Duke’s Jared McCain admits it was hard to not ‘shoot from anywhere’ while breaking Duke March Madness record


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The only thing that stopped Jared McCain from not breaking NCAA records on Sunday was the fact that he was in the middle of a blowout.

The true freshman from Duke knocked down eight three-pointers, a school record for March Madness, but with 9:29 to go, the Blue Devils were winning by 28. They wound up beating James Madison by 38.

Only five players have drilled 10 three-pointers in tournament history (Oakland’s Jack Gohlke became the fifth on Thursday). The record is 11.

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Jared McCain, #0 of the Duke Blue Devils, reacts during the second half against the James Madison Dukes in the second round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Barclays Center on March 24, 2024, in New York City.  (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

McCain knocked each of his first six and finished 8-for-11, tying a season-high. But ultimately, head coach Jon Scheyer couldn’t take the risk.

“I’m sure he’s mad at me for taking him out. He wanted to be in there more,” Scheyer said after Sunday’s 93-55 victory.

“He’s just trying to protect my body – I understand,” a perhaps tad jealous McCain added.

But nonetheless, Barclays Center knew that McCain had a green light.

“I feel like every game, I’m always ready to see if I’m gonna go off. I work so hard, so I’m just prepared every game . . . ” he said.

Jared McCain after three

Jared McCain, #0 of the Duke Blue Devils, reacts after a three-point basket during the first half against the James Madison Dukes in the second round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Barclays Center on March 24, 2024, in New York City.  (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

DUKE’S JARED MCCAIN PUTS ON THREE-POINTER MASTERPIECE TO SEND BLUE DEVILS TO SWEET 16

“It’s the best feeling in the world when you know the work you put in is showing up on the court, especially in such a big game like this.”

It’s not uncommon to see someone who’s hot from three start chucking from anywhere on the floor (i.e., Stephen Curry). And McCain admitted that he “definitely” had to contain his trigger a bit.

“I definitely have to listen to Coach here sometimes. When you get that hot, you want to just pull up from half, do whatever you can,” he said.

“But I know in these types of games, obviously it’s a game of runs, they can obviously come back, so you just gotta make the smart play. But you definitely want to shoot from anywhere.”

Jared McCain shrugs

Jared McCain, #0 of the Duke Blue Devils, reacts during the first half against the James Madison Dukes in the second round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Barclays Center on March 24, 2024, in New York City.  (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

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The Blue Devils await their opponent in their 33rd Sweet Sixteen appearance. It will be either No. 1 Houston or No. 9 Texas A&M.

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