Did new rims at the Arrowhead Pond enable Stanford guard Casey Jacobsen to end his personal shooting slump at the Anaheim facility?
Jacobsen scored a career-high 27 points on eight-of-13 shooting in the Cardinal's 78-65 victory over Cincinnati in a West Regional semifinal Thursday. It was his best shooting performance in more than half a dozen games he has played at the Pond in either high school at Glendora High or college. Stanford made 27 of 43 shots (62.8%).
"I have always considered the Pond to be the most difficult shooting gym that I have ever played in, high school or college, it didn't matter," Jacobsen said. "But when I walked onto the floor the other day the first thing that I noticed was that they had changed the rims."
A Pond spokesman confirmed the arena installed new rims on its glass backboards about three weeks ago and removed those that had been used for high school championships and occasional Clipper games.
"They were NBA rims, and in high school I never shot well here," Jacobsen said. "Those rims were so tight. They seemed smaller to me."
Jacobsen has always scored well at the Pond. It was his shooting percentage that suffered. He scored 37 points to lead Glendora over San Bernardino Pacific, 56-50, in the 1998 CIF Southern Section Division I-A title game, but he made only 10 of 25 field goals. A year later, he managed only 17 points--on four-of-17 shooting--as Glendora lost to Mater Dei, 46-40, in the Division I-A championship game.
The Pond has never been considered shooter-friendly. The depth of field behind the backboards is so great, shooters say that it makes it difficult to draw an accurate bead on the cylinder.
Georgetown found that to be true in a 76-66 loss to Maryland on Thursday. The Hoyas weren't able to get the ball to their post players for layups, so they resorted to a number of jumpers and three-point shots. Many of them barely made it to the rim or sailed off the heel. Georgetown finished making 20 of 65 shots (30.8%).