Friday, February 12, 2016

Sure shot: Hard work improved Ellis’ range

Kansas forward Perry Ellis (34) puts a shot over West Virginia forward Devin Williams (41) during the second half, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Perry Ellis (34) puts a shot over West Virginia forward Devin Williams (41) during the second half, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Kansas University senior forward Perry Ellis’ shooting from two- and three-point range has been uncanny the last three games.

In wins over Kansas State, TCU and West Virginia, the 6-foot-8 Ellis has hit 22 of 27 two-pointers for 81.5 percent and four of seven threes for 57.1 percent.

Of his two-point accuracy of late Ellis said Thursday: “I would say maybe I’m attacking the hole a little more, a little more aggressive and taking my time a little bit more off the dribble. That could be something due to not rushing into it, using my dribble a bit.”

On the season, Ellis, a 53 percent overall shooter, has made 19 of 40 threes for 47.5 percent. All last year, he made 18 of 46 threes for 39.1 percent and overall hit 45.7 percent of his shots.

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“This summer, I definitely did (work on perimeter game),” Ellis said. “I tried to get my body and muscle memory get used to taking those shots. That definitely helped me out a lot.”

Last summer, KU coach Bill Self told Ellis to practice shooting threes from past the NBA three-point line, which is 23 feet, 9 inches, compared to college basketball’s 20-9.

“It helped me just stretch my range, I think,” Ellis said. “At first it wasn’t real comfortable shooting those (NBA) shots. Gradually it started getting better and better. It worked out.”

When Ellis returned to shooting college threes this season, the distance appeared much, much shorter, in effect an easier shot than last year.

“Definitely,” Ellis said. “When I first started at the NBA line it seemed so far back I couldn’t even shoot them well until I got used to it. Now it’s really helping,” he added.

Another Jayhawk who is faring well from three is sophomore Devonté Graham, who has made 40 of 94 for 42.6 percent. Last year, he cashed 17 of 40 for 42.5 percent.

“The coaching staff helped me with it (threes) being confident,” Graham said. “Coach gets on all of us for passing up open shots. If you are open, he wants you to shoot the ball. He instills that confidence in all of us so we play with a free mind, not being hesitant on shots. It’s been going in for me. That boosts confidence. Making shots definitely is helping me out,” added Graham, who has 10 threes in 25 tries the last six games.

Unlike Ellis, Graham was not able to work on his trey shooting much last summer because of a partially torn quad above the knee.

“I couldn’t really do anything but stationary jump shots. I couldn’t run, jump,” Graham said.

Big game part II: KU’s Graham is looking forward to Saturday’s 1:30 p.m., battle at Oklahoma, which is a rematch of KU’s 109-106 three-overtime win on Jan. 4 in Allen.

“Last night I was thinking about it kind of all night,” Graham said Thursday. “I was up until 1 o’clock thinking about the game, thinking about last game. Coach tells us to not waste any energy until it’s game time, save it for game time. We need to be happy, be ready for it, energetic, get practice in and get ready.”

Naismith list: KU’s Ellis and Wayne Selden Jr., have been named to the Naismith Trophy midseason 35 list, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Thursday. Others from the Big 12 on list: Georges Niang, Monte Morris, Iowa State and Buddy Hield, Oklahoma. The award is presented to player of the year in college basketball.

Azubuike, others to play in tourney here: Future KU forward Udoka Azubuike and several other KU prospects, including Josh Jackson, Thon Maker, DeAndre Ayton, Billy Preston, Deshawn Corprew and Trevon Duval will be competing at the Tanager National Championships on March 24-27 at Free State High School, the organizer of the event tells Matt Scott of Game schedules and specifics will be released in coming weeks.

Self on OU’s Buddy Hield likely winning national player of year: “Yeah, yeah, there’s nobody else. There’s other talents. Denzel (Valentine, Michigan State) hadn’t got hurt, maybe you could make a case for him. We saw him when he was as good against us as Buddy was against us for the most part. And of course (Ben) Simmons you can make a case for the best prospect, without question. But nobody’s impacted the game this year like Buddy has. They could give that award out now,” Self said.


Steve Zimmerman 6 years, 3 months ago

Kudos to Ellis' progress. His pass to Lucas is a good sign. He normally forces his shots against 2-3 defenders, but now, he is aware of the other big inside. He seems to be a complete player now.. almost. But he's getting there.

On the other hand.. I wonder what 6 hours 3pt practice a day can do to Selden. His inconsistency has hindered him from being productive as a starter. He needs to play like he did @WUG in each game now.

Freddie Garza 6 years, 3 months ago

You're making $7k a month (supposedly) in a ponzi scheme. Stop spamming.

Armen Kurdian 6 years, 3 months ago

I think that's the point...this is the same individual changing aliases almost daily and the LJW is not stopping it, it should be childs play to stop this bastard from posting.

Bryce Landon 6 years, 3 months ago

A similar situation is ongoing on the official website of the comic strip "Dilbert". But that's none of Scott Adams' business...

Len Shaffer 6 years, 3 months ago

That was a great idea to have Perry shooting from NBA range over the summer.

Aside from helping his prospects of making the NBA, it's like when batters swing a weighted bat in the on-deck circle and then their regular bat feels much lighter when it's time to face the pitcher.

Dirk Medema 6 years, 3 months ago

It seems to me that Perry has been initiating his O from farther out, and many times with his defender isolated. For all Perry's lack of athleticism, he has developed both hands very well, and there aren't many college 4's that can stay with him in the open when he has room to move in either direction. Maybe as good to have him breaking down the opposition with Frank and the others spotting up for 3's than the other way around.

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