Assistant coach Gerry McNamara fueled Andrew White to break his single-season 3-point record
Jacob Greenfeld | Asst. Photo Editor
Before transferring to Syracuse, Andrew White had rarely been in a practice gym with a shooter better than himself. The All-Big Ten honorable mention player shot 41.2 percent from behind the arc last season at Nebraska.
His percentage dipped slightly in his lone season at Syracuse, but the quantity of his makes has increased. And when the ball swished through the net with 8:40 left in the Orange’s 90-77 win over North Carolina-Greensboro, White put himself atop SU’s record book for most 3-pointers in a season.
White broke SU assistant coach Gerry McNamara’s record, which stood at 107. Throughout the year, the two have battled in shooting contests, pushing White to his record-setting season, which now sits at 109 deep balls. McNamara is one of the few people who has shot better than White in a competition.
“I’m ashamed to say on camera, G-Mac has got me a lot in practice in competitive shooting,” White said. “… To have a coach in there 30-plus years old to beat you in shooting, that’s humbling. I think that’s helped me more than anything.”
No. 1 seed SU (19-14, 10-8 Atlantic Coast) rode White’s 34 points to a 13-point victory over the No. 8 seed Spartans (25-10, 14-4 Southern) in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament on Wednesday night in the Carrier Dome. White went 7-of-9 from behind the arc and finished with his second most points in a game this season.
Earlier in the year, White and McNamara held a competition in which each had to make five straight 3-pointers from a spot on the floor before moving to the next location. White made 35 straight. McNamara made 41.
“That was probably the most intense shooting competition I’ve ever done,” White said. “… To shoot 99 percent and lose, that’s tough.”
Playing in front of Syracuse’s worst crowd of the season, 4,288, White’s smooth 3-point delivery was one of the only things that regularly lifted fans to their feet. He hit back-to-back 3s less than eight minutes in to push Syracuse’s lead from one to seven. When UNCG inched back within two points, White hit another.
“Typical,” freshman forward Taurean Thompson said.
Jacob Greenfeld | Asst. Photo Editor
White’s next 3-pointer capped off a 12-0 SU run, which began when the Orange fell behind by one. All season long he’s been Syracuse’s go-to player and amid SU’s first win in a do-or-die situation, White once again rose to the occasion.
“He’s shooting the ball,” Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said. “When he gets going like that, he doesn’t miss many.”
After possessing a 10-point halftime lead, the Orange rolled to victory as UNCG never got closer than seven points in the second half. White was at the forefront of SU’s offensive attack as his teammates combined to shoot just 2-for-12 from behind the arc.
Now that White has placed himself in Syracuse’s record books, his place among SU’s best shooters can be debated. Boeheim compared him to Demetris Nichols, who played from 2003-07 and made 100 long balls in his senior season. Like White’s, Nichols’ final season ended in the NIT.
For the 16th time this season, White played the entire game. Without any eligibility beyond the Orange’s next loss, he knows his college career is winding down. And regardless of being in the wrong postseason event, he wants to end on a strong note, a note that’s been boosted by his competitions with McNamara.
“This is my tournament,” White said. “That’s sad to say but it is so I’m going to make sure I come out here and give my best effort.”
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Published on March 15, 2017 at 11:10 pm