After raining down his fifth of six threes on the night at the U.S. Cellular Arena, Paris Gulley couldn’t help but smile as he and the Panthers got back on defense.
Yup. He’s arrived.
Following the disappointing loss at Butler which featured one field goal from the Panthers over too long a stretch to end the game, the coaching staff decided it was time to jump-start the offense.
The objective was simple: take advantage of Paris Gulley’s talent – shooting the three-ball. The plan? Simplify the offense.
The effect has been night and day for Milwaukee. The final scores don’t indicate it, but Paris Gulley has become the player they recruited – an accurate, deadly bomber from long range.
In the last four games, Gulley has 19-42 from the field. Nothing special when you look at it, but when you separate the three-pointers, you see what the fuss is about. Since the Western Michigan game, Paris is shooting 13-for-17 beyond the arc, a blistering 76.4%.
The one time that the Panthers have gotten under 60 – in a 58-38 victory over Wright State – was the one time that Gulley didn’t get nearly enough looks from three. Gulley shot two, making one, but it wasn’t a big deal because Tony Meier was on fire, and somehow Kaylon Williams pulled nine assists out of a rabbit hat in a game when the Panthers only made 22 field goals.
But Saturday night, it was all about Paris Gulley. The junior shooting guard showed just how dangerous he can be by hitting six of nine three-pointers, raining down a barrage that the Titans didn’t see coming.
The big thing for Milwaukee to do now is get everyone firing on all cylinders. Tony Meier is still not 100% from his calf injury. It’s obvious, because sometimes he favors his injured leg a tiny bit when taking jump shots and that little bit is enough to put the shot off to one side or another or make it too long or too short.
After the game on Thursday against Wright State, assistant coach Chad Boudreau said that if they can get Gulley and Meier going at the same time, watch out.
Because then you’re talking about a complete team, six players of starter quality and the key reserves to make a run. A real run. An NCAA Tournament run.
Now if only we can cap Mickey Mouse on the knees and force Disney on Ice to move along.
To be honest, we all should have known that if Gulley began shooting more, it was going to do nothing but good for Milwaukee. Gulley is shooting 41.8% from three on the season, and he shoots better in the transition offense that we’ve seen against Detroit and Green Bay. We’ll see a lot more of that with Jordan Aaron running the show next year, but it doesn’t hurt to get it going now; Kaylon Williams is a versatile kind of point guard who can adjust to the different game and take advantage of everyone’s talents, especially those of Paris Gulley.
As we saw last night, the result can be as pretty as a three-pointer. Nothing but net.