As a West Coast kid who grew up rooting for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (though not necessarily the Lakers as a team) and Georgetown University, there’s only one thing worse than having three die-hard Celtics fans and one die-hard Duke fan in the office: That’s having three die-hard C’s fans and two die-hard Duke fans.
In the midst of more unprovoked J.J. Redick slurping, I threw out an unpopular opinion: Salim Stoudamire at Arizona was a better shooter than Redick at Duke.
Of course the Blue Devils in the room called me crazy, but check the numbers:
* In four years of college, Stoudamire hit 45.8 percent of his three-pointers, while Redick hit 40.6 percent. From the field, Stoudamire was a career 47.1 percent shooter, while Redick made 43.3 percent of his tries.
* Redick does have a better free-throw percentage (91.2 to 87.0), but Stoudamire’s best single season was better than Redick’s best. As a senior, Stoudamire hit 50.4 percent from the field and an identical 50.4 percent beyond the arc while making 91.0 percent of his freebies. Redick’s best shooting year, also his senior season, saw him hit 47.0 percent from the field and 42.1 percent from deep.
I’ve watched both shooters in person — though Redick I’ve only seen up-close as a pro. In college, Stoudamire was like Ray Allen or Michael Redd; every time he released his jumper, you assumed it was going in. One of the times I watched Stoudamire live, he actually had a bad night, going something like 2-for-15. But when you watch a shooter, you can tell they’re great, even if that night isn’t their night. Redick was dangerous, no doubt, but Stoudamire was a machine.
Of course, Redick blows Stoudamire out of the water as a pure scorer — he finished his Duke career as the ACC’s all-time leader in points — and has more total threes because he attempted a lot more shots with Duke’s offense basically being run solely for him for at least two years of his career. Redick plays a more complete game, which is why he’s been able to stick in the NBA while Stoudamire is in and out of the League. (Stoudamire is also the size of a small point guard with a two-guard’s game.)
Redick is a better player. But as a pure shooter, I’d take Stoudamire.
What do you think?