Continuing our Summer shoot around series today with John Caleb Sanders. JCS finished his junior season as a member of the 1,000 point club after his 21 point outing in the NCAA Tournament against NC A&T. He has a realistic opportunity to finish his career in the top 10 of Liberty’s all-time scorers joining the likes of Karl Hess, Bailey Alston, and Larry Blair.
Cabe has been able to effectively develop his game throughout his career, and his development is fascinating. As a freshman, Sanders was virtually a 3-point shooter only as 78% of his field goal attempts were of the 3-point variety. This past season, only 34% of his field goal attempts were 3-pointers. A surprising 49% of his attempts were taken at the rim! As a freshman only 13% of his attempts were taken at the rim! He has clearly grown as a player, and developed his game into being a true threat on the court.
Sanders led the Flames in scoring last season with 14.4 points per game, but his scoring is not the only facet of the game that has improved. His first two seasons at Liberty, JCS had a combined total of 64 assists. Last season, he led the team with 131. He also had a career high in rebounds with 3.9 per game, 3rd highest on the team.
Even as solid as his 2012-13 season was, Sanders was still inconsistent throughout the first two-thirds of the season. He failed to score in double figures in 13 of the first 23 contests including the first 5 games of the season. During those first 23 games, Sanders averaged a respectable 11.22 points per game, but in the final 13 contests he turned it on while averaging 19.23 points per game. He finished the season with 13 consecutive double figure scoring games, and in 6 of the 13 he went for 20 points or more.
The biggest area of improvement offensively for JCS is on his 2-point jump shots. These shots accounted for 17% of his field goal attempts last season, but he only connected on 30% of them. If he can improve to shooting around 40% from his 2-point jump shots imagine how deadly he could be as a scorer.
Sanders is one of the leaders of the team, and will be looking to guide Liberty back to the NCAA Tournament for the 2nd consecutive season. With the addition of point guard Joe Retic, Sanders will hopefully see more time off the ball where he can concentrate on scoring. We should expect to see Sanders’ name as an all-conference performer in March.