Friday, February 26, 2010
Breaking down Nikola Dragovic's shot selection
Much has been made about senior Nikola Dragovic's shot selection. Early in the season, Dragovic admitted that he tracked the ball as soon as it left his right hand instead of maintaining his focus on the basket.
Coach Ben Howland said Dragovic corrected this flaw, but his shot selection has still been puzzling at times. The 6-foot-9 forward has the tendency to fade away when he doesn't have to.
We break down his nine shots from UCLA's 65-56 win against Oregon State last night.
- Shot No. 1 (10:29) -- Dragovic missed a jumper shortly after coming back onto the floor. He had left the game momentarily with an injured left shoulder he sustained while diving for a loose ball.
- Shot No. 2 (8:41) -- Less than two minutes later, Dragovic tried his luck again. Guard Malcolm Lee drove to the lane from the top of the key and kicked it out to Dragovic, who was open in the left corner. He missed right but looked settled. Dragovic made up for the miss by taking a charge on Oregon State's next offensive possession.
- Shot No. 3 (19:04) -- After a scoreless first half (0-for-2 shooting), Dragovic nailed a three-pointer from the left wing off a nice feed from guard Michael Roll. He squared up nicely to the basket and kept his right arm extended (with his wrist curled up, too) long after the ball went through the net.
- Shot No. 4 (14:19) -- Almost five minutes later, Dragovic went back to that left corner and sank his second three-pointer. Nothing wrong with his form on this attempt. He jogged back to the defensive end holding up three fingers on each hand.
- Shot No. 5 (10:01) -- With more than 30 seconds left on the shot clock and UCLA leading by nine, Dragovic missed a three-point shot from about 25 feet away. Howland was not too happy. "I pulled him right away," Howland said. "I probably should be doing that more to him because that really got us off."
- Shot No. 6 (7:02) -- Perhaps learning his lesson, Dragovic settled near the paint and nailed a turnaround hook shot.
- Shot No. 7 (5:27) -- Dragovic missed from his favorite spot on the left wing. He thought it looked good and kept his right arm extended long after the ball clanked off the back of the rim.
- Shot No. 8 (3:10) -- Another missed three-pointer, this one from the right wing and with UCLA leading by three.
- Shot No. 9 (0:59) -- With UCLA up by five, Dragovic took an uncontested layup to put the game out of reach.
Dragovic made four of nine shots and all four of his free throws for 14 points.