Tre McLean's first 3-pointer of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men's basketball exhibition game went in Friday night against Covenant College. So did his second. And his third.
It was a welcome sight for the 6-foot-5 junior guard, who hit only 12 of his 62 long-range attempts during the 2014-15 season. It also signified the comfort level he has in new coach Matt McCall's system, in which the Mocs will shoot a lot from 3-point range this season, the stats imply.
UTC hoisted 32 3-point attempts in Friday's 91-63 win over Covenant, a number they reached only twice a season ago - in wins over Lipscomb and East Tennessee State. Included were some hot streaks and some cold spells. After making their first five, the Mocs missed their next 11 in the first half, and then their final seven attempts.
McCall considered most of the first-half attempts good shots.
"I really felt like we were getting wide-open looks," the former Florida assistant coach said. "Even toward the end of the first half, Dee (Oldham) had three wide-open looks and just couldn't knock them down, but that's how we want to play. As long as we take good shots. Dee missed a couple down the stretch, but they were wide open and I told him he was going to get more open looks and to continue to shoot the ball because he's a really good shooter for us."
Some of the team's second-half attempts were not, as the Mocs were 3-of-14 on 3s in the final 20 minutes.
"I was frustrated with some of the second-half attempts, because we were saying, 'The game's in hand. Let me go get mine now,'" McCall said. "The game in hand, we have a big lead, now it's time to get some points, and it can't be that way. We have to play the right way, play the same way that we've been playing all game that got us this lead.
"It's about the process of getting better, but down the stretch we were a little bit selfish."
Each of the rotational players has the green light to shoot from long range, as long as it's a good shot. The Scots were baiting everybody to shoot from distance on Friday, considering the Mocs sport seven players as tall as Covenant's tallest. That also led to open looks for the Mocs, since the Scots were clogging the paint.
"Coach McCall said that if it's there to take it," center Justin Tuoyo said. "We're not going to go away from the shot if it's there, but we have to stick to the game plan we set out."
Contact Gene Henley at email@example.com. Follow him at twitter.com/genehenleytfp.