Conner Teahan didn’t need a stack of box scores to give an evaluation of his recent three-point shooting stats.
“They’re not good,” the senior guard said following KU’s 64-54 victory over Texas A&M; on Monday. “You know what? I don’t even know what the numbers are, but when was the last time I made more than two threes in a game? I can’t remember.”
It’s actually been four games since Teahan put in a pair of treys, as he went 2-for-6 from three in KU’s 81-46 victory over Texas Tech on Jan. 11.
Against Texas A&M;, the Leawood native made one of five threes to drop his season average to 36 percent (32 of 88).
“It is frustrating, because you know that’s what you’re supposed to do. That’s what you bring to the team,” Teahan said. “I’m a three-point shooter. It’s not that I don’t do too much else, but that’s my key cornerstone I need to bring to the team. When I’m not knocking it down, I’m frustrated with myself, and I know my teammates have to get frustrated.”
In his last six games, Teahan has made five of 23 three-pointers (22 percent). That’s after making 42 percent of his threes (27 of 65) in his first 14 games.
Recently, Teahan has been getting to the gym early to put up extra three-pointers with KU assistant coach Joe Dooley.
“I’ll tell you, I feel like I’m going to start really making a lot of shots,” Teahan said. “I was talking to my dad (Mark) the other night. I was like, ‘Man, I can’t buy a bucket.’ He was like, ‘Well, you’re shooting straight up and down. It looks good. You’re holding your release and everything. And I think you’re going to start making them.’”
Though it’s not well known, Teahan actually retooled his shot over the summer to try to become more consistent.
During that time, he worked out at Prairie Life Fitness in Overland Park with Dustin Lewis —a longtime basketball instructor and former high school coach in Palm Desert, Calif.
“He was like, ‘Hey, you have a good shot, but you’re kind of a streaky shooter,’ which was kind of the truth,” Teahan said. “I would go through times where I’d make a bunch in a row, then there’d be times I’d miss four or five in a row. Which, as a good shooter, you shouldn’t miss that many in a row when you’re just shooting (in a gym).”
Lewis had noticed that Teahan was shooting mostly in front of his face. When that happens, Teahan says the tendency is for a right-handed shooter’s follow-through arm to go out to the right, which results in different release points and can cause a shot to miss short, long, left or right.
Teahan altered his approach, starting his hands over to the right a bit more so that his release is straight up and down. The hope is that it will create a more consistent release point, meaning he might miss threes short or long, but he shouldn’t miss them left or right.
Teahan, who said he can recall every shot he takes after a game, said only two of his five shots against A&M; felt like they might be short coming off his hand.
“I’m telling you, when I’ve been shooting the ball, they’ve been feeling good,” Teahan said. “I’ll be sitting there shooting it, and I’ll just be like, ‘It’s going in.’ When I let it go, I feel good. Most of them felt great (Monday night).
“But, you know what, I’ve got to start making them. It’s the bottom line.”