Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Kevin Haskin: 'Unconventional' Mid-Range Game Suits K-State's Williams

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Kevin Haskin: 'Unconventional' Mid-Range Game Suits K-State's Williams

Article excerpt

MANHATTAN -- Conventional wisdom in college basketball asserts that a jumper from the baseline or the elbow is a bad shot if it only counts for two points.

There was a day, long ago, when that shot was coveted. No arc was drawn on the floor. The medium-range jumper, or even set shot, from 12 to 15 feet, was considered a good get. Particularly if it was uncontested.

Someone fit Nino Williams for short shorts and show his highlights on black and white film.

The 6-foot-5 forward still takes that medium-range shot for Kansas State. Williams made the first eight he attempted Saturday before finishing 10 of 13. The Leavenworth senior netted a team- high 20 points as the Wildcats dumped Oklahoma State, 63-53, at Bramlage Coliseum.

"Sometimes it's simple basketball: Take what they give you; don't make it over-complicated," K-State coach Bruce Weber said.

"That mid-range shot, he's got it down, but any mid-range basketball is not part of today's basketball world."

To the point that some critics call any attempt from mid-range, even when open, a poor selection.

With the 3-pointer available and dunks to be had from stickbacks, feeds, lobs and transition, why mess with a 15-footer?

Well, Williams always has. And to his credit, he realizes his limitations. He has worked on form shooting for 20-30 minutes each day and recognizes the benefits.

"I'm a pretty confident guy," Williams said. "I don't show it much, but I think shoot mid-range, though I don't shoot 3s," Williams said.

"Thank goodness," chimed in Weber.

By figuring out what works, Williams is another option the Wildcats must use.

With the Cowboys hounding Marcus Foster on double-teams, and sealing off Thomas Gipson down low, openings for Williams were prevalent. By making the first eight shots he attempted, the floor opened up for other Wildcats. Their offense, which struggled to execute many times this season, clicked at a 57 percent rate. …

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