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How Gabe York Can Expand His Role

July 5th, 2014 News 8 Comments

gabe slide
AK Murthy

It’s been a bumpy ride at Arizona for Gabe York.

Playing time has been hard to come by, and despite stepping into a starter role last season, next year’s roster is once again loaded top to bottom.

With the Wildcats poised to be a deeper team next season, how can York expand his role? Take a look at this breakdown of York’s shooting numbers from his sophomore campaign.

gabe shot chart

Everybody knows York is a three point shooter. But the representation above underscores the importance of becoming less of a specialist.

Let’s start with York’s absurd shooting inside the arc. Connecting on just 6 of 41 two point jumpers, York’s anemic 14.6% shooting was a head scratcher. Sure, he only attempted 18.6% of his total attempts from this range, but that’s a disturbing rate of conversion.

Some of it was probably the result of the defense forcing him off the three point line, some of it was probably poor shot selection, and some of it was probably plain old bad luck.

But mostly, it’s a confidence issue. York is an excellent shooter, the best on the team. But for one reason or another, he has been pigeonholed into the three point specialist role. And maybe he’s starting to believe it himself.

The answer isn’t to start taking less threes and more midrange shots. Of course, he has to hit a better clip than he did last year, which shouldn’t be hard at all. But the area York really needs to start attacking is the rim.

His athleticism is well documented and someone with that kind of vertical ability should be making better use of it at the rim, where everyone shoots a better percentage. If York can improve his ability to penetrate and successfully get to the rim, he has the physical tools to finish.

That’s a lot easier said than done, as York will need to improve his ball handling and explosiveness while gaining strength to be a real rim threat. But as a junior, with two seasons and plenty of starts under his belt, there’s no reason he can’t improve those things.

One thing that might help is more transition opportunities. Of York’s 19 makes at the rim last season, 16 (84%) of them came in transition. So when he has the space, his athleticism is translating to rim attempts.

But again, much of it is mental. York needs to shift his mentality from three point sniper to opportunistic scorer if he wants to expand his role on the team.

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8 Responses to “How Gabe York Can Expand His Role”

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  1. Doug Brodess

    July 5, 2014

    Great analysis on York’s past performance. With Stanley Johnson and Kadeem Allen coming in, York is going to have to step up his game significantly just to get a little court time.

  2. Esq

    July 5, 2014

    Last sentence sums it up perfectly.

    Opportunistic everything, but especially scorer, is where Gabe can shine.

  3. titan4wildcats

    July 5, 2014

    Another great article/analysis AK. As usual, very good stats and analysis. Gabe should continue to be the scoring machine he was but seems to have restricted success at anything other than 3’s or transition. I believe that if he went back to attacking the basket it would cause the opponents to guard him closer…thus opening up drives for Rondae and/or Stanley.

    Thanks for another great write-up AK.

  4. David

    July 6, 2014

    Great description of how GY will/should start transforming himself as the second half of his college career begins.
    Mr York is going to turn heads. I’ve been saying it since he stepped on campus.

    Keep up the hard work Gabe!

  5. mvpreed2

    July 6, 2014

    For the sake of the team and the personal success of Gabe I hope that he can continue to make that jump from his soph to jr season.
    We are going to be one of the best in the nation again and he is going to be able to carve out a much bigger role for himself assuming he is willing to go out and take that role.

  6. Jeff

    July 6, 2014

    Bizarre how the best shooter on the team fares so poorly on midrange shots. I can’t imagine he shoots that badly as a junior.

  7. Papadeuce

    July 7, 2014

    Looking forward to seeing gabe’s game grow from last year. Adding a mid range game would do wonders for him and for the team overall!

  8. lsg_da_apache

    July 7, 2014

    Despite his mid range game it’s all about YORK CITY BABY! Hang in there Gabe, you are a critical piece to our team!

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