Admiral Schofield has range.
The Washington Wizards rookie shot 41.8% from deep his final season at Tennessee, often draining shots from well beyond the 3-point line:
Along with his high motor, hulking build and fluid athleticism, Schofield’s strong perimeter shooting helped him earn first-team All-SEC honors as a senior. It’s been more of the same so far in the NBA Summer League:
Building range is all about reps, and Schofield’s been working to extend his offense for many, many years.
“One of the drills my dad would do with me is he’d have me at half court. And he’d be on the baseline. I’d be in the middle of half court, my feet staying active. My dad would roll the ball as fast as he could somewhere on the floor. And as soon as I chased the ball down and picked it up, I’d have to shoot from wherever I got it from. So it could be close—sometimes he’d roll it where I’d have to run, sprint in within the arc, grab it and shoot it, get it off quick. Or he’ll roll it really far (toward) the other side of the court, and I have to sprint over there maybe close to half-court and shoot it,” Schofield says.
“But I couldn’t just push it. You know how some people just push it from half court and not really shoot the ball. I had to actually shoot the ball,” he said. “So it taught me to really use my legs from a young age. It taught me range and touch and how to find your shot. We did that drill and got a lot of reps. (And) usually, whatever size court I’d play on, I’d work out on a bigger size court. If I was playing on a high school or AAU court, I’ll work out on a college court, so I’d be used to stepping behind the college line and shooting. Once I got to college, I always shot NBA range…Once my career got further, I kept stepping back further and further from the NBA line. I just got comfortable shooting (there).”
Schofield raises an important point about “pushing the ball.” If a kid doesn’t have the strength to be shooting with good form from deep, they really don’t get much out of just chucking the ball up. In fact, they can quickly build bad habits that make them a clunky, erratic shooter. It sounds like Schofield was a bit of a man-child growing up, so he likely had the requisite strength to take technically proficient shots from deep before most of his peers.
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