Wichita State senior Nick Wiggins ran with his mother, a former Olympian. He talked basketball with his father, a former NBA player. He spent Christmas in Toronto, with his family together for the first time since May.
If that sounds like a good way to hit the refresh button on a season, Wiggins agrees. He is back from the break intent of breaking out of a shooting slump nobody saw coming. No. 10 Wichita State (12-0) plays Davidson (4-8) at 2 p.m. Sunday at Koch Arena in its final non-conference game.
Now its back to business, he said. You love to be 12-0, but you also want to be playing well, individually.
Wiggins, a 6-foot-6 guard, earned a spot on the Missouri Valley Conferences All-Bench team last season, primarily because of his sweet shooting touch. He made 31 of 74 (41.9 percent) of his three-pointers and averaged 4.9 points. This season, Wiggins shots are bouncing off the rim, often after teasing him, at a discouraging rate.
They go in, and its like someones on the basket just hitting them out, he said.
That invisible defender has been busy messing with Wiggins. He is 6 of 29 from three (20.7 percent) and went through a four-game stretch without a three before making 1 of 3 in last weeks win over North Carolina Central. His accuracy at the foul line is also slipping, down from 73 percent last season to 52 percent (13 of 25) this season.
The only solution I have is hard work, WSU coach Gregg Marshall said. Youve got to put in time and youve got to groove your stroke. Youve got to regain your confidence, or your karma or your mojo. Ive seen him make them for a year-and-a-half that hes been with us and now, all of sudden, he cant knock one down.
Wiggins said he went through a stretch similar to this in junior college. He worked through it and he says he is confident this slump will end soon. The Shockers need bench scoring and so far neither Wiggins nor junior Evan Wessel is shooting well from behind the arc.
Im in the gym, Wiggins said. I feel like its about to turn around for me. I know what Ive got to to do to fix it. Stay in the gym. Not hesitating. Playing with confidence.
His family hit him with that message over the break. Mitchell Wiggins, his father, played in junior college before transferring to Clemson and then Florida State. He played six seasons in the NBA. Marita Payne-Wiggins, his mother, won two silver medals for Canada as a sprinter in the 1984 Olympics.
(Mitchell) had ups and downs, but he never stopped believing in himself, Nick Wiggins said. Its really good for me to have that, that background of athletes in my family that have been through the stuff Im going through now.
The Shockers will try to tie the 1982-83 team for the second-longest win streak in program history on Sunday. The record is 14, set by the 1953-54 team.
Davidson has lost three straight games, part of a non-conference schedule that includes losses to then-No. 4 Duke, then-No. 25 Virginia, then-No. 19 New Mexico and then-No. 14 North Carolina.