When the Michigan State and Wisconsin men's basketball teams take the court tonight at the Kohl Center in Madison (and in UW's following games), we'll get a chance to see if Badgers forward Keaton Nankivil can continue his recent hot stretch of three-point shooting.
Last Thursday at Purdue, Nankivil made an astonishing 7-of-8 from behind the arc. What makes this accomplishment so amazing is that in no previous game this season had Nankivil made more than two treys; further, in the 20 Badger games before the Purdue contest, he had attempted more than three three-pointers only four times (see page 15 of tonight's game notes).
Last year, Nankivil did have a game in which he shot 5-for-5 on threes (also against Purdue), which is all the more noteworthy because he made only nine shots from behind the arc in the 2008-09 season.
In part, Nankivil's increased shooting of late may be a response to teammate Jon Leuer's being out due to injury. Whether Nankivil can become a steady three-point threat, or is just showing signs of becoming college basketball's version of Hee-Seop Choi (a baseball player whose brief major-league career included one three-game series in which he hit six home runs) remains to be seen.