After going 0-for-the-day against Kentucky, all Lance Stemler wanted to do was shoot some more.
Like, a couple hundred times.
"If I'd had enough energy I would have gone up (to Assembly Hall to shoot) Saturday night," Stemler said.
Instead, Stemler was in the gym Sunday night, hoisting an estimated 400 shots. That came just one day after Stemler went 0-for-7 from the floor and was held scoreless in Indiana's 59-54 loss to Kentucky. A 50 percent shooter from 3-point range entering the game, Stemler was 0-of-6 from deep against the Wildcats, including a miss with 10 seconds when IU trailed by three.
That effort was an aberration for a player who has scored in double figures in five of IU's eight games, tying him with D.J. White for the team lead in that category. And in spite of his zero-point outing against Kentucky, Stemler still ranks third on the team in scoring (10.4 points/game) and his 42.9 percent 3-point shooting ranks ninth in the Big Ten.
He looks to pick up his offensive production again Sunday, when Indiana (5-3) hosts Southern Illinois (7-1) at 8 p.m. at Assembly Hall. His late-night shooting Sunday was the first step toward getting his touch and confidence back to where it was.
"I like to clear my head and be in the gym on my own," Stemler said. "Hopefully, I got it worked out."
Despite his shooting struggles, Stemler still played 37 minutes against Kentucky. The fact Ben Allen was unavailable due to mononucleosis was a part of the reason for Stemler setting a personal season-high for minutes, but his play in other areas also kept him on the floor as well.
"Lance played great in that game," said IU Coach Kelvin Sampson. "Look at how many deflections he had off lobs into Randolph Morris. If you take away his shot attempts, Lance Stemler played great.
"Don't ever confuse playing good with shooting good. Sometimes you can shoot good and you play poorly, but nobody knows that because you shot good."
Stemler did finish with a season-high eight rebounds, two assists and two steals.
One of the biggest reasons for Stemler's struggles might have been the fact he was playing in his first true road game as a Hoosier. A concussion kept him sidelined for IU's trip to Duke in late November, so the trip to Kentucky's Rupp Arena was Stemler's first appearance in front of a hostile environment.
Stemler didn't think it was the crowd that affected him a great deal, but rather the adjustment to playing in a different arena.
"(Playing my first road game) was a little bit of a factor, just because of shooting in a foreign arena like that," Stemler said.
Stemler's numbers bear that out. In four games at Assembly Hall Stemler is 16-of-28 (57.1 percent) from 3-point range, but in his three contests away from the Hoosiers' home floor he's just 2-of-14 (14.3 percent).
"You have to get acclimated to the different arenas quickly, because you only have one shoot around before the game," Stemler said. "That's something I'll have to adjust to, but I think I'll be fine with that."
Stemler Tries To Re-Locate Shooting Stroke
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