Wall, an improved shooter

Wall, an improved shooter

The biggest knock on John Wall coming into college was that he was not a consistently good outside shooter.

The biggest knock on John Wall coming into college was that he was not a consistently good outside shooter.

He heard the criticism, too, and that's why he has spent enormous time this season on his outside shot and heading to postseason play is a 35 percent shooter from 3-point range for Kentucky.

"I was always a good mid-range shooter, but I have become a better overall shooter. I work after practice and try to get in before practice for 30 minutes and shoot with the coaches in there to get extra shots up," Wall said. "I feel like I can shoot. The confidence I get from making shots in those drills just keeps building up because the more you make shots, the more you believe you will keep making them."

There's not much Wall has not done right during a gigantic freshman season that has him leading the Wildcats in scoring (16.8 points per game), steals (54) and assists (187). He has even blocked 16 shots, including ones at Mississippi State and Vanderbilt that enabled UK to pull out victories.

He's done all that while knowing that he's projected as the No. 1 pick in the upcoming NBA draft. Wall has done his best to avoid NBA speculation, but admits the future is never totally out of his thoughts.

"You can't put it out of your mind. You hear it every day. But coach Cal, my teammates and my mother keep me humble and going in the right direction," Wall said. "I know some people don't want you to say it, but you have to set long-term goals. If you don't you are not going to work as hard to achieve them."

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