We've all seen players go into slumps, it happens in just about every sport and sometimes it happens to even the best of players and there's no denying that right now Ryan Evans is in a shooting funk the likes of which we haven't seen from him in his career.
Sometimes those slumps are mechanical in nature, sometimes they are mental and according to Badgers head coach Bo Ryan it's the later fro Evans.
"It's in his head right now," coach Ryan said at his Monday press conference. "No kidding. I didn't give you a news flash there."
Whatever the mental block at least Evans isn't backing down or giving up and sometimes the only way to work through a slump is to keep on doing what you're doing. Case in point Mason Crosby and his clutch performance this weekend for the Packers, busting himself out of a huge slump by just continuing to kick field goals.
Sorry for the Packers reference, but the point is that perhaps there's not as much to worry about with a player that's at least putting in the effort and not giving up mentally or physically. Especially one that hasn't stopped doing what he needs to do to help this team and in Evans' case that's staying aggressive and trying to get to the free throw line.
""I've seen some guys that won't (stay aggressive), but, no, he still makes his post moves. No, he hasn't backed away from that because he knows he can't. Being a senior and being a guy that the team is counting on."
So, what's the answer?According to coach Ryan it's certainly not yelling at the guy until he gets going.
"MAKE SHOTS," yelled coach Ryan sarcastically. "How many years have I told you you can't yell somebody into making shots. But you don't — I mean, yelling isn't the only way to get a point across."
Ryan's woes are really evident by the fact that he hasn't been able to hit free throws to save his life right now. He's just 14-44 (31.8%) on the season and it seems as if the team, who just a year ago shot 73.9%, has followed suit a bit at the line as the Badgers are just 62.8% from the line.
Only Jared Berggren, Traevon Jackson and Zak Showalter are shooting over 75% individually and Jackson and Showalter have attempted just 13 and 14 free throws a piece. So the evidence says this slump thing could be a bit contagious throughout the team, but is that something coach Ryan believes is happening?
" It starts a trend, and people like to be trendy if you're making them," he said. "I mentioned before, the year that we led the nation and almost set the record, the all time record was the guys getting to the line was the guys that could shoot free throws really well and were very confident — Leuer, Jordan, guys like that.
"So if those are the guys getting to the line, Ryan's getting to the line. And once he starts making them, it's going to help us."
Only time, practice, and game shooting will get him out of his slump, but it's clear that is affecting how this team plays and the sooner the better in terms of seeing the Ryan Evans we all witnessed last season versus the one that's playing right now.