Panthers continue rebuilding, add 3-point specialist to team

George Pridgett Jr. dribbling up the court. Photo courtesy of Polk Athletics.

William Duval | Assistant Sports Director

After an extreme rise in scoring and minutes since transferring from Jacksonville University to Polk State College, incoming junior guard George Pridgett Jr. announced his commitment to FIU basketball on June 8, 2023, via Twitter.

Pridgett, the 5-11, 153-pound point guard served his team with both scoring and highly efficient 3-point shooting. In his 2022-2023 campaign with Polk, Pridgett averaged 19.6 points, 2.9 assists and 1.8 steals, doing so with ease and efficiency.

Last season, he shot 42.2% from the field and 41.1% from 3-point land. What is most impressive about Pridgett’s shooting percentages is that he averaged 7.9 3-point attempts per game, proving himself to be an elite shooter.

Not only was Pridgett a great shooter, he proved to be a two-way player last season. His 1.8 steals per game average is noteworthy, showing that he is willing to play persistent defense.

In his freshman season with Jacksonville, Pridgett was in a reduced role, appearing in 27 games and starting in seven. Despite his lack of playing time, he shot 49.1% from three on over two attempts per game. 

Now with two highly efficient shooting seasons under his belt, Pridgett is joining an FIU basketball team that has loaded up on shooters. 

The Panthers routinely struggled from beyond the arc last season, finishing 10th in both team 3-point percentage and 3-point field goals made. 

Hitting only 6.8 threes per game, the only team that averaged less shots from beyond the arc than FIU was UTEP, which made 4.9 threes per game last season. 

If the Panthers can hit their stride from three, it’ll force defenses to adjust and take pressure off the interior, opening up the floor for the team’s bigs and slashers to go to work. 

Being able to convert on open 3-point opportunities is crucial to winning basketball games and with new acquisitions such as Travis Gray, Jaidon Lipscomb and now Pridgett through the transfer portal, the Panthers are clearly looking to shoot a high volume of 3-pointers at a hopefully more efficient rate. 

Follow William Duval on Twitter at @WillDuval40

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