Why you should bet on Ausar Thompson making a big leap next season

New Orleans Pelicans v Chicago Bulls
New Orleans Pelicans v Chicago Bulls / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

The Detroit Pistons struggled tremendously last season in two key areas: Three point shooting, and defense.

Before last season, they actually made a quiet but potentially impactful move by hiring one of the top defensive assistants in the league in Dan Burke. Unfortunately, after just a few games, Burke had to step away from the team for personal reasons. Now, it seems Trajan Langdon is doing the same to remedy their other weakness, shooting. Enter Fred Vinson.

Related Story. Has Trajan Langdon already made his first mistake for the Pistons?. Has Trajan Langdon already made his first mistake for the Pistons?. dark

Vinson is known around the league as one of, if not the, best shooting assistants.

Numerous players have said they owe their career to Coach Vinson thanks to him revitalizing their shot.

He will have his hands full with a team that was 26th in the NBA last year in three point shooting. He’ll be tasked with making Ausar Thompson a legit threat from deep and getting Ivey to be consistent.

Let’s take a look at some previous success stories from Detroit’s newest assistant. If his past is any indication, we could see a huge leap from Ausar Thompson as a shooter.

Three Point Shooting Percentage Improvements Under Fred Vinson

1. Lonzo Ball - 30% 3PT -> 38% 3PT

2. Jose Alvarado 30% 3PT -> 37% 3PT

3. Herb Jones 33% 3PT -> 42% 3PT

4. Brandon Ingram 29% 3PT -> 35% 3PT

5. Devonte Graham 28% 3PT -> 35% 3PT

Possibly one of the most visually difficult challenges on this list from Vinson was Lonzo Ball. Lonzo’s shooting form was/is infamous for it’s unique, inefficient mechanics. Coach Fred and Lonzo got in the gym, and painstakingly reworked his form. Lonzo saw his three point percentage rise from 30 percent when he was with LA, to 38 percent at the time he was leaving New Orleans on nearly twice as many attempts.

"Coach Fred, I owe him everything. I remember first coming to New Orleans, I get there, I’m working out, I’m shooting around, he’s rebounding for me, I’m doing what I always do. About 3-4 days goes by, and he’s like ‘We about to change this’... I respect him so much… He helped BI too. We were in there every night, just shooting."

Lonzo Ball on Fred Vinson's Impact

Jose Alvarado, Herb Jones, Brandon Ingram and Devonte Graham all saw their three point shooting percentages rise a collective 29 percent. There are so many reasons a player sees their long distance shooting improve after their rookie campaign, but the common denominator here is Fred Vinson.

The effort, care, and committement to his players is second to none. All those intangibles are on top of his tangible knowledge of shot improvement. Last year, Fred had the Pelicans fourth in the NBA in three point percentage, shooting 38.3 percent as a team. As already stated, Detroit shot just 34.7 percent from three last year, furthering their bottom nine percentage from the last five years consecutively.

We can only hope that Vinson has already put a few hours in with both Ausar Thompson and Jaden Ivey. Ivey has clearly shown that he has the ability to light it up from deep, but just needs help with his consistency. Ausar, while he showed slight improvements towards the end of the season, might be Coach Fred’s biggest challenge yet. But he’s working with one of the hardest working players in the league. I’d put my money on them figuring it out.