Long-Range Shooting Sparking Men's Basketball

Myles Watkins shoots the jumper during PCC's win on Friday (photo by Richard Quinton).
Myles Watkins shoots the jumper during PCC's win on Friday (photo by Richard Quinton).

When the Pasadena City College men's basketball team opened the 2023-2024 season, the Lancers felt their 3-point shooting could be an important cog among their offensive weapons. But PCC started poorly at 1-4 in November as the team couldn't find much rhythym from long range.

In December, the team got better on 3-pointers averaging an 8-per-game clip while putting together a 5-game win streak. Fast forward to this month and the Lancers have truly found their touch from beyond the arc and it's resulting in more team success.

On Friday night, PCC matched a season high with eleven 3-pointers on a season-best 44 percent accuracy (11-for-25) in winning its fourth straight, 86-64, over Compton at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium.

PCC (11-7 overall) continued its mastery in South Coast Conference crossovers, finishing 5-1 v. South Division opponents, all played in January. Head Coach Ryan Frazer is 10-2 v. the South in his two seasons at PCC with both of its losses v. Cerritos College.

The Lancers are averaging 10 triples a game this month at a 37 percent efficiency and that consistency is coming from different sources. 

Against Compton, six different players hit at least one three as Myles Watkins buried two among his game-high 20 points, Deen Abdur-Rahmann swished three in his 19 points, Dylan Swillis hit one in his 15, Shant Chenorhavorian netted all of his nine points from long range, Kaiden Fine made one in his nine, and Barry Knight sank his only basket on a 3-pointer.

"That's the type of consistency across the board that is great to see," Frazer said. "We're using better judgment when choosing to shoot a three and making them. Shant and Deen are capable long-range shooters in our starting five and Barry has had his moments off the bench, but when others are also hitting threes that makes it very tough to defend us. We still want to go to the basket and push an up tempo style, but we're unpredictable offensively because we're scoring more 3-pointers."

Chenorhavorian is the team leader on threes with 43, followed by Abdur-Rahmann with 35 (an outstanding 46.7 percent accuracy).

Against Compton, point guard Jalen Vazquez delivered nine assists to go with six points and five rebounds. The team shot a sizzling 62.1 percent from the field (18-for-29) in the second half after making eight 3-pointers in the first half to help take a 42-34 lead. The team also handled the ball well all 40 minutes, making just five turnovers while creating 17 by Compton.

Now PCC gets ready for the 8-game, SCC North Division schedule, starting on Wednesday, Jan. 24 when it hosts 7-time defending North champion East Los Angeles, ranked #25 in the state. The 5 p.m. tip-off is also Coaches v. Cancer Night at PCC as all ticket sales for the contest will be donated to the American Cancer Society.