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Army Player to Watch: PG/SG Jordan Fox

The junior guard out of Manchester, Kentucky has had a hot start to the year for the Black Knights.

NCAA Basketball: Army at Air Force Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Army Black Knights have gotten off to a 5-3 start this season and are led in scoring by 6-1, 188 pound junior guard Jordan Fox. Fox is averaging 16.9 PPG, 5.3 RPG, and 4.3 APG for the Cadets.

His primary strength is ability to shoot the three-point ball, as he has put up 49 attempts this year, making 23 of them (47%). While this likely won’t keep up, he shot 39% last year on nearly 160 attempts, so it is pretty clear that he is a very good shooter.

He hit 9 out of 11 threes against Marist earlier in the year en route to 33 points, 5 assists, and 5 rebounds.

He has a 122.7 offensive rating on 24% possessions, and a 24.4% assist rate. At this juncture he is one of the best guards in the Patriot League and it would not be a surprise at all to see him make the All-Patriot League team by the end of the year.

Usually Fox will play the shooting guard position, deferring to point guard Tommy Funk, and will slide over to the point only when Funk is out of the game.

Fox thrives in the spot-up shooting and transition game, which is where nearly 60% of his productivity has come from on the season. Against man-to-man defense (95% of his possessions thus far have come against man), he has scored 80 points on 75 possessions.

His spot-up shooting success is primarily the result of catch-and-shoot, where he has made 13 of 28 shots on the year from behind the arc. This is a 1.393 PPP, and a serious threat. His efficiency dips a good bit once he dribbles and shoots, which he has done just 13 times this season, accruing just 12 points.

The good news for Wake is that he is very rarely run off screens to catch and shoot off the ball, which is where the Deacs have struggled immensely this season (see Alonso, France), instead relying on passes mostly from a standard offense, and occasionally as a third option on the pick-and-roll.

One of the other threats in his arsenal is the ability to run the pick and roll as the primary ball-handler. He has handled 50 possessions in the pick and roll, but generated just 42 points off of those possessions. He is very good, however, at taking the screen, driving the lane, and kicking it out to a spot-up shooter on the wings.

If he is involved in the pick and roll then he very rarely hits the roll man, doing so just over a fourth of the time.

It will be interesting to see who Danny Manning tasks with guarding Fox and who he has on Funk. Funk is a pass-first point guard who can hit the three (8-16 on the season), but is not nearly the catalyst that Fox is for the offense.

If it were up to me then I would put Crawford on Fox to start. The 3 for Army is not utilized much at all on the offensive side of things, so it’s kind of a waste to have Brown on him, so shifting Brown to guard one of the two guards could be a sneaky move, while Woods would draw Jacob Kessler at the 3.

The best way to defend Fox is to not let him drift away on the perimeter and maintaining a hand on him at all times to make sure he can’t get separation for the open shot.

If Wake can take away the catch-and-shoot and force him to either dribble into the lane to shoot or pass, or take it to the basket, then it will reduce his efficiency tremendously and help mitigate the most powerful weapon the Cadets have on offense.