Vols senior guard Lamonte Turner placed himself in the 1000-point club after the 76-41 win Turner joined guys like Grant Williams, Chris Lofton, and Jordan McRae in the club. Reaching the 1000-point club is an impressive feat for any player to accomplish. However, it’s even more meaningful for guys like Turner and Jordan Bowden who haven’t been the go-to guys.
Yet, even the milestone can’t hide the fact that Turner’s shooting woes have us searching for answers.
Turner is shooting a career-low 31.5% from the floor, including another career-low 20% from three-point range. He’s just 4-for-20 from deep this season, which is unthinkable with Turner’s shooting ability.
Don’t worry, this isn’t the new norm.
Just like every other player on the roster, Lamonte is in a different role this season. It’s almost impossible to find exact numbers, but I would feel comfortable saying 75% of Turner’s minutes came at the shooting guard position last season.
This year, it’s flipped. Turner is playing basically all of his minutes at point guard.
I’m not suggesting just because it’s a new role, we should expect shooting woes. But, Turner is taking different shots this season.
Simply put, he is playing a different game.
Last season, Turner only attempted 3.75 2-point attempts with only 51 trips to the free throw line. This season through 4 games, he’s added nearly 5 more attempts per game and has connected on 13-of-21 free throws.
As the point guard, Turner has to bring the ball up the court, control the tempo, and create offense for his teammates. He doesn’t have many opportunities to spot up around the 3-point line.
However, I don’t believe the poor shooting will continue.
There was a stretch of games last season from mid-February through mid-March, where Turner shot 14.8% from deep. The Vols dropped 3 of their 6 losses during that stretch.
But, Turner was able to turn it around, and in the final four games of the season, he shot 46.2% from deep. 46.2% is awfully high, but Lamonte has the ability.
Turner can turn his shooting woes around. Finding his shot will apply more pressure to opposing defenses, which will only help the Vols’ younger players as the season moves along.
Just as Turner has settled into his role as a facilitator quite nicely, he will find his shot and help the Vols win a close game or two, or maybe six.