Garrett Hines agrees he and Josh Peters were a bit spoiled last season by having an all-encompassing point guard the likes of Kael Combs setting them up for 3-pointers.
“Yeah, you could call it that,” Hines said.
With Hines and Peters getting all the open looks they could ask for, they in turn spoiled Nixa fans by both of them shooting at a 48-percent clip from 3-point land.
Hines’ .4809 percentage (63-of-131) and Peters’ .4807 percentage (75-of-156) rank them fourth and fifth among the Eagles’ single-season leaders for highest 3-point field goal percentage.
Among the Eagles’ top 10 most accurate bombers, no one had as many 3s as Peters.
As seniors this season, Hines and Peters aren’t anticipating making a run at 2015 Nixa grad Dawson Mills’ school-record .534 3-point percentage (62-of-116).
With Combs playing college ball in Wyoming, Hines and Peters will be primary scorers this time around and as such will be the main focus of opposing scouting reports. Taking everything into consideration, they’re not expecting to again shoot 48 percent from beyond the arc.
“We've already talked about that,” Peters said. “Kael set us up almost every time for our 3-pointers. Without him to distribute, it's going to be a lot harder for us. Also, guys know me and Garrett can shoot the 3 now. Having our shots contested, (the defender) is going to alter our shots and our percentage will go down.”
“We know what it's like to shoot with a hand in our face. It's something we’ve got to be ready for,” Hines said. “The main thing is we're probably going to be taking more shots in general. When that happens, your percentage naturally drops. We're still looking to shoot it well this year. I think (a percentage in the) 40s is definitely reasonable.”
If things go as planned, Hines and Peters will see all their other numbers on the rise. Peters averaged 12.6 points a game and Hines 9.2 last season.
They certainly look the part of players ready to shoulder more of a scoring burden. Both have added muscle in preparation of being more physical.
“They have noticeably gotten stronger,” coach Brock Blansit said. “They’ll have the chance to show out. The ball is going to be in their hands more than it was last year. They're going to have to find other ways to score. Both of them are going to have to get to the free-throw line more. They did not get to the free-throw line enough last year. I think Josh only shot (32) free throws. That's not nearly enough. That number has to at least be doubled.
“People are going to guard him tight at the 3-point line, so one thing we've focused on is Josh getting to the basket and getting fouled,” Blansit added. “It's something Josh is very capable of. He's athletic, can jump and got a lot of quickness. He is going to get to the basket and hopefully finish through contact.”
“Driving is one of the things I've tried to get better at,” Peters said. “In our jamboree, I had most of my points at the free-throw line. So, I've started off better so far than last year.”
Combs supplied Nixa with a whopping 163 points on free throws, or an average of 5.6 points game, while attempting 212 free throws last season.
Like Peters, Hines will try to draw fouls and help fill what appears to be a gaping void.
“I'm going to try to have more of an all-around game, rather than sit there and just shoot 3s,” said Hines, who was 12-of-20 on free throws last season. “I still want to (shoot 3s). But I'm looking forward to getting to the hole more, get some mid-range going and maybe (draw) some fouls."