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Three Reasons Rashad Madden's Three-Point Shooting Has Improved

Rashad Madden has improved his jump shot dramatically, hitting threes at a 60% clip after the first nine games. What factors have led to this overhaul from outside the arc?

Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports

Rashad "Ky" Madden signed with the Razorbacks 2011 class as a 4 star recruit ranked anywhere from 6th to 9th as a point guard and top 50 overall recruit by most scouts. All the tools were there to become a reliable point guard in Mike Andersons system, but in his first two seasons he was not able to show consistency. One area that this was all too apparent was in three point shooting.

In Madden's freshman season (2011-2012) he shot 17/71 for 23.9%, and in his sophomore season (2012-13) he only made 7/35 3pt FGs for 20%. A remarkable improvement this season has resulted in shooting 12/20 so far for 60% and has made more from 3pt range this year than all last season. This drastic improvement has not been due to taking more shots, or specific sets to get more open 3's. The main factor has been an off season change in his shot mechanics. The catch and release have remained almost unchanged, but the footwork and balance are much improved from his first two seasons. This has been pointed out by many of the analysts on the TV broadcasts (Jimmy Dykes, Blake Eddins) who have much more basketball knowledge than I do.

The three factors below are a major part of his increased percentage.

1) Jumping Straight UP and DOWN. Even with a defender closing this has improved his shooting %. (Keeping on balance may be a combination of better core strength, and better shooting form)

2) Shooting the same way every time not fading, or drifting during the release of the ball.

3) Improved confidence that the shot will go down. (Took half as many 3pt shots last year compared to Fresh)

(Click on the pics below to see more clearly)

Makes VS Clemson 2013


Misses 2011-12 Season and 2012-13


As Eddins has pointed out Madden has shot a much higher percentage of 3's when stepping in to his shot, and the above clips show this as well. With a solid base, not fading, and shooting in rythm he can hit a high percentage. In his freshmen season, Madden attempted many off the dribble, and that is not his game. He is a catch and shoot guy from that range, and has shown that he can step out even a few feet behind the line this season. Anthlon Bell , Kikko Haydar, and Michael Qualls have proven they can contribute from behind the arc also. If Mardracus Wade can add to this combination teams will have trouble zeroing in on any one shooter.

Madden on his improved shooting:

"I just think it's confidence," Madden said. "... It was real good, just confidence that's built knowing I can carry it over from one game to the next. Hopefully I can just continue doing it and carry it over to the next game."

There is no doubt that the improved play of Qualls, in addition to the presence of Bobby Portis and Moses Kingsley in the paint has lead to more open shots. Last season Madden had very little confidence in his ability to knock it down whether wide open or not. So far in this season he has shown that when teams give space on the perimeter he can make a high percentage, which will in turn open up more space to drive and pass/score.

The next question will be whether the rest of the team can make open shots when teams eventually start playing Madden tighter on the perimeter. It remains to be seen whether this team will be able to win on the road in SEC play and make a case for a bid in the tournament. Will they struggle against teams who play zone as they have recently, or will the hot shooting continue during the cold winter months leading into March Madness?