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View Full Version : Justin Anderson, Virginia's success, and luck



JasonEvans
02-03-2015, 12:25 PM
I've been reading emails and board posts about All-ACC teams and even All-American teams and I keep on seeing Justin Anderson's name coming up. It is absolutely deserved. He's having an amazing season and is clearly a large part of Virginia's surprising success this season. It is pretty rare to see a guy improve the way Anderson has in his junior season, and it is all about his long-range shooting.

Anderson attempted almost 170 3-pointers in his first two seasons, a pretty large sample size from which to glean how good he was at long-range shooting. The verdict was not a good one. He was pretty bad at it, hitting just 30.3% as a freshman and 29.4% last year. That's bad. Then, out of nowhere, he goes to being a 50% three point shooter this season, tied for 11th best in the country. It is really rare for something like that to happen.

It is worth noting that, on the back of Anderson's 50% from three efforts Virginia is one of the top long-range shooting teams in the country thus far this season. They are hitting 38.9% of their threes, 32nd best in all of Division 1 basketball. After Anderson, their next 3 more frequent 3-point shooters are Brogdon (3.1 3FGA/game, hitting 37.9%), Perrantes (2.6 3FGA/game, hitting 34.6%), and Nolte (1.8 3FGA/game, hitting 20.0%). They are good outside shooters, but not exactly lethal. Anderson's otherworldly 50% while taking 4.4 3-pointers per game is really lifting the Virginia team.

But, based on what he has done in the past, one would think a big time regression to the mean is coming his way. I thought we might be seeing it when he was 1-6 against Duke, but then he bounces back with a 3-5 effort from long range against UNC. And it is not like Anderson has shown major improvement in other aspects of his game. The big change from last year's somewhat average player to this year's stud is that he has gone from being a poor 3 point shooter to a great one.

For example, look at his 2-point FG% this season as compared to his first two years.

this season 49.5%
last season 49.3%
freshman year 47.3%

It is basically the same. His rebounds, assists, steals, turnovers, you name it are all pretty steady (when normalized for minutes played). It is just his 3-point shooting that has suddenly jumped.

This isn't like Arizona's Derrick Williams, who attempted 16 3-pointers as a freshman (hitting 4 of them, 25%) and then suddenly started shooting more as a soph (42 of 74, 56.8%) and hitting a lot of his long-range shots. Nor is it like Christian Laettner, who had shown good 3-point touch in his first three seasons (38% but on a fairly small sample size of just 66 attempts) before turning into a 55% 3-point shooter as a senior. Anderson took a lot of threes his first couple seasons. We had seen him shoot 168 shots as a freshman and soph to come up with the conclusion that he wasn't very good from long range. So, where is this coming from!?!?

I don't know. If there was a PED that gave you better shooting touch from 20-feet, I'd say to open an investigation. But, seeing as there isn't, we just have to assume that Anderson spent a ton of time in the gym practicing his 3-point shooting and figured something out that had been holding him back in the past. One sign that he may have developed better touch on his shots is that his FT% has improved a bit this season. He hit 76.4% of his FTs as a freshman and then 71.6% last season. This year, he's at 80.6%, certainly an improvement, though nothing like the improvement we have seen in his 3-point shooting.

There is, of course, one other potential answer. Maybe Justin Anderson has just been super-lucky so far this year. Lets say that luck has allowed 10 of Anderson's threes that would have missed to instead get a better bounce and fall through the net this season (10 extra shots made over the course of 21 games is less than half a lucky bounce per game). Well, that would be the difference in Anderson hitting 50% of his threes and him hitting a much more reasonable 39.1% of his long-range shots. If luck does play a large role in Anderson's otherworldly long-range shooting, then Anderson may be due for some bad luck in the future. If he puts up a bunch of 1-5 and 2-7 kind of games from three over the course of the next month, we shouldn't be all that surprised.

Of course, a lot of folks thought Derrick Williams' three point shooting for Arizona was just luck a couple years ago. Everyone figured he was due for a run of bad games to make up for the crazy percentage he was hitting. Then he went out and hit 5-of-6 against Duke in the Sweet 16 to send us home. Of course, it is worth noting that (aside from that Duke game where he was scorching) Williams was pretty bad from 3-point range in his other final few games of the season. If you take out the Duke game, he was just 3-14 from three over his final 5 games at Arizona. That didn't stop Sacramento from drafting him with the #2 pick in the 2011 NBA draft. He's gone on to shoot a pitiful 29% from 3 in the NBA and his stats put him in the bottom third of all players drafted in the top half of the first round.

-Jason "not sure this had a point other than -- Justin Anderson's long range shooting is coming out of nowhere!" Evans

tbyers11
02-03-2015, 12:40 PM
I've been reading emails and board posts about All-ACC teams and even All-American teams and I keep on seeing Justin Anderson's name coming up. It is absolutely deserved. He's having an amazing season and is clearly a large part of Virginia's surprising success this season. It is pretty rare to see a guy improve the way Anderson has in his junior season, and it is all about his long-range shooting.

Anderson attempted almost 170 3-pointers in his first two seasons, a pretty large sample size from which to glean how good he was at long-range shooting. The verdict was not a good one. He was pretty bad at it, hitting just 30.3% as a freshman and 29.4% last year. That's bad. Then, out of nowhere, he goes to being a 50% three point shooter this season, tied for 11th best in the country. It is really rare for something like that to happen.

It is worth noting that, on the back of Anderson's 50% from three efforts Virginia is one of the top long-range shooting teams in the country thus far this season. They are hitting 38.9% of their threes, 32nd best in all of Division 1 basketball. After Anderson, their next 3 more frequent 3-point shooters are Brogdon (3.1 3FGA/game, hitting 37.9%), Perrantes (2.6 3FGA/game, hitting 34.6%), and Nolte (1.8 3FGA/game, hitting 20.0%). They are good outside shooters, but not exactly lethal. Anderson's otherworldly 50% while taking 4.4 3-pointers per game is really lifting the Virginia team.

But, based on what he has done in the past, one would think a big time regression to the mean is coming his way. I thought we might be seeing it when he was 1-6 against Duke, but then he bounces back with a 3-5 effort from long range against UNC. And it is not like Anderson has shown major improvement in other aspects of his game. The big change from last year's somewhat average player to this year's stud is that he has gone from being a poor 3 point shooter to a great one.


Justin Anderson's 3 pt shooting percentage this year (50%) is unsustainable. No one shoots THAT well from 3 for an extended period of time. Agree that some regression to the mean is probably coming.

However, his improvement has been through a lot of hard work. I was watching a Virginia game earlier this year and the announcers said that he shot at least 500 jumpers a day this summer. This article (http://www.si.com/college-basketball/2015/01/14/justin-anderson-virginia-cavaliers-acc) also talks about him being in Chicago in this summer and working with a basketball trainer who focuses on the biomechanics of the shot. Sounds kind of Chip Engellandesque. He has also focused on taking good shots. The article references Synergy data that he is at 1.791 PPP on no-dribble spot-up jumpers off a pass.

I am finding it very hard to dislike Virginia's players and I've always liked their coach. Definitely my 2nd favorite ACC team

BlueDster
02-03-2015, 12:43 PM
Interesting post, thanks! Of course, you might make the argument that Anderson may have had a bit of bad luck in either of the last two seasons, making his percentage a bit lower than his "true" ability. So, if he is lucky so far this year and had poor luck the last few years, this improvement could be even less impressive once his whole career is taken into account.

Billy Dat
02-03-2015, 12:43 PM
Cool Justise vs Justin head-to-head comparison from Saturday
http://www.draftexpress.com/article/Justise-Winslow-vs-Justin-Anderson-Video-Analysis-4809

captmojo
02-03-2015, 12:51 PM
I like his game. He's proof that hard work pays off. But, the entertainment of the week came from a different source, last night after the clock showed 0:00.
Our guys didn't want it.
There's a bad flu bug going around. Many of our players are sick.
Plantar Fasciitis.
Classes. (hahahhhah)
Referees were all against us.
Duke sucks. (?)
Meltdowns can be fun to watch, sometimes.
:)

Troublemaker
02-03-2015, 01:15 PM
This reminded me that UVA uses an electronic shooting aide that drills players to shoot the correct arc on shots. I wonder if that's played any role in Anderson's improvement.

DBR link: http://www.dukebasketballreport.com/2013/12/26/5244666/virginias-electronic-shooting-coach

Tony Bennett giving the product, called Noah's Arc, a plug: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBrGeKZOjm8

tux
02-03-2015, 01:19 PM
Cool Justise vs Justin head-to-head comparison from Saturday
http://www.draftexpress.com/article/Justise-Winslow-vs-Justin-Anderson-Video-Analysis-4809

Thanks for posting this.

I watched some of the UNC-UVA game last night. At one point, Anderson corralled a defensive rebound and headed up court with the ball and a full head of steam. I was thinking how much he looked like Winslow...

roywhite
02-03-2015, 01:20 PM
Cool Justise vs Justin head-to-head comparison from Saturday
http://www.draftexpress.com/article/Justise-Winslow-vs-Justin-Anderson-Video-Analysis-4809

For some reason, the video and the article didn't come through on the link, at least for me. Quick summary? (I'll take Justise in that comparison, by the way).

Gotta give Anderson credit for his hard work and improvement. That UVa team as a whole is physically imposing; they certainly hit the weights.

On Justise, absolutely love the plays where he goes Coast to Coast and scores! He had two of them in the UVa game, and they're a treat to watch and re-watch. Who have we had that could go coast-to-coast like Justise, off a rebound, or even better, a blocked shot or steal? This is not a long list, or at least I'm not getting many names. Grant Hill, Jabari Parker, Johnny Dawkins, Art Heyman....others?

tbyers11
02-03-2015, 01:24 PM
This reminded me that UVA uses an electronic shooting aide that drills players to shoot the correct arc on shots. I wonder if that's played any role in Anderson's improvement.

DBR link: http://www.dukebasketballreport.com/2013/12/26/5244666/virginias-electronic-shooting-coach

Tony Bennett giving the product, called Noah's Arc, a plug: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBrGeKZOjm8

My biggest take from that video is that Tony Bennett has really gone gray since September :D

CDu
02-03-2015, 02:44 PM
We had a bit of discussion in the UVa game thread about Anderson's shooting. If you look only at his games against "BCS" schools (i.e., teams that generally have a SF remotely capable of guarding him), Anderson is shooting 38.5% from 3pt range. In all other games, he is shooting 65%. In ACC play, he's shooting 39%. So he clearly hasn't shot as well (still good, but not otherwordly) when the competition increases.

Now, I don't know whether that is luck or whether it is just getting tons of open looks against nobodies. But I'd say that the 38-40% that we have seen in the more competitive games is more indicative of the type of shooter he now is. Still, that is a substantial improvement from his underclassman years, and it is largely attributed to the work he put in with a shot specialist this past summer.

jhmoss1812
02-03-2015, 03:52 PM
This is a really thoughtful post and I appreciate your insights. I think, ultimately, it's a combination of factors. I certainly don't want to discount the amount of work that Justin has put into his shot. He should be commended for that and his hard work is paying off. But I think it's a little smoke and mirrors too. He will not continue to shoot at a 50 % clip from 3 this season. There are too many good defenses in the ACC and he's the focal point for them now. Early in the season, he was not the primary focus for opposing defenses. That led to a lot of open looks from 3 and inflated his percentage. Now that he's becoming a focal point of the offense, the percentage will drop. However, I think his form looks significantly better than last year and he can be a 40 % 3-pt shooter for the year. We'll definitely need his prowess from 3 from here on out. If our 3 guards play like they did against Carolina (loved Perrantes hunting his shot more), then we will be an even tougher out than we already are.

devildeac
02-03-2015, 04:38 PM
Thanks for posting this.

I watched some of the UNC-UVA game last night. At one point, Anderson corralled a defensive rebound and headed up court with the ball and a full head of steam. I was thinking how much he looked like Winslow...

No way, man. The UVa guy on our right of the photo doesn't even make 2nd team all ACC 'Do Team and Justise has a national "nomination" for top 10 in the nation, IIRC. ;)

4716


4717

Bob Green
02-03-2015, 05:09 PM
...we just have to assume that Anderson spent a ton of time in the gym practicing his 3-point shooting and figured something out that had been holding him back in the past. One sign that he may have developed better touch on his shots is that his FT% has improved a bit this season. He hit 76.4% of his FTs as a freshman and then 71.6% last season. This year, he's at 80.6%, certainly an improvement, though nothing like the improvement we have seen in his 3-point shooting.



Two thoughts:

1. I definitely believe his improved shooting is more about his off season hard work in the gym than it is about luck. A lot of dedication is required to be good at something.
2. There will be some regression as the season progresses because as several earlier posters have pointed out 50 percent is unsustainable.

BobBender
02-03-2015, 08:56 PM
Cool Justise vs Justin head-to-head comparison from Saturday
http://www.draftexpress.com/article/Justise-Winslow-vs-Justin-Anderson-Video-Analysis-4809

I didn't look at the link, but pretty sure it comes out in favor of Justise. Not surprisingly , it was the first really good game he has had in about a month while Anderson didn't have one of his better games. Justise is supposed to be a OAD talent, he should be doing that more often than not, not once every six games.

devilirium
02-03-2015, 11:27 PM
^ Bruised ribs and other ailments tend to slow you down a bit. He's also had a pretty typical frosh slump.

VAGentleman05
02-04-2015, 12:47 PM
Justin Anderson's 3 pt shooting percentage this year (50%) is unsustainable. No one shoots THAT well from 3 for an extended period of time.

Unless you're this guy: 49.7% career (http://www.virginiasports.com/sports/m-baskbl/mtt/bennett_tony00.html) :-)

W&LHoo
02-04-2015, 12:53 PM
I think this is a good thread but I'd also add that Anderson's game has opened up in a lot of ways because of his 3 point shooting ability. He's become a better player off the dribble and better in the paint because the work he's done beyond the arc has forced players defending him to remain off balance.

It's also worth noting that UVA's strength coach, Mike Curtis is a remarkable talent - which is why coach Bennett talks about him constantly. When that kind of high-level conditioning is combined with Anderson's natural athleticism (he's far and away the most athletic guy on the team) it leads to good outcomes.

The entirety of his game is why he keeps making all-ACC short lists, and in almost every aspect of the game he attributes his improvement to working his butt off.

Kfanarmy
02-04-2015, 01:03 PM
Unless you're this guy: 49.7% career (http://www.virginiasports.com/sports/m-baskbl/mtt/bennett_tony00.html) :-)

touche'!!! Credit given for rounding up.

CDu
02-04-2015, 01:30 PM
I think this is a good thread but I'd also add that Anderson's game has opened up in a lot of ways because of his 3 point shooting ability. He's become a better player off the dribble and better in the paint because the work he's done beyond the arc has forced players defending him to remain off balance.

It's also worth noting that UVA's strength coach, Mike Curtis is a remarkable talent - which is why coach Bennett talks about him constantly. When that kind of high-level conditioning is combined with Anderson's natural athleticism (he's far and away the most athletic guy on the team) it leads to good outcomes.

The entirety of his game is why he keeps making all-ACC short lists, and in almost every aspect of the game he attributes his improvement to working his butt off.

But what you are saying about the rest of his game does not appear to be the case (at least not in the measurable ways). As the original poster stated, most of Anderson's offensive stats are virtually identical to last year's with the exception of 3pt FG%:

2pt FG%: 49.3% in 2013-14, 49.5% in 2014-15
OReb %: 4.2% in 2013-14, 3.2% in 2014-15
Assist %: 14.8% in 2013-14, 15.0% in 2014-15
Turnover %: 15.4% in 2013-14, 10.0% in 2014-15
FT attempts per 100 possessions: 7.9 in 2013-14, 7.3 in 2014-15

So aside from his turnover percentage (substantially better) and 3pt shooting percentage (substantially better), he is roughly the same player he was last year statistically.

peterjswift
02-04-2015, 01:35 PM
This reminded me that UVA uses an electronic shooting aide that drills players to shoot the correct arc on shots. I wonder if that's played any role in Anderson's improvement.

DBR link: http://www.dukebasketballreport.com/2013/12/26/5244666/virginias-electronic-shooting-coach

Tony Bennett giving the product, called Noah's Arc, a plug: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBrGeKZOjm8


To my knowledge, Tony Bennett is the only coach to plug the system: http://www.noahbasketball.com/blog/uva-coach-tony-bennett-endorses-noah-basketball

I agree that 50% is likely unsustainable, but it is pretty amazing what a small tweak in your mechanics can do for you if you are consistent. I think it is usually more noticeable in golf or baseball - but as soon as a hitter or a golfer has a slump - the first thing they're doing is looking at slow-mo breakdowns of their swing...because a minor hitch or muscle issue can cause a significant problem with your output. Systems similar to Noah had been around golf and baseball for a while...I don't think they've been as successful or well known for basketball.

It amazes me how much shooting depends on muscle memory and consistency - almost moreso than proper form. Proper form is generally what helps you create that muscle memory and consistency in a way that works for most body-types and heights. However, we all know players that have incredible accuracy, yet have bizarre forms. Some have great success with it, but the downside is that the repetition and training is more challenging when you have a unique shooting form (same with batting and swinging), so slumps can be harder to get out of.

What is interesting about the Noah system is that it doesn't focus on form at all...it is focusing on arc. The advantage this has is that you aren't necessarily putting a square peg in a round hole...to some degree it is up to the player to figure out a way to make a consistent arc, rather than learn a consistent form. I'm sure people who use it have coaches that are telling them to make adjustments to their form to *get* the proper arc, but if used in isolation, it can create accuracy that is most comfortable to the shooter.

It sounds to me that Anderson worked a LOT this summer with the Noah system. I don't think it is hard to believe that he altered his shot slightly and reaped a dramatic improvement. He is still young with a developing body...it isn't like trying to retrain a 30 year old body to shoot a different way.

That being said, sample size rules the day, and we can revisit this later in the season...but sample size works both ways too - perhaps his freshman and sophomore seasons are the outliers and he's regressing positively to a much higher mean? I kind of hope so. I think there is a sort of redemptive and positive nature to stories like this, and an 80's style montage of him shooting and lifting all summer with "eye of the tiger" playing in the background would be perfect for the "direct to VHS" movie based on his career.

captmojo
02-04-2015, 01:38 PM
Our friends in the ugly blue have already established that it was a combination of luck and no effort from the defense.

Question answered. :)

peterjswift
02-04-2015, 01:38 PM
But what you are saying about the rest of his game does not appear to be the case (at least not in the measurable ways). As the original poster stated, most of Anderson's offensive stats are virtually identical to last year's with the exception of 3pt FG%:

2pt FG%: 49.3% in 2013-14, 49.5% in 2014-15
OReb %: 4.2% in 2013-14, 3.2% in 2014-15
Assist %: 14.8% in 2013-14, 15.0% in 2014-15
Turnover %: 15.4% in 2013-14, 10.0% in 2014-15
FT attempts per 100 possessions: 7.9 in 2013-14, 7.3 in 2014-15

So aside from his turnover percentage (substantially better) and 3pt shooting percentage (substantially better), he is roughly the same player he was last year statistically.

Is it unheard of for a shooting percentage to increase without other things increasing? I don't think that is hard to believe - especially if there was a laser-like focus on improving his jump-shooting during the off season. I don't find it hard to believe that the 2pt accuracy hasn't change dramatically, since there are so many more variables than shooting spot-up 3pt jumpers. It is harder to gauge where you are on the floor, you're often in traffic, you sometimes use the glass, etc. The 3pt line is always the same distance, so you make less adjustments per shot.

CDu
02-04-2015, 01:50 PM
Is it unheard of for a shooting percentage to increase without other things increasing? I don't think that is hard to believe - especially if there was a laser-like focus on improving his jump-shooting during the off season. I don't find it hard to believe that the 2pt accuracy hasn't change dramatically, since there are so many more variables than shooting spot-up 3pt jumpers. It is harder to gauge where you are on the floor, you're often in traffic, you sometimes use the glass, etc. The 3pt line is always the same distance, so you make less adjustments per shot.

I think perhaps you missed my point. I was responding to a poster who specifically said that Anderson's 3pt shooting improvements have resulted in improvements in the rest of his game. I was merely pointing out that this is not seen in the results.

As for your first question: absolutely one can improve solely in 3pt shooting. And I've said that I think Anderson has improved greatly in his 3pt shooting. I'm just saying that I think his improvement is probably more accurately to that of a ~40% 3pt shooter, not the 50% he currently is shooting thanks to a ridiculous non-con shooting stretch against weaker opponents.

peterjswift
02-04-2015, 01:55 PM
I think perhaps you missed my point. I was responding to a poster who specifically said that Anderson's 3pt shooting improvements have resulted in improvements in the rest of his game. I was merely pointing out that this is not seen in the results.

As for your first question: absolutely one can improve solely in 3pt shooting. And I've said that I think Anderson has improved greatly in his 3pt shooting. I'm just saying that I think his improvement is probably more accurately to that of a ~40% 3pt shooter, not the 50% he currently is shooting thanks to a ridiculous non-con shooting stretch against weaker opponents.

Ah - my reading comprehension skills need a similar "Noah" system...

tbyers11
02-04-2015, 02:25 PM
Unless you're this guy: 49.7% career (http://www.virginiasports.com/sports/m-baskbl/mtt/bennett_tony00.html) :-)

Hey, you have to round Tony Bennett's percentage up to get to 50! :D

Two thoughts on this:

1) From the video above and his college career you can tell that Bennett thinks good shooting form is really important. I grew in Wisconsin at about the same time Bennett was playing at UWGB. His shooting stroke was so admired that his shooting coach, Rob Kehoe, made the rounds giving shooting clinics to high school teams including mine.

2) I looked up Tony Bennett's raw numbers and he accomplished the 49.7% on 290 3FG per 584 3FGA. He played from at UWGB from 1989-92. It's amazing how much more the 3 point shot is valued now in college basketball then 25 years ago. JJ Redick shot 1126 3FGA (making 40.6%) in his Duke career nearly double Bennett's total. Jon Scheyer who was a good 3 point shooter, but not considered a 3 pt specialist, took 790 3FGA (making 38.1%) in his Duke career.

W&LHoo
02-04-2015, 03:04 PM
But what you are saying about the rest of his game does not appear to be the case (at least not in the measurable ways). As the original poster stated, most of Anderson's offensive stats are virtually identical to last year's with the exception of 3pt FG%:

2pt FG%: 49.3% in 2013-14, 49.5% in 2014-15
OReb %: 4.2% in 2013-14, 3.2% in 2014-15
Assist %: 14.8% in 2013-14, 15.0% in 2014-15
Turnover %: 15.4% in 2013-14, 10.0% in 2014-15
FT attempts per 100 possessions: 7.9 in 2013-14, 7.3 in 2014-15

So aside from his turnover percentage (substantially better) and 3pt shooting percentage (substantially better), he is roughly the same player he was last year statistically.

I'd argue that the turnover improvement is a big deal, but aside from that, it's just the eyeball test. The guy flat out plays like a big time athlete and shows up when the team needs him. Last year he was a bench spark, this year he's the fire in the team's belly. Things like alleyoops, step back 3s, blocks, and hard drives to the lane all seem to emerge from him multiple times each game.

Last year, in a tight spot, we needed the ball in Harris or Brogdon's hands. This year it's Anderson or Brogdon or Perrantes (different but interesting conversation) - in that order. That's a big deal.

Five-Oh
02-04-2015, 07:08 PM
To my knowledge, Tony Bennett is the only coach to plug the system: http://www.noahbasketball.com/blog/uva-coach-tony-bennett-endorses-noah-basketball

I agree that 50% is likely unsustainable, but it is pretty amazing what a small tweak in your mechanics can do for you if you are consistent. I think it is usually more noticeable in golf or baseball - but as soon as a hitter or a golfer has a slump - the first thing they're doing is looking at slow-mo breakdowns of their swing...because a minor hitch or muscle issue can cause a significant problem with your output. Systems similar to Noah had been around golf and baseball for a while...I don't think they've been as successful or well known for basketball.

It amazes me how much shooting depends on muscle memory and consistency - almost moreso than proper form. Proper form is generally what helps you create that muscle memory and consistency in a way that works for most body-types and heights. However, we all know players that have incredible accuracy, yet have bizarre forms. Some have great success with it, but the downside is that the repetition and training is more challenging when you have a unique shooting form (same with batting and swinging), so slumps can be harder to get out of.

What is interesting about the Noah system is that it doesn't focus on form at all...it is focusing on arc. The advantage this has is that you aren't necessarily putting a square peg in a round hole...to some degree it is up to the player to figure out a way to make a consistent arc, rather than learn a consistent form. I'm sure people who use it have coaches that are telling them to make adjustments to their form to *get* the proper arc, but if used in isolation, it can create accuracy that is most comfortable to the shooter.

It sounds to me that Anderson worked a LOT this summer with the Noah system. I don't think it is hard to believe that he altered his shot slightly and reaped a dramatic improvement. He is still young with a developing body...it isn't like trying to retrain a 30 year old body to shoot a different way.

That being said, sample size rules the day, and we can revisit this later in the season...but sample size works both ways too - perhaps his freshman and sophomore seasons are the outliers and he's regressing positively to a much higher mean? I kind of hope so. I think there is a sort of redemptive and positive nature to stories like this, and an 80's style montage of him shooting and lifting all summer with "eye of the tiger" playing in the background would be perfect for the "direct to VHS" movie based on his career.

Hoo fan here - you can stop speculating about JA's offseason improvement and read about it in Sports Illustrated:

http://www.si.com/college-basketball/2015/01/14/justin-anderson-virginia-cavaliers-acc

Lots of hard work and good outside coaching. It doesn't hurt when your head coach is also a former sharpshooter.