Isaiah Joe Is a Better Shooter Than Steph Curry Or Trae Young (So Far)

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Isaiah Joe

Just a half season into his career, Isaiah Joe has already begun laying siege to the all-time Razorback record book. In a rout against Florida International earlier this season, Joe splashed in 10 threes, breaking the freshman record for most three-pointers made in a single game. Overall, it tied for the third-most in Razorback history: 

1. 13 – Rotnei Clarke vs. Alcorn St. (11/13/2009) (on 76.5% shooting)

2. 12 – Alex Dillard vs. Delaware St. (12/11/1993) (on 54.5% shooting)

3. 10 – Isaiah Joe vs. Florida International (12/1/2018) (on 76.9% shooting)

    10 – Rotnei Clarke vs. East Tennessee St. (11/27/2009) (on 58.8% shooting)

    10 – Pat Bradley vs. North Texas (12/30/1998) (on 41.7% shooting)

4. 9 – Lee Mayberry vs. LSU (3/3/1992) (on 75% shooting) 

Through that point, the Fort Smith native had now tallied 24 threes in his young career, an average of four threes a game. According to Hogstats.com, that’s good enough for the top spot among the best Razorback three-point shooters ever.

(Hogs) Most Three-Pointers Made Per Game 

  1. 4.00 – Isaiah Joe (Fr.), 24 in 6 games (2018-19) [UPDATED: 3.8 made threes a game in 18 games; 68 threes made overall]
  2. 3.28 – Jannero Pargo (Sr.), 95 in 29 games (2001-02)
  3. 3.23 – Rotnei Clarke (So.), 100 in 31 games (2009-10)
  4. 3.06 – Pat Bradley (So.), 98 in 32 games (1996-97)
  5. 2.94 – Rotnei Clarke (Jr.), 91 in 31 games (2010-11)
  6. 2.82 – Pat Bradley (Jr.), 93 in 33 games (1997-98)

Not surprisingly, Joe’s attempts per game (8.4) are an all-time high. But the fact he is nailing 44.7% on threes through 18 games at such a high rate is simply staggering — more in the realm of an NBA MVP Steph Curry than a first-year college player. Early in college, even Curry wasn’t this good. He hit 40.8% of his 8.8 three-point attempts per game as a freshman at Davidson.

And who could forget the Trae Young Mania that swept through the nation last winter? Young, as a freshman, burst out of the gates to hit 23 threes in his first 6 games. But he “only” shot them at a 41.8% clip.

Suffice to say, Isaiah Joe’s in extremely rare air.

So far. 

Yes, I get it: Some of this is pretty premature. Still, there’s no harm in projecting how high this young shooting guard can go in the all-time annals. Sure, against SEC opponents his accuracy will probably dip, but by how much? 

It may not be by very much. A lot of it depends on how well Joe’s teammates continue to mature, develop and command the defense’s attention. If Daniel Gafford continues to dominate on the offensive end, and Mason Jones gets even better at shredding defenses with his mid-range game, then such developments will help Joe get the open looks he needs to pour in three-pointers at well over a 40% clip. 

[UPDATE: Not yet halfway through the SEC season, Joe is the top three-point shooter in conference, hitting 43.1% of his 8.5 attempts per game. Much of this is due to a scalding three-game stretch in which he tied a UA record by Pat Bradley (see hyperlink in related posts below)]

We’ll revisit this later. 

Let’s project where Joe would finish in some key season all-time rankings at his current rate.

We can assume the Hogs will play 34 games this season (as they did last season).

Razorbacks Most Made 3-pointers in a Season

  1. 136 – Isaiah Joe in 2018-19 (PROJECTED)
  2. 102Scotty Thurman in 1994-95
  3. 100 – Rotnei Clarke in 2009-10
  4. 98 – Pat Bradley in 1996-97
  5. 95 – Jannero Pargo in 2001-02
  6. 93 – Pat Bradley in 1998-99
  7. 93 – Pat Bradley in 1997-98
  8. 91 – Rotnei Clarke in 2010-11
  9. 89 – Anthlon Bell in 2015-16
  10. 87 – Jaylen Barford in 2017-18

Something tells me assistant coach Scotty Thurman won’t mind a bit if his record gets shattered. 

It’s easy to imagine Joe doing this while making 43% or 44% of his shots — just a few percentage points down from the all-time record for most accurate shooting season. Joe is on track to attempt well over 300 three-pointers this season, a full 100% to 1000% more than everybody in the top 10:

Single Season Most Accurate Razorback Three-Point Shooters (via HogStats.com)

  1. 50.4%Lee Mayberry (65-129) in 1989-90
  2. 50.0% – Marcus Britt (15-30) in 2008-09
  3. 49.0% – Corey Beck (24-49) in 1994-95
  4. 48.9% – Arlyn Bowers (23-47) in 1988-89
  5. 48.5% – Mike Ratliff (16-33) in 1986-87
  6. 47.7% – Arlyn Bowers (41-86) in 1990-91
  7. 47.6% – Mardracus Wade (70-147) in 2011-12
  8. 46.7% – Bobby Portis (14-30) in 2014-15
  9. 45.8% – Chris Walker (33-72) in 1998-99
  10. 45.2% – Darrell Hawkins (19-42) in 1992-93

 

  Hog Flamethrowers of Yore 

Lee Mayberry scored 35 points against LSU to help the Hogs land an SEC title in their first year in the conference.

Rotnei Clarke Does His Thing 

“The Shoota” (and a good guy to boot!)

Dusty Hannahs

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