Buckley expects team to take 30 to 35 3-point shots a game.

This season, the streets of "downtown" are going to be bustling with activity.

The triple-player attack from behind the three-point line will be one of Ball State's most solid "weapons," as head coach Tim Buckley put it.

"We have people that can shoot, and we feel like we can use it as a weapon," Buckley said.

"It gives defenses the threat of scoring three points as opposed to two which will give us some spacing and will open things up on the interior."

For the Cardinals, it will be Patrick Jackson, Chris Williams and Rob Robbins who will lead the pack when it comes to the 3-point shot.

All three attempt several 3-pointers a game, but it is Robbins who is known for his range as most shots come from a good three-to-five-feet behind the arch.

"If he's in the building he's within range," Buckley said. "I'm never going to tell Rob not to shoot because Rob knows his range, and he is a very unselfish player.

"The thing that makes him dangerous now is that he can shot fake and go around and pull up with the jumper whereas a year ago, he didn't have as much success with that."

For Robbins, shooting deep 3-pointers is old habit.

"My dad always told me that the farther out you go, the less they guard you," Robbins said. "It's something I have really worked on to extend my range and to extend the defense for guys on the inside. It helps them as well as me.

"It's something I have always done since high school. Coach never has any problems with it but if I start missing them I'm sure he'll have a problem with it."

For Jackson, having a teammate that can bury the 3-point shot from so deep is a big advantage.

"That's what makes him so deadly," Jackson said. "Most guys don't expect him to pull up out there. That's just one more asset that we have if the shot clock is running low we can just kick it out there and we know Rob is going to be there."

Williams agreed with Jackson but said with a good laugh that he believed his range was just as good as Robbins'. According to Williams, the two teammates argue over who has the better range. But regardless of the competition between the two, Williams admits that Robbins has good range.

"I think my range is better. We argue about it. He can shoot the ball from anywhere on the court as long as he is in the lines," Williams said.

Jackson believes the 3-point shot will be important, not only for the extra point, but for the space it will provide for the inside shooters like Theron Smith and Lonnie Jones.

"It's very important," Jackson said. "Coach told us he wants us putting 30 to 35 3-pointers up a game.

"It's going to open things up a lot more. We will be able to feed the post and they will be able to play to some one-on-one coverage."

With Buckley asking his players to put up 30 to 35 3-pointers a game, Robbins is quite excited as it plays right into his hands. But, most of all, the junior deep shooter is happy about the fact that the 3-point shot will elevate his team to a new level of competitveness.

"The three-point shot has become such a big part of the game," Robbins said. "If you look at teams that consistently play for a national championship -- Duke, Michigan State, Kansas -- they all take a lot of 3-point shots, and that is just how the game has evolved over the years.

"If you want to keep up with those other teams then you have to be able to do those things."


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