The three-point lead debate

The three-point lead debate
Profile photo of Jeff Kolpack

I contend to this day that I’m a better basketball mind than Tim Miles, even though he’s parlayed his personality into the world of big-time basketball. When Miles was at NDSU, we had a couple of debates on the three-point lead that almost ended in golf clubs over the head.

The issue is this: when the team is on defense in the final five seconds of a game and holding a three-point lead, I say foul and put the other team to the free throw line. Miles disagreed. He may well have seen the light and changed his philosophy, but my point is college players are just so good at the 3-point shot that I’d rather take my chances and put them at the line, force them to make the first free throw, intentionally miss the second, grab the offensive rebound and score.

Case in point came Thursday night in the NDSU and IPFW women’s basketball game. In the final five seconds of the first overtime, the Bison held a three-point lead with the Mastodons having the ball. IPFW got not only one good look at a 3-pointer but two. Amanda Hyde sank the second attempt, the teams went to the second overtime and IPFW eventually won. In fairness, NDSU was out of time outs and couldn’t plot any defensive strategy, but that’s a play that has to be worked on before it happens.

Tim Miles is wrong. I am right. I know this.

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