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Andy Wittry | | November 19, 2020

These are the top returning 3-point shooters in men's college basketball this season

Andy Katz's Final Four favorites

The 2019-20 men's basketball season was the first in which the 3-point line was moved back to a distance of 22 feet and 1.75 inches, and 27 Division I players who qualified for the NCAA's statistical leaders finished the season with a 3-point percentage of at least 40 percent. Five of the top 10 3-point shooters from last season, based on percentage, return this season, as some of the sport's elite marksmen will once again light it up from deep.

Here are the top nine returning 3-point shooters from last season.

1. Dru Kuxhausen, McNeese State

Last season, only UC Davis's Stefan Gonzalez and BYU's Jake Toolson had a higher 3-point percentage than Kuxhausen, who have 45.8 percent of his 273 attempts. He attempted at least 90 more threes than Gonzalez and Toolson, too. That's an average of 8.5 attempts per game, so Kuxhausen wasn't shy about letting it fly.

By the way, last season was the first season playing at the DI level for the 6-foot Kuxhausen.

As a junior had made at least one three in 30 of McNeese State's 32 games, including the first 29 games of the season. His most prolific performance came against Paul Quinn College, when he made 10 of 18 attempts. Kuxhausen made seven 3-pointers in a game on five occasions.

Kuxhausen knows what he is and that's an elite 3-point shooter. He only attempted 50 shots inside the arc last season, or 1.6 per game.

Bob Donnan | USA Today Sports Images Gardner-Webb's Jaheam Cornwall.

2. Jaheam Cornwall, Gardner-Webb

Cornwall ranked sixth nationally in 3-point percentage as a junior, when he made 44.4 percent of his 196 attempts. He was two spots behind Villanova's Saddiq Bey and one spot ahead of TCU's Desmond Bane.

Cornwall averaged more than two more 3-point attempts per game (6.1) than 2-point attempts (3.9). He actually made a higher percent of his attempts from deep, too, by just 0.4 percent. In his first three years of college, Cornwall was a strong 3-point shooter — 43.9 percent as a freshman and 39.1 percent as a sophomore — but his 44.4 percent last season was the best percentage of his career.

As a junior, the 6-foot guard was only shut out from deep just three times in 32 games. The best 3-point-shooting game of his career, in terms of makes, was against High Point in February, when he was 8 of 13. He closed last season fairly strong, too, as he went 5-for-5 in Gardner-Webb's regular-season finale against Radford and he made five more threes in a Big South tournament loss to Winthrop.

Robert Hanashiro | USA TODAY Sports Images San Diego State's Terrell Gomez.

3. Terrell Gomez, San Diego State

As a junior, Gomez shot 44 percent from 3-point range, putting him at eighth nationally in the 2019-20 season. After spending three seasons at Cal State Northridge, he transferred to San Diego State for his final season.

Gomez has shot better than 41 percent from three in every season he's played in college, including a career-best 46.1 percent as a freshman. He's proven himself over a large sample size, too. He attempted 4.7 threes per game as a freshman, and roughly eight attempts per game in each of the last two seasons.

After an 0-for-14 stretch across two games last November, Gomez made at least one three in the team's final 26 games, including six games with at least five 3-pointers.

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Gary Cosby Jr. | USA TODAY Sports Images Alabama's John Petty Jr.

4. John Petty Jr., Alabama

Alabama's John Petty Jr. made 44 percent of his 193 3-point attempts as a junior, which was good for ninth in the country. His 3-point percentage climbed roughly 10 percentage points from his sophomore season, when he made just 34.5 percent of his attempts.

He averaged nearly three 3-pointers per game last season on 6.7 attempts per game and his best 3-point shooting performance of the season came against Samford, when he went 10 of 13.

Geoff Burke | USA TODAY Sports Images Richmond's Nick Sherod.

5. Nick Sherod, Richmond

Richmond's Nick Sherod attempted 178 3-pointers as a redshirt junior and he made 43.8 percent of them, which positioned him as the 10th-best 3-point shooter in the country last season. Sherod's 3-point percentage in the 2019-20 season climbed 10 percentage points from his freshman season, when he shot just 33.3 percent.

Last season, the spiders guard averaged a career-best 2.5 threes per game and he made at least one 3-pointer in 29 of Richmond's 31 games. He was 7-for-9 against Cal State Northridge and 6-for-12 in the season opener against Saint Francis (PA).

Steven Branscombe | USA TODAY Sports Images Creighton's Mitch Ballock.

6. Mitch Ballock, Creighton

As a junior at Creighton, Mitch Ballock made 43.5 percent of his 214 3-point attempts. Ballock's 3-point percentage has improved each season, from 32.6 percent as a freshman to 41.9 percent as a sophomore to a career-best 43.5 percent last season. He averaged three 3-pointers per game as a junior and in Creighton's second-to-last regular-season game, he was 6-for-13.

This season, he'll be an integral piece of No. 11 Creighton's offense.

Denny Medley | USA TODAY Sports Images Florida's Noah Locke.

7. Noah Locke, Florida

Noah Locke made 43.2 percent of his 183 3-point attempts as a sophomore, which placed him as the 12th-best 3-point shooter in the country last season. Locke was a strong 3-point shooter as a freshman, making 37.9 percent of his attempts, but he got even better last season, when his percentage climbed by more than five percentage points.

In both seasons, he averaged 5.9 3-point attempts per game, which means that he averaged 2.5 makes last season. His most productive performances as a sophomore came in back-to-back games, when he went 5-for-10 at Texas A&M, then 6-for-8 against Vanderbilt.

Cody Glenn | USA TODAY Sports Images Stanford's Spencer Jones.

8. Spencer Jones, Stanford

Spencer Jones was a really impressive 3-point shooter as a freshman, making 43.1 percent of his 188 3-point attempts last season. He finished last season ranked 13th nationally in 3-point percentage among qualified players and no one who finished above him was taller than him — 6-7. So Jones provides a great combination of size and shooting.

Jones averaged 5.9 3-point attempts per game last season compared to just one 2-point attempt per game.

Jones came out of the gates firing last season, making at least three 3-pointers in seven of Stanford's first nine games, and his season-high came against USC, when he was 6 of 10.

Phil Masturzo | USA TODAY Sports Images Akron's Loren Jackson.

9. Loren Christian Jackson, Akron

The player who's listed with three names is also great at making threes. As a junior, the 5-8 guard made 42.8 percent of his 215 3-point attempts. That was good for 14th nationally and only two players who ranked higher than him also attempted more 3-pointers.

Jackson was Akron's leading scorer last season at 19.8 points per game, which is impressive that a player with that role in his team's offense can also remain that efficient. He attempted 6.9 3-pointers per game and made an average of three per game. In his freshman season at Long Beach State, Jackson made just 34.8 percent of his 3-pointers and his 3-point percentage dropped to 30 percent in his first season at Akron, so he made major strides last season.

His best 3-point shooting performance last season, from both a quantity and percentage perspective, was against Toledo, when he was seven of 11.

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