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Tyreke Evans once had a jumper, Calipari may have lost it, now Reke wants it back

Aug 31, 2010, 3:59 PM EDT

Thumbnail image for Evans_3.jpgYou’ve seen the video from this summer: Tyreke Evans in the gym just knocking down three after three.

But have you seen the video of Tyreke Evans just knocking down jumpers from high school?

Sam Amick of FanHouse has, because he was in Evans’ house when the brothers that have always been by Evans’ side showed it to him. While Evans was watching, they were all at Evans home.

It’s a fantastic bit of reporting (go read the entire thing), giving a little depth to the “Evans is in the gym working on his jumper” reports that we hear about seemingly every player this time of year.

Evans could drain the three in high school but shot just 27 percent from deep in his one year at Memphis and 25 percent last year with the Kings. He got away with it because he can get into the lane and to the rim as well as anyone (he took 8.4 shots a game at the rim last season, 7.9 from everywhere else combined). But that drive is so much more effective if you can make teams fear the outside shot.

What happened to it?

His brothers blame John Calipari. As they see it, the then-Memphis coach scared the confidence right out of Evans, gnawing on his ear every time the he dared to shoot a jumper instead of blowing by the line of helpless defenders. The style worked just fine for the Tigers, who went 33-4 and lost to Missouri in the third round of the NCAA Championships in Evans’ one season.

Now, however, those closest to Evans say it’s working against him.

“I don’t blame anybody, but I think coach Cal looked at is like, ‘Hey, you know what? This kid can get to the basket any time he wants, so let’s play him to his strength,” said Tony Bergeron, Evans’ coach at the Aston, Pa. high school. “(But) I used to have a fit watching his Memphis games. I’d be screaming at the TV, saying ‘Shoot!'”

Now there’s the question of confidence. Early on next season NBA teams are going to dare Evans to take and make the jumper, to really prove he can do it under fire. If it starts to fall that will change, and Evans will have to pick when to shoot and when to drive. A couple missed shots one game and he could revert to form.

It’s a process. But Evans gets that what he needs to do next is add a jumper to his arsenal. Or, more accurately, go find the one he had.

  1. sexy rexy - Aug 31, 2010 at 5:00 PM

    ok…first of all Tyreke didn’t lose his jumper. He just was never consistent with it. I hate Calipari, but why shouldn’t he have had Tyreke work on his strength which was bull rushing the rim? He didn’t turn out so bad eh?

  2. David - Aug 31, 2010 at 6:16 PM

    Agree with the first poster. I would have done the same thing as Cal. The dude has an obvious advantage going to the rim, and Cal made him use it first and foremost. It’s a strategy that resulted in him being the 4th overall pick and rookie of the year. Dwyane Wade would probably tell Reke that it can take him even further, too.

  3. stevefrom LA - Sep 1, 2010 at 4:30 AM

    His brothers don’t know what they are talking about. They had him shoot that off balance jumper, that is why Cal had him go to basket. He leans back way to far and I saw it in the McDonald’s game and that was before he got to Memphis.
    When he stops leaning back so far and goes up consistently he will never have a good J. His brothers need to step off and hire a shooting coach.

  4. Darrin - Sep 1, 2010 at 8:30 AM

    I totally agree with all three posters. After all Tyreke was the NBA rookie of the year, which he probably wouldn’t have been if Cal had not instilled in him the confidence & determination to get to the rim. He would not be the player he is now by shooting a subpar jumper. If he can improve his jumper (and he will) it will make him very difficult to defend. But the brothers do not need to ignorantly blame Calipari for that.

  5. Dave - Sep 1, 2010 at 8:39 AM

    If Tyreke had shot more jumpers in college, he’d still be at Memphis. Instead, he’s rich.

  6. Jd - Sep 1, 2010 at 3:05 PM

    Lmao Dave, you hit the nail on the head

  7. mojo - Sep 1, 2010 at 3:23 PM

    We appear to have a consensus. Don’t understand what they’re crying about. Tyreke’s unstoppable right now. Once he gains confidence hitting the outside shot, look out.

  8. ray - Sep 1, 2010 at 8:20 PM

    Those jumpers improve with time. Be the number one pick right now (John Wall).

  9. Austin - Sep 1, 2010 at 9:42 PM

    Completely agree, why stray away from your bread and butter. Look at the guards selected in the 1st round every year. 95% have problems with consistency with their outside jumper. They are selected upon athletic ability because you can develop a respectable jumper in the league. You don’t have to be a 25% 3pt shooter to be elite. If you can create your own shot and get to the rim at will than why give up 75% of your points and try to prove that your something your not.

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