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December 8, 2011
MADISON - Though his scoring average wasn't met, though his shots weren't as prevalent and though he only took one 3-point shot and scored all three of his points on a breakaway lay-up and one, sophomore point guard Josh Gasser remains confident.
In the grand scheme of things, Wednesday night's 70-42 win over Green Bay will likely go down as the anomaly to the norm.
"I don't think he's lost confidence," Ryan said. "I think people have recognized. He's a guy that's on everybody's scouting report now as far as shooting where maybe he wasn't before.
"That's probably more the case than anything else."
Leading into the Green Bay game, Gasser, who received his first scholarship offer from Brian Wardle and the Phoenix program, said he spent every day of the summer working on his shot.
Even with his one Wednesday night from distance, the sophomore shooter is still hitting better than 61 percent of his shots from downtown. At one point during this young season, Gasser was shooting well over 80 percent from beyond the arc.
His shot is there. His confidence is there.
It's going to take a lot more than one game where he only took three shots to derail that.
"I've been really confident all year about it," Gasser said. "At the same time I'm not forcing the issue and I'm taking good shots when I can. It's been working out well, but it's a short season so far.
"It's got a long way to go."
In fact, if Gasser's confidence was meant to be rattled following an 0-for-1 night from 3-point territory, what kind of shot would the team's confidence take after shooting a paltry 18 percent from the perimeter against Green Bay?
The answer is none, because the team still found a way to score 70 points against a team that features a 7-foot-1center as it's main player.
The point is that a team, and in this case a player, can be effective in a multitude of ways other than scoring. And Gasser has been scoring. He's just not hitting his shots from behind the line quite like he was to start the season.
"I've pretty much just shot it this year," Gasser said. "I've just gone out there and played. I think last year took a little bit of time for that to happen. Confidence is definitely a big thing with any player.
"Once you knock down a couple it's always nice."
Gasser has shot 47 times this season, making 23. Mike Bruesewitz (48), Ryan Evans (77), Ben Brust (83), Jared Berggren (86) and Jordan Taylor (101) have shot more than Gasser.
Of those guys one Berggren (.535) is shooting the ball better than Gasser.
There's no lack of confidence in Gasser's shot just because he's had a few games in a row where he hasn't scored at such a prevalent pace.
"You can't play this game and not believe when you shoot the ball it's going in," Ryan said. "Not anybody that I've known."
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