By the end of this season, Coppin State may be known for several things, but coach Michael Grant wants to ensure that the team is not known for being gun-shy.
Last year, in his final season at Division II Stillman College, Grant’s squad hoisted 2,011 shots and 831 3-point attempts in 29 games. That’s an average of 69.3 shots and 28.7 threes per contest.
The Eagles haven’t taken 2,000 shots in at least 13 seasons. Their highest shot total in that stretch occurred in 2007-08, when that year’s team took 1,940 shots in 37 games (a 52.4 average). In 2011-12, the Eagles launched 791 three-point attempts in 30 games (26.4).
Grant has made it clear that if his players pass up shots, they will find themselves on the bench.
“I’m begging guys to shoot it, and guys got excuses for not shooting it,” he said. “… So now they’re figuring me out. Guys are going to come out if they’re passing up shots. So it’s at a point where they’re really starting to take heed of this.”
Senior point guard Taariq Cephas, one of three returning starters, said he understands Grant’s stance.
“We don’t really want to run the shot clock down and play a Princeton-style offense,” said Cephas, who averaged 9.4 points and 4.0 assists last season. “We want to get shots because Coach Grant’s philosophy is, if you get more shots than your opponent, you should beat them, especially if you’re knocking them down.”