In the first part of a three part series, Ian Nolan chats with three of the best shooters in the Atlantic 10 Conference about the art of shooting. Leading off the series is Xavier senior guard Brad Redford who opened up his final season by coming out on fire; 6-7 from three for 19 points in just 17 minutes of action off the bench. Redford has long been one of thee best shooters (if not the best) in the league and should see an expanded role this season with a young Musketeers club.
Check back over the next week for conversations with Rotnei Clarke of Butler and Langston Galloway of Saint Joseph’s.
Nolan: From who or where did you learn to shoot?
Brad Redford: Mostly just trial and error. I loved playing the game and was constantly in the gym or shooting outside growing up. I worked with a few coaches on footwork and steps to quicken my release point but most of that work was done on my own.
Redford may be the league’s best shooter from deep. Credit: Xavier University
Nolan: How much of shooting is mental to you? Do you always think your shot is going in regardless of past shots or does a lot depend on being “hot”?
BR: Mental state is huge before entering a game. Good shooters have ultimate confidence in their abilities and trust their repetition and hours spent in the gym. That being said slumps do happen and it’s important to not get down and stay in the gym. All shooters love it when they find their zone.
Nolan:When you practice shooting on your own, at what distance do you usually practice from?
BR: I shoot at all levels. I begin close to the basket and work my way out to the perimeter.
Nolan: What shooters do you enjoy watching in the NBA?
BR: Kyle Korver, Ray Allen, J.J. Redick are my favorite shooters in the NBA to watch work.
Nolan: What are you favorite arenas to shoot in inside the Atlantic 10 and why?
BR: Obviously at Cintas Center because that’s my home gym. George Washington and Dayton are also good for shooters. They each have good backdrops behind the basket.
Nolan: What is your favorite spot on the floor to spot up from?
BR: Wherever I can get a clean look. Not concerned with where it’s at.
Nolan: What was the hottest you’ve ever been since entering college?
BR: Just some games that come to mind: Freshman year – against St. Bonaventure (4-8 from three), Robert Morris (5-8), and Dayton (3-6) at home. Sophomore year – At Kansas State (2-4), Bowling Green at home (4-5). Junior year was at Charlotte (3-5).
Nolan: Does it matter to you if a team is playing zone/man/match-up/pressing, etc.? Are you unaffected by that?
BR: No, it doesn’t change my shooting mentality at all.
Nolan: Most threes you’ve ever hit in a row in practice/workout?
BR: 78 in a row shooting around after a practice with my dad.
Nolan:Is there a spot on the floor that you consider “too” far to pull up from? Or is there no limit given how you feel?
BR: Half court is definitely too far…..But I feel comfortable 6-8 feet behind the line.
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