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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Nate Wolters Drops 30 Points in Opener

Wolters spent some of his summer getting a chance to travel and play in all-star camps against some of the best college basketball players. For a Minnesota kid playing at South Dakota State, that was an eye opening experience and a confidence booster. It made his dream seem much closer to a reality. Playing in a conference that rarely produces NBA stars, it may seem as if scouts aren't watching, but they certainly are watching the senior point guard very intently.

Wolters may have heard some of the scrutiny. After shooting 24% from 3-pt range last season, people assumed he couldn't shoot. This was despite Wolters shooting above 40% the season before. What caused the drop? I believe the drop could partially be explained by the mentality Wolters had last season. Wolters looked to drive first and only settled for long jumpshots at the end of the shotclock - resulting in lower percentage shots. Of course, Wolters himself wasn't going to settle for this explanation as he hit the gym all summer searching for his stroke back.

As the roommate of the team's student manager, Wolters had a personal rebounder all summer and took advantage of it. He would be shooting the lights out all night (literally, the coaches had to come by to tell him the gym was closed) and ended up making a small tweak in his shooting mechanics by making sure his left thumb was off the ball in order to improve spin.

Well, in the first game of the season it looks like something worked. Wolters was aggressive early on, not just looking to attack the hoop, but also looking to set up his jump shot. He looked very confident shooting it and finished the night 5-7 from deep and added another long 2.

Wolters is able to hit jumpshots both off the dribble and spotting up and looks very much like a pure shooter. He has great form and I fully expect him to go back to shooting around 40% from deep this season.

Below are highlights from the game:

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