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Pitt Basketball

Marcus Carr Working to Shake Shooting Slump



PITTSBURGH — There’s no hiding it. Pitt point guard Marcus Carr is in a 3-point shooting slump.

Carr, Pitt’s freshman ball handler, came to the Panthers with the reputation of a player that could be an outside scoring threat in addition to just a distributor, and he lived up to that reputation during the non-conference portion of Pitt’s schedule.

In Carr’s first 13 games with the Panthers, he shot 19 of 39 (48.7 percent) from beyond the three-point line. He averaged 1.5 made 3-pointers per game on an average of three attempts per game.

Since then, things have taken a sudden turn.

Carr has gone 4 for 28 (14.3 percent) from the floor in ACC play and hasn’t made a shot in five games. He’s 0 for 17 in that stretch, including a crucial miss in the waning moments against NC State on Wednesday.

Carr spent the time after Pitt’s heartbreaking loss to NC State on Wednesday getting up extra shots in the main floor of the Petersen Events Center.

Carr is working on a mechanical adjustment to his shot, head coach Kevin Stallings said on Thursday. Stallings and the staff noticed that Carr has been letting the ball slide off the pinky side of his hand on the release instead of rolling off the forefingers.

Stallings also said that there may be a confidence issue, as well. Carr has attempted 3.5 3-pointers per game in conference play, a slight increase. So he’s not afraid to let it fly. It may just be a lack of shooting with conviction.

“I think it’s a confidence issue, at times,” Stallings said. “He’s a pretty confident kid. He’s not scared to take a big shot and rightfully so, because he’s made some big shots.”

Carr isn’t the only player that has been hit or miss. Jared Wilson-Frame was 7 for 43 (16.3 percent) from 3-point range before going 3 of 9 on Wednesday. Parker Stewart has been hot but went 0 for 6 against the Wolfpack. Pitt has yet to get all of its outside shooters going at the same time.

“We have a number of guys whose shooting percentages are down and thus, the scoring droughts. When you look at some percentages, we think they’re better shooters than what their percentages say. They have been in practice. We just have to keep working with them, try to keep their confidence up and try to fix anything mechanically that might be wrong.”

Stewart will get a chance to get back in the saddle against Syracuse on Saturday. He set a career high with 23 points on 7 of 13 from 3-point range the last time out against the Orange. He’s not expecting to sneak up on them again.

“That’s for sure,” Stewart said. “I’m sure they’ll have some adjustments from last game, too, so I’ll have to adjust to that.”

Here’s the rest of Stewart’s remarks from Pitt’s Thursday afternoon media session.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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