It takes confidence to shoot from 3-point range as often as C.J. Wilcox does.
And Wilcox has that requisite swagger.
“It's something I spend a lot of time doing. I'm confident in doing it,” he said. “It's just going out and doing it every night. I have the trust of my teammates, which helps a lot. But I'm just trying to stay consistent and get some wins.”
Wilcox is averaging 12.7 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists over 23 games, including 19 starts, for the Mad Ants (9-14), who play host to the Capital City Go-Go at 7 p.m. today at Memorial Coliseum.
But Wilcox's impact has often come predominantly from beyond the arc.
He has attempted 98 more 3-pointers than anyone else on the Fort Wayne roster, not including newly acquired Daxter Miles Jr.
Wilcox has made 61 of his 159 shot attempts from 3-point range, good for 38.4%.
While his shooting percentage from 3-point range doesn't register in the G League's top 10 – that requires at least 44% – he's attempted more than any of those sharpshooters. Overall, he is shooting 40.1% from the field.
Wilcox, 29, knows the biggest way he affects games is with his shooting, but he wants to deliver more than that.
“Just being active on defense, getting deflections and getting steals, trying to get my teammates opportunities on offense with the ball,” he said. “But you know, my primary role is to knock down shots.”
The Mad Ants had gotten within two games of the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference before losing their last three games, including Saturday's 120-112 road loss to the Windy City Bulls, but there's still plenty of time with 27 games left in the regular season.
Wilcox, who has 66 games of NBA experience with the Los Angeles Clippers and Orlando Magic between 2014 and 2017, wants to be a leader in his first season with Fort Wayne, along with Walt Lemon Jr. and Stephan Hicks.
“For sure, definitely being an older guy,” he said. “I've gone through injuries. I've torn an Achilles. I'm trying to make sure these guys are taking care of their bodies and have the right focus going into games. I'm just trying to be that vet for these young guys.”
Capital City has lost three of its last four games, including a 128-126 loss to the Mad Ants in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 3. Wilcox had 15 points and four steals in the win.