Monday, November 29, 2021

COLUMN: MSU's Bryn Forbes might be shooting his way into the NBA

March 3, 2016
Senior guard Bryn Forbes shoots a free throw during the game against Michigan at Crisler Center in Ann Arbor on Feb. 6, 2016.  The Spartans defeated the Wolverines 89-73.
Senior guard Bryn Forbes shoots a free throw during the game against Michigan at Crisler Center in Ann Arbor on Feb. 6, 2016. The Spartans defeated the Wolverines 89-73. —
Photo by Emily Elconin | and Emily Elconin The State News

Before the season began, many knew senior guard Bryn Forbes was going to be MSU's primary 3-point specialist this season, but nobody expected the level of success Forbes has attained during his final year in East Lansing. 

Forbes added to the phenomenal season he has had Wednesday night when he broke the single-game MSU and Big Ten 3-point records by making 11 3-pointers while shooting 68 percent from behind the 3-point line as MSU beat Rutgers 97-66. Forbes also recorded a new career-high with 33 points.

Forbes probably would have broken the NCAA record of 15 3-pointers in a game if he was able to play the final seven minutes of the game. 

Forbes only scored 20 points or more once last season in his first season with MSU after transferring from Cleveland St. This season, Forbes has now hit the 20 point mark eight times and has made four or more 3-pointers in 23 of MSU's 30 games.

Forbes has been turning heads with his phenomenal shooting and he just might be playing his way into the NBA. Despite critics saying he is too small to play shooting guard in the NBA at 6-foot-3, Forbes' shooting is something any NBA team could benefit from - except maybe Golden State, who already has all the 3-point firepower it needs. 

Five of the top ten 3-point shooters in the NBA by percentage are 6-foot-4 for shorter, and all of them play a significant role for their respective teams, including 6-foot-4 J.J. Redick who has made a career out of being a 3-point specialist. 

After Wednesday night's performance, Forbes is now sitting at 51.5 percent on the season, if he can continue at that pace, Forbes will rank second all-time for single-season 3-point percentage, only behind Micah Mason, who shot 56 percent on 3-pointers during the 2013-14 season at Duquesne. However, while Mason only took an average of 4.6 3-pointers per game that season, Forbes is hitting his clip while taking an average of 6.7 3-pointers per game. 

While Forbes can no doubt continue to improve his game in other areas such as ball handling and attacking the rim, any team in the NBA could use Forbes' 3-point shooting ability.

Forbes has shown this season an ability to carry MSU when need be, such as his seven made 3-pointers and 32 point performance against Oakland in senior Denzel Valentine's absence, his 27 point 8-of-10 shooting on 3-pointers against Michigan or his most recent 11-of-18 performance against Rutgers in which he hit three 3-pointers in the first three minutes of the second half to help MSU pull away from a pesky Rutgers team. 

Especially now with what Golden State has done, more teams will be looking to find true 3-point shooters to stretch the floor and add more of a punch to their offense, and that is where Forbes could make his living in the NBA. 

After bulking up in the off-season, he continues to improve his inside game and defense, and will only continue to make himself more valuable at the NBA level. So even if he doesn't get drafted - which I strongly believe he should - some smart NBA will take a chance on him in the summer league, and might just like what they see. 

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