Preview: Lamar

Lamar Cardinals

2012-13: 3-28 (1-17 Southland)
In-conference offense: 0.84 points per possession (10th)
In-conference defense: 1.08 points allowed per possession (10th)

In College Basketball Prospectus 2010-11, I criticized coach Pat Knight for taking a short Texas Tech team with shooting ability and running the "Bobbiest" Bob Knight offense that he could, in large part treating the space outside the 3-point line as lava. I said that if he tried to do the same thing again, the results would be disastrous. He did (just 26.5 percent of TTU's attempts were 3s that season), and they were (the Red Raiders went 13-19). Knight was fired.

Projected starting lineup

Knight has taken his act to Lamar, and although his team saw some success in his initial season thanks to a talented group of seniors, his second season was rough, as Lamar went 3-28. And while the roster was fairly inexperienced, it's hard to see how X's and O's did not play a significant role. A little under 11 percent of Lamar's field goal attempts were 3s, the lowest such number in the nation.

Suffice it to say, this is no way to win basketball games. During every season, we hear commentators complain about how the game has gotten slower and scoring is down, all of which is true to some degree. But these facts are not indications of skill or strategy deficits, but rather the byproduct of teams hunting 3-point shots. The 3-pointer is a valuable weapon, and coaches everywhere are chewing up shot clocks as players seek out long-range attempts.

Meanwhile, Knight has his team playing like it's still 1986. As a result, it's difficult to envision the 2013-14 season ending well for Knight and the Cardinals.

Projected 2013-14 conference finish: 11th