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December 22, 2012

Auburn guard chasing NCAA mark for consecutive 3s

AUBURN, Ala. — Jordan Price isn't worried about jinxing himself during his can't-miss stretch of 3-pointers.

The Auburn freshman will happily talk about those 11 straight makes over the past three games that are approaching an NCAA record. He didn't let superstition deter him from a mid-streak wardrobe change before Tuesday night's Tennessee Tech game.

"A couple of teammates, they're just playing around with me before the game asking me why would I wear a different pair of shoes from the first two games,'' Price said. "I'm not really superstitious like that. I just try to get out there and ball.

"A couple of them have been messing with me about it, but nothing big. They just want me to just be the best I can be and keep shooting.''

If he keeps making them Saturday night when Winthrop visits, Price has a chance at the NCAA record of 15 consecutive made 3-pointers set by Northwestern's Todd Leslie in 1990.

The 6-foot-5 guard has already matched the Southeastern Conference mark held by Vanderbilt's Kevin Anglin for 20 years. The Tigers (5-5) are 3-0 during his streak.

Price, who mostly comes off the bench, hit all four 3-point attempts against both Furman and Grambling State and made three in a 61-second span during the first half of the Tennessee Tech game.

Auburn coach Tony Barbee said Price's success at perimeter shooting isn't a surprise to him.

"He has been shooting the ball unbelievable,'' Barbee said. "As a scorer whenever you get on a roll like that, you get in that zone, and he is in one of those zones right now. He has been working hard in practice, and it has been paying off in the games.''

Price did make one big mistake in the last game. He followed his final 3 by drawing a technical foul for taunting, and Barbee promptly benched him.

"That was just a freshman mistake,'' Price said. "I kind of got a little too excited and I started talking a little bit. I know not to do that. That's not me.''

He has made 19 of 34 3-pointers this season, a 56 percent clip that would lead the SEC if he had made enough to be eligible. Price came into this streak averaging just 5.3 points a game but has scored 40 points combined in the past three while averaging about 17 minutes.

He has done almost all his work behind the 3-point line, attempting only four shots from closer to the basket during the current streak.

Price said his previous longest stretch of made 3s during games was five or six, and he has hit about a dozen in a row during practice.

"I really don't believe that I am a 3-point shooter,'' said Price, who hit 45 percent of his 3-point attempts as a senior at Southwest DeKalb High School in Georgia. "I can shoot. It's just a blessing that I haven't missed. I've been settling for the 3 because I'm open. I can hit the mid-range shot and get to the basket. If they just tell me to keep shooting, that's what I'm going to do.''

Price's 11-for-11 stretch began after one of his worst games. He missed all three 3-point attempts and scored two points in a loss to DePaul. Price said he started meeting with the coaches before and after each practice. The extra work is paying off so far.

He insists he won't let it affect him on the court when the streak ends.

"I'm not worried about that,'' Price said. "I'm just going to keep shooting and try to find my teammates.''



 

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