Adams not discouraged by shooting slump

It has been a rough year for Hassan Adams. The junior came into the season with talk of a possible jump to the NBA, however a severe shooting slump now have Adams working hard to regain the form he showed a year ago.

Adams led the Wildcats in scoring last year, a feat made even more impressive considering the fact that he was playing out of position at power forward. With Andre Iguodala jumping to the NBA, Adams was able to move to his natural position on the wing and he seemed poised for a break out season.

There was every reason to believe that Adams would excel on the wind. Speculation was rampant that Adams was looking to leave after the season. He spent the summer working on his deficiencies, including a lot of ball handling and extra jump shooting.

It isn't like Adams has shot poorly overall. He's hit a respectable 43% from the field, but the number could be even better. He has seen a lot of shots that normally fall, rim out. He's missed a number of easy shots that he has not missed in the past.

"I'm going to shake that off, they're going to fall. I'm not worried about that," Adams said. "I'm going to keep shooting. They're going to fall. I've been working on my shooting in practice. That is just how it goes. It goes and comes. You start off offensively pretty slow."

When Adams is going bad, he's been awful. Against San Diego, Michigan, Manhattan and ASU he was a combined 13-52 (.250). Even when his scoring numbers have been good, he has needed a lot of shots to do so. He was 8-19 against both Wake Forest and Stanford. And has had games where he has shot 15 and 13 times.

Although Adams has been struggling, he has not gotten down. He has remained positive and is working through the slump. "It's not too frustrating," Adams claims. "I can't do to much. I shoot them, I work on it. If they don't fall what can I do? All I can do is keep shooting them. I can't hit the jumper, but I feel like I am doing a lot more than scoring or trying to score. I am passing the ball better and I feel my defense is picking up still. I feel that I am making my teammates better."

Where Adams has really struggled is from behind the arc. He has never been a sharpshooter from behind three-point land, but he was at least a competent three-point shooter. Last season he hit 38.4%, but this season he is making just 28.6% of his long balls.

Fellow Wildcat Mustafa Shakur has also struggled at times this season, but unlike Shakur, Adams has not tweaked his shot. He worked on it a lot over the summer, but did not alter his mechanics.

"I didn't change it, I shoot the same," Adams explained. "If you start tweaking stuff, it's too late in life to be changing things you've been doing for so long. I just keep shooting. I know they are going to fall. I know they'll fall, I'm not even worried about it. I don't even think about it much. If they fall, they fall. I'm having fun. This team is great, we're having fun."

While Adams has not been the scorer he was a year ago, he has become a more well rounded player. He continues to be a threat on the boards and has improved his passing and his defense.

"Everybody has been scoring, so I'm just trying to add to my game," said Adams. "More passing, more assists and rebounding. Better defense. I want to be a defensive stopper, try to guard their best player. Just be an athlete and get into him. Try to set the tone for my team."

He has especially thrived in dishing the ball. He had a career high seven assists and is tied for second on the team with 2.5 assists a game. Adams seems to be really getting a kick out of setting up his teammates.

"That is always fun, to see them score," said Adams. "It's fun to make a great pass and see them finishing. With that, it gives you a little more confidence in your whole game as a player. Just knowing you have players who are going to finish for you, you are feeling more confident passing. It's all about confidence. I feel more confident handling the ball. I'm just playing my game."

Adams has some comfort in knowing that he isn't the only one who has struggled and that the team has won when various players have had bad shooting nights. The team has enough players who can pick up the scoring load when guys struggle.

"That is when that depth comes in. We're deep. We've got great players who can back up. Sometimes there are going to be nights like that when stuffs not going to go for this person or that person. All you can do is keep playing. That is why we have four or five reserves on the perimeter and a couple of big guys that can play inside. That's what is so good for our game."

E-mail Brad at bradallis@msn.com


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