Madden's Shot on Cruise

There are two more games before Christmas, but you can't blame Ky Madden for getting his wish list out a little early. With the way he's shooting, he should get his wish. He's been good.

Ky Madden wants a "remote control car" for Christmas, like the one he broke years ago as a kid. But what Arkansas coach Mike Anderson probably wants is for Madden to stay on remote control with his three-point shooting.

Madden is the 6-5 junior point guard from Lepanto with the red-hot shooting touch right now. After making only 7 of 35 threes last year (20 percent) and 24 of 106 for his career (22.6), Madden is 12 of 20 for 60 percent for the Hogs in a 7-2 start.

There was little doubt that Madden had the best line in a Tuesday media session at Bud Walton Arena -- the first since the Hogs beat Savannah State last Thursday -- when the topic of Christmas wish lists came up.

Madden wants a remote control car for Christmas. He said he got one as a young boy and broke it in the first week and has been wanting another one ever since. If he keeps shooting the way he has in the last few games, someone might take care of it.

Madden said in preseason that thought of himself as "a pass first guy," but that might be changing, according to Anderson.

"Ky is playing the game the right way," Anderson said. "He wants to win. It's good to see him become more assertive (with his shot). He is taking what the defense gives him. If you don't guard him, he's going to step up and take that shot."

Madden was asked if he changed something fundamentally in his shot.

"Not fundamental or technique, but I have tried to be more consistent with my stroke and release," he said. "In the summer and this fall, the coaches showed me video and my shot was different every time. I've tried to make it the same every time, just be more consistent. I think I've done that."

Teammate Fred Gulley said he's seen Madden can the long jumper in practice.

"I think he's been more consistent and I think he's put in a lot of work," Gulley said. "He's put in a lot of extra time."

Anderson said the Hogs got Sunday off to concentrate on studies. Most are about through with finals, although a few have tests through Thursday. But by the time the Hogs square off with Tennessee-Martin at 7 p.m. Thursday, all finals will be done.

Anderson wants to see a full 40 minutes after a lackluster opening half against Savannah State and only about "25-30 minutes" against Clemson.

"We did play well for a good bit against Clemson, then we put it in shut-down mode," Anderson said. "We started playing not to lose. We missed free throws and we gave up offensive rebounds. I want to extend the lead and you do that by making free throws and keeping them off the glass."

Anderson said the goal is to play with better effort from the outset against UT-Martin, the way the Hogs played in the second half against Savannah State.

"We played with more piss and vinegar in the second half," Anderson said. "We really got after it."

UT-Martin's Skyhawks (5-8) enter with three straight victories, including a road win at Presbyterian, 73-70, Monday night. They are led by Little Rock Hall junior Myles Taylor. The 6-7, 250-pounder is coming off ACL knee surgery last March. He has played in the last 10 games, averaging 15.4 points and 5.9 rebounds, tops on the team in both categories.

Madden played with and against Myles during his AAU career. He is two years ahead of UA freshman Bobby Portis in high school, but Portis was a starter as a freshman with Myles.

"We were talking about him in the locker room," Madden said. "He's a tough, physical player. We know he plays hard. We know this is probably where he wanted to be in college and he's going to come in here with a lot of friends and family and play very hard."

UT-Martin trailed Presbyterian by 10 points with seven minutes to play before bouncing back for the triumph. The Skyhawks have also beaten Northern Kentucky and Samford in their last three outings. They lost at UNLV, Colorado, Arkansas State, Florida State and Wyoming. They lost at home to UM-Kansas City, Jackson State, Lipscomb.

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