For all of you who ever dreamed of playing basketball like Klay Thompson … well, now you can. His sweet jumper has been reduced to an ugly clanker.
How can this be? Wasn't it just a month or two ago when Thompson was leading the nation in scoring and flirting with the idea of leaving early for the NBA?
Nowadays, Thompson's idea of the NBA is No Baskets in Awhile.
I'm no shot doctor but I am reasonably certain there's nothing wrong with Thompson's shot that a good shrink can't fix. In other words, it is Thompson's head that needs adjusting, not his shooting form.
Saturday night at Friel Court, Thompson's shoulders sagged. He pleaded with officials. He frowned. He moped. He threw his arms up in frustration. He let his personal trials and tribulations override the single most important reason he was on the court -- to do everything in his power to help Washington State defeat Washington.
This is not to imply that Thompson was not trying his best. He was. It's just that he was not in a state of mind where it was humanly possible for him to perform his best, or anywhere close to it.
Great shooters -- and Thompson will be one again, that is a certainty -- can and must offset the inevitable poor shooting night by playing great defense. Or making great passes. Or setting great screens.
Right now, the best thing Thompson can do to clear his head and cure his game is get out of town. Conveniently enough, the Cougars are doing just that, heading to the Oregon schools this week and the Pac-10 Tournament in Los Angeles next week.
Thompson has experienced his share of rough outings on the road -- remember 2 for 15 at Washington? -- but few players of his caliber have ever suffered through as miserable a homestand as the one Thompson just endured.
Would you believe that Thompson -- one of 30 players tabbed at midseason as national player of the year candidates -- had more turnovers (17) than points (15) in the three games? And that he led the Cougars in turnovers each game, but never scored more than eight points? And that he made only 4 of 35 shots (11 percent), including 3 of 16 (19 percent) from 3-point range?