Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Men’s basketball: Jordan Hill says he won’t let shooting struggles keep him down

After redshirting last season, Hill trying to find hot hand
Joey Reuteman

Jordan Hill is frustrated.

Before he even speaks, his eyes nearly say it for him, as well as the way he cocks his head back and sighs.

“I just got to make a shot,” he says.


For the last week or so, Hill hasn’t found the bottom of the hoop as consistently as he’d like. And for a point guard looking to crack the starting rotation and serve as junior Bronson Koenig’s backup, that’s not a good sign.

“Relax and let it fly,” Hill tells himself.

“I just got to stay out of my own head, just keep playing, do all the little things, just trying to make the game as easy as possible for myself,” he added.

Hill’s confidence has taken a beating lately. To get over that, he said, he has to keep believing in himself.

Sometimes he’ll talk to Nigel Hayes about his struggles, but for the most part, a shooting slump requires a mental fortitude to deal with it internally.

“I need to start putting the ball in,” Hill said. “And that’s what’s going to happen.”

Hill can also contribute on the defensive side of the floor, a big reason why the UW coaching staff took a liking to the under-recruited Pasadena, California native.

But a point guard is responsible for being the floor general of the offense, and let’s remember this isn’t any offense. Bo Ryan’s offense is meticulous and demands perfection. Hill has served as the lead scout team point guard for the last two seasons, but that doesn’t mean it will translate to the starting rotation, UW associate head coach Greg Gard said.

“He’s got to continue to be more consistent,” Gard said. “I think that’s the one thing with him — making sure shot selection is what we want. It’s a little different than being on the scout team.”

In addition, Gard said, Hill needs to be more aware on the court.

Hill realizes that his passing game needs work and has improved his ability to find the open man.

“That’s probably the biggest thing I have to work on,” Hill said. “I think I’ve come a long way. I’m still trying to make progress in that regard — just be smarter with the ball.”

During his freshman season, when the Badgers made their first of two consecutive Final Four runs, Hill appeared in 11 games and played just 25 minutes. Last season, he redshirted and didn’t play at all for the team that finished as a national finalist.

This season, though, Hill is aware it’s his first real chance at becoming a key contributor and playing meaningful minutes.

“I’ve been waiting since I got here. I’ve been wanting to do it since I knew I was coming here to play at this university,” Hill said. “I have a few years left, and I plan to make something happen this year, whether I’m shooting the ball well or not.”

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