Xavier Thames is Making a Name for Himself From Behind the Arc

By John Lloyd
Xavier Thames
Christopher Hanewinckel- USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego State Aztecs have had a great season thus far and it’s all been mostly to the surprising play of point guard Xavier Thames. On the season, Thames is shooting almost 50 percent from behind the arc, making him one of the most dangerous shooters in the country.

Thames’ lights-out shooting is allowing teammates JJ O’Brien and Winston Shepard to shine. His floor spacing is making the lives of O’Brien and Shepard a lot easier.

In the altitude of Fort Collins, Colorado, he shot six threes, making three; keeping his shooting percentage close to his season average. However, his presence on the court, made the Colorado State Rams focus solely on him. Thames still finished with 23 points.

Making a name for yourself from behind the arc is one of the most important things a guard can do in today’s college basketball game. With all the high-flying action and attacking the rim that the college game has transformed to, it’s imperative to have a guy like Thames that forces the opposing defense to always keep a man on him.

In a gritty road win against the Rams, the Aztecs forced the Rams to extend their defense to wherever Thames was on the court.

The better team won in a battle between the Aztecs and the Rams and coach Steve Fisher has had near-perfect spacing in the past couple of games. Can he keep his superb coaching up against Bill Self’s Kansas Jayhawks team on Sunday? It all depends on Thames’ shooting and spacing of the floor.

John Lloyd is a Pac-12 Basketball Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JohnHLloydIII

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