Skills Questionable

Do college teams…Arkansas in particular not have shooting coaches?.. I noticed a number of players come through the college game and our program with bad shooting forms and techniques and they leave with the same forms and techniques like Ronnie Brewer, Jimmy Whitt, Moses Kingsley, Daniel Gafford (mid range), and Jalen Harris (who double pumps his jumper) to name a few.

I ask this question because I remember in high school I wanted to go out for the baseball team after football season and the head coach asked me have I ever played before in little league or junior high…and I told him know and I recall him responding along the line of “I don’t have time to teach you the fundamentals of the game”

Shooting is a fundamental skill so I wonder if it is placed on the back burner in the college game because coaches simply don’t have time to teach the fundamentals. I.e: Be square with the basket(if you’re right handed keep your right foot slightly in front of your left and vice versa), Keep your none shooting hand straight up and down, release the ball at the highest point when you jump, follow through… I like to think I’m a pretty good shooter and I notice great shooter shoot they’re jump shot the same way every time, they’re not inconsistent in their techniques…

Brewer’s form came from a broken arm. Whitt was only here a year. Kingsley was our center and I don’t remember anything wrong with his form. Same with Gafford. Jalen is a work in progress.

Arkansas spends a lot of time working on shooting form - both in practice and out.

Some take, some don’t, but it is stressed.

Good shooting form must start early…Most kids develop bad habits from trying to shoot too far out two early when they do not have the strength necessary…Hard to change a kids shot after he is college level. Can be done but it is an up hill fight.

I have resisted posting on this type of thing for several years now, because I really like Mike Anderson and never want to sound like I am against him. But, since this thread is here, it has seemed to me that he (his “system”) favors athleticism first and shooting skill is not as much of a priority, unless he just has trouble getting the more skilled shooters interested. It also seems to me to be rare (in “the system”) for a guy to go from an okay shooter to a good one. Macon & Barford being two exceptions, IMO.

I am biased on this one but, case in point, we dropped Connor Vanover and got Ibby instead. I know we wanted others before settling on Ibby, but we could have gotten Vanover and had his rare size with shooting skill combination… but he did not fit… “the system”, right? (And I am not bashing Ibby here… please do not anyone take it that way. I hope he can help us down the road with his athleticism. I just don’t think he will ever be as skilled as Vanover is now.)

BTW, Vanover started his last game for Cal, had 7 points in 5 minutes, then went out with a bloody nose and possible concussion while diving on the floor for a loose ball. They are not a good team, but he is providing some help in his first year because of his skills and unusual size.

As for Harris on Sat night he looked horrendous shooting the three but made 7/8 FT’s I think and 4 in a row were all swish. So his underlying form shouldn’t be that bad. I think it’s in his head.

For the year he is shooting over 80% from the line and 2/21 on 3’s.

He is a bright spot for us at the FT line, along with IJ. They both HAVE to be on the floor when we have a lead down the stretch!

We are out the cellar in free throw shooting in the SEC now. They need to improve some more.

Neither Ibby or Vanover would be here if Hall had not left.

Florida is now last in the SEC in FT shooting.

Arkansas is 13th.

Only 8 of the 14 SEC teams are shooting over 69 percent.

Poor free throw shooting is an epidemic and it has become a forgotten craft. A huge part of the game.
Joe, Harris and Jones needs to get to the line more.

Shooting form and technique are important, but shooting is like a lot of skills…it requires touch which is impossible to teach. Some kids can run and jump, but have the touch of an anvil. Some kids can’t run and jump, but have great feel and touch…Larry Bird comes to mind. Larry couldn’t jump over a coke bottle, but he had the feel and touch.

I would love to see stats on average FT% for NCAA by season from 1970 on. I want to know if you are right or is it just a “my good old days” reaction.

My son went to a UA camp and they talked about the science of shooting. They work on it a lot, and preach very specific launch angles, etc. He was young, but the technique was absorbed and we worked and worked on it. Several years later I was coaching an incredibly talented group of athletes who were bankrupt basketball players. My son was the only one who had a shot at all. We worked and worked on it but the boys didn’t have the discipline and the parents didn’t care to push on their own.

ONE boy worked on it besides the work that occurred in my driveway. He has a beautiful shot now and the others look like crap still. 8th graders, so now that they get school coaches doling out playing time to kids who work on things…maybe they’ll take it seriously.

My son was always getting people’s eye because his shot was so nice. He has lead feet and hasn’t gotten his size - not playing this year to work on baseball, but we are anticipating 6-5, or so. He might play some HS ball if he chooses and IF he gets the full size.

My point - Anderson does preach shooting technique. Made it a huge point at his camps. Its just that few players have the discipline to work on it on their own, and few youth coaches know how to teach it.

UA has had good luck with Anderson and Co developing inside skills. I think it is Watkins who works on that? Free throw shooting should improve with time on the machine giving them the computerized feedback.

There is plenty to critique MA on but developing skills is not at the top of the list. He has produced some fine growth from some marginal talents over the years.

For those who can’t remember players who greatly improved their shooting at Arkansas over their careers:

Ky Madden - 3p%: 24% (fr), 20% (so), 40% (junior), 38% (senior)
Michael Qualls - 3p%: 22%, 35%, 33%; FT%: 61% (Fr), 78% (junior)
Moses Kingsley - FT%: 65% (Fr), 76% (senior). Kingsley had a credible midrange jumper by his senior year.
Anthlon Bell - 3p%: 32% (Fr), 44% (senior)
Hannahs - Pts: 8 (soph at TT), 17 (junior at Ark)
Jaylen Barford - 3p%: 27% (junior), 43% (senior)

Most of the starting guards have had big leaps at some point in ballhandling and/or shooting in their careers here.

Dang, now you got to bring facts into a debate.

I really, really don’t want to do this, because, as I wrote in my other post, I don’t want to sound like I am bashing Coach A or anyone that has put it on the line for our Hogs, but… :oops:

What I was talking about was that we do not seem to stress recruiting as many skilled shooters as we recruit fairly raw athletic guys. So even with some individual improvement year to year, we don’t end up with very many seasons with more than two good shooters. Can you remember a Razorback team recently with more than 2 guys that could consistently knock down threes and that you felt confident when they were on the FT line down 2 with a minute left? You know, guys that when the 3-ball goes up you instantly raise three fingers over your head? (BTW, my son’s High School Team has 5 guys on Varsity and 3 guys on the JV team that make me do that every time they square up! One kid - 10th grader- is shooting over 67% from 3 after 12 games - 37 out of 55.)

I mentioned Barford, so I am with you 100% on him. He worked his tail off in the off-season to improve his outside shooting after he came to the Hill.

Hannahs? You want to cite his point total as a sophomore at TT to show how he improved his skills (shooting)? Surely you are not using him as an example of a guy we recruited that was NOT a good shooter before he came. Using him in this so called “debate” is a huge stretch. Dude was a great shooter in High School!!! Was he even offered by the Hogs out of High School?

Kingsley inproved his FT% over his 4 year career by 11%. That is good, I agree. But even as a FR he averaged better than the team is now. As for the recruiting part, I don’t think he was recruited as a “shooter”, so I would not have thought to bring him into a conversation about recruiting shooters… very rarely does outside shooting ability come to mind when getting big men, with the exception of guys like Mickelson & Vanover. But when it does, I would be one to pay special attention to those types of guys… but that is just MY opinion.

Good to see Madden’s numbers take a jump from his sophomore to junior year. He settled in nicely after a bumpy start to his career. Same goes for Qualls. Both of those guys were recruited for their athleticism and improved their games with experience. Both pretty good examples of exceptions to the trend I am attempting to identify.

Now, look at last night’s game against GT and someone tell me we have the shooters to play a half-court game? Joe is excellent, Jones is good & Harris is decent. GT does not have a good offensive team, but knocked us off at BWA because we missed too many shots. I am guessing that the film from last night will be put in everyones Scout Tape file for how to stop us. We better find a way to bust up a zone defense or this season will get ugly.

We need more shooters. And I will readily admit that I am blowing off steam over one shooter in particular that has been a scoring machine for 3-1/2 years in High School and wanted to be a Hog. I am happy for him now that he got other opportunities and ended up in a great spot, but I still wish he was headed to Fayetteville. He and Joe, with Justice Hill at the point, could really help us knock down a lot of 3’s in the half-court next year, IMO.

BTW, I am a Hog fan, and will always be a Hog fan. I am not down on the team or the Coach!

I am an Alum of GT & UofA, but I was born in Arkansas, live in Little Rock, and I’m a Hog fan first! I sat on my hands last night, but expected the Hogs to get the W.

GT was the better team last night. They played harder…50/50 balls seemed to go their way. GT’s point guard was fantastic and proved once again that we are vulnerable to a good point guard. We couldn’t solve GT’s match zone much of the time. Our forwards have now showed that they struggle against better competition. GT looked the fresher team at the end of game. I thought we would win but our young talented team got schooled in basketball last night.

My post about how players improve in their shooting was a refutation that the staff does not teach shooting.

And, yes, Hannahs became a better, more diverse shooter at Arkansas than he had been at Tech. He was a spot-up shooter at Tech. He was quite good inside the arc at Arkansas. His eFG% jumped from 48% at Tech to 56% at Arkansas. Doing much more inside the arc also resulted in him getting to the line more often, where he was automatic. That’s why his points made such a big jump. His rate of scoring went from 2.6 minutes per point to 1.6. He went from an outlet to a prime, all-court option. I’d say that is skill development.

The main problem last night was that Joe missed a bunch of good looks that he normally makes at a high percentage. The rest of the team actually shot a respectable 35% from the arc. If he has his typical 40%+ night, we probably shoot them out of the zone. He isn’t going to shoot a great percentage every night. That’s just the breaks.

We could have used a forward that could score from the high post last night for sure. Bailey suddenly looks scared to shoot, and neither Gabe nor Chaney has done much away from the rim so far. It would also help if Embery-Simpson would come online. He’s probably a much better shooter than his current percentages indicate. Sills is making a respectable percentage of late from the perimeter. On most nights we would be fine from the arc if Keyshawn could just convert mid-30’s from the arc. Two guys that can shoot in the 40’s consistently from the arc plus a couple of others in the mid-30’s is a really good shooting team in college basketball. Not many teams can do better.

Offense hasn’t even been the problem during CMA’s tenure. Since Portis arrived, we have usually been top-30 in offensive efficiency. The lack of a scorer at the #4 has been the main sticking point on offense. The weaker side of the ball has been at the other end, mainly because we haven’t actually been that athletic. How often have we had a big advantage in size and speed in the backcourt and wing? We would probably have an SEC championship if some other teams defended as well as this one. So far, this is CMA’s weakest offensive team in years, which isn’t surprising considering the youth and inexperience. How many teams with eight frosh in the rotation and four new starters are immediate offensive juggernauts? They are going through growing pains at the moment.