While Booker ended up having a decent game (4-7 from outside, perfect from the line, and 18 points to go along with some shaky play in the collapse), the whole thing got me thinking about the machinations of all things Ski, and how his performances affect the team. He is, after all, the team's leading scorer, bringing nearly 15 points per game to the table. Surely, the Buffs can't be afraid of using their leading scorer. His offensive efficiency is over 100, for the love of Tad!
I'm fond of tweeting "SKIBALL" after one of his rainbow makes, and the exclamation is more on the nose than you might think. In the game of skee - which, Dogma assures me, is God's favorite game - you always have the option of shooting at the tiny 100 holes in the upper corners. Unless you play every day, it's damn difficult to hit that shot consistently, but, when you do, the tickets come flying out. The flip side is, of course, that if you miss, the ball will rattle around before settling in the 10 hole at the bottom of the board (or, if you're drunk, you could miss the board entirely, cracking the plastic cover on your friend's lane). It's high risk, high reward. Such is life with both skee ball and SkiBall. If you want the tickets, you're going to have to take some chances. He's the BasketBuffs equivalent of Dave Kingman.
So, what about it? If Ski is "feeling it," is he more likely to jack up shots? Could a good first half hurt CU? Surprisingly, not really.
His stats are split evenly between what I'd call good and bad performances. He's been both above and below the 40% shooting mark seven times this season. The difference between those seven games? Only about one extra shot per contest. When he's under 40%, Ski has taken about 14 shots per game; when he's over, he has taken about 13. Essentially, he's an aggressive shooter, whether he's making them or not.
|When hot earlier this season, Ski carried the Buffs in Charleston. From: CUBuffs.com|
We think of Booker as mostly an outside shooter, and that is certainly a huge part of what makes him valuable, but he doesn't solely operate on the perimeter. His slashes at the rim are a large component of his offensive game (he's taken twice as many two-point attempts as three-point attempts). When opponents take away that component, turning him purely into a jump shooter, they limit both Ski and the Buffs. Think of the teams CU has lost to. Wyoming, Kansas, Arizona, and ASU all focused on cutting off transition and easy slashes at the hoop, forcing CU (and Ski) outside. Percentages dropped, possessions were wasted through frustration, and loses followed. It's a team-wide issue, but one that often manifests itself in ugly outside shots from Booker.
|Good things happen when Ski is able to attack the basket.|