Wichita State forward Carl Hall made several jump shots during Friday’s pickup game at the Heskett Center. He even tried a three-pointer.
“He’s been doing that the whole summer,” guard Demetric Williams said. “I don’t know if he’s been shooting threes, but he’s been working on his mid-range (shots).”
The Shockers don’t need Hall to become a shooting guard. They do need him to add variety to his offense. Last season, as a junior-college transfer, Hall (6-foot-8, 233 pounds) scored almost exclusively in the lane. He made 107 of 187 shots (57.2 percent) and didn’t come close to shooting a three.
He went to work this summer trying to make his jump shot a weapon. Despite a lot of hours shooting on his own, Hall isn’t where he wants to be. The Shockers wrap up practices and classes this week and then take a break until the start of school. Hall plans to stay in Wichita and stay busy in the gym.
“I need to a work a little harder,” he said. “I need to be in the gym a lot more, at least in the morning and the afternoon. I’m just in there one time a day right now. When we’ve got three weeks off, I’ll be in there twice a day, getting a lot of shots up.”
On Friday, Hall’s jumper appeared to be ready for a bigger stage. Sure, it’s a meaningless game played with dubious defense. Hall, however, looked like a player who is confident he can make 12- to 15-foot jump shots. Teammates say it’s no fluke.
“Carl’s getting better on his jump shot and his faceup game, a lot better,” sophomore guard Tekele Cotton said. “That’s going to help this team a lot, because people (defenses) are not expecting him to do that.”
If Hall can consistently make short jumpers, it opens the lane for his moves to the basket. It also helps him see the floor so he can pass more effectively.
“I’m going to have to score in a variety of ways, not just offensive rebounds,” he said. “I’m going to have to pass out of a double team. That’s why it’s good for me to face up (to the basket). It’s an easier pass for me than when I’ve got my back to the basket.”
Hannah in the house — Former Shocker guard Clevin Hannah played with the young guys on Friday. Hannah is waiting on his travel itinerary for France, where he will play for ALM Evreux in the city of Evreux.
“I’m trying to move up to the highest level I possibly can,” he said. “I’ve some good experiences. Some OK experiences. Nothing crazy.”
Hannah played last season in Finland and earlier in Romania, time that made him grateful for the comforts and standard of living at home.
“It gives me a lot of time to think about a lot,” he said. “It makes me very appreciative to be from America.”
In Finland, he ate tilapia and salmon, no problem for a guy who likes seafood. The language challenged him.
“I learned the basic things, like ‘Hey, how are you doing,’ ” he said. “I can’t say a full sentence or anything like that.”
Hannah played two seasons at WSU, earning All-Missouri Valley Conference honors in 2010.
Tough love — The theme of Shocker baseball over the past year is more discipline and more accountability. Coach Gene Stephenson is kicking off players who don’t meet his behavior standard and vowing to make players work harder on weights and conditioning.
That sounds great to outfielder Joe Haddox (6-foot-3, 185 pounds), who recently signed with WSU.
“He is an old-school coach, and that’s what I need,” Haddox said. “He doesn’t put up with people who don’t listen.”
Haddox, from Moore (Okla.) High, calls himself a late bloomer. He hit .360 as a senior. This summer, he said, he is hitting the ball with more authority. He credits summer coach Brian Shackelford, a former Oklahoma two-way star, with helping his bat.
“He made me more of an attacker at the plate,” Haddox said.
Haddox, who played linebacker and receiver, planned to play football and considered Southwestern in Winfield. By the spring, however, he changed his plans to baseball. Speed is his biggest asset.
“I can cover a lot of ground,” he said. “I like to work the basepaths.”
Worth noting — Guard Rian Holland, who is orally committed to WSU, averaged 20.6 points in a recent tournament in South Carolina and helped his Flight 22 team win its bracket. WSU coach Gregg Marshall was at the tournament to watch Holland, a senior at South View, N.C., according to Kevin Schneider of Big Shots recruiting service.… Missouri State’s basketball outlook took a hit earlier this month. Forward Jarmar Gulley, who averaged 10.4 points as a junior, is expected to miss the season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee while playing, according to the Springfield News-Leader.