former walk-on’s numbers were never eye-popping and he wasn’t actually all that impressive from a percentage standpoint (39 percent from the floor and 37 percent from three for his career), his penchant for hitting big threes when Duke needed them most solidifies his spot in this group.
  • Kyle Singler: While I’m skeptical as to whether he has the range to ever be an effective player at the next level, halfway through his third collegiate season, Singler has done enough to almost make the team. Singler can score with his back to the basket or from long range and has shot close to 45 percent while in a Blue Devil uniform.


Share and discuss “Part VIII: Duke Shooters of the Decade” on social media.