Besides the three-point arc, Kansas University guard Kirk Hinrich is wary of another fine line how much to shoot.
Hinrich's efficiency while taking only a handful of shots showed up again Saturday night in Kansas' 92-69 win against Tulsa at Allen Fieldhouse.
"I've been taking good shots all year," said Hinrich, who finished with 15 points. "I think I've done a pretty good job of waiting until I'm open and then taking smart shots."
Hinrich hit five of eight shots, including tying a career high with five three-pointers. He hit the first three quicker than you could say "Kirk Hinrich." He hit his third trey 5:45 into the game, giving Kansas a 18-13 lead and giving the crowd a reason to warm up as it jumped to a standing ovation.
"The ball feels real good coming off my hand," Hinrich said. "It's been like that all year."
There's a few reasons for that. Hinrich said his ability to get open shots is correlated to how well Kansas is playing inside. Dumping the ball down low to big scorers like Drew Gooden (21 points), Eric Chenowith (24) and Nick Collison (19) is allowing for easy kick-back passes to him for wide-open looks.
"I can get a lot of good passes because of how well they're scoring inside," Hinrich said. "Teams are clogging the paint, and the guards are open on the wings if they need to give the ball back."
Also, Hinrich, a sophomore, is a year more confident shooting the ball and in better shape. Shooting regularly in the vast Fieldhouse, as opposed to a regular high school gym with no backdrop, has made the optical illusion obsolete.
"At first it's a little weird, but you stop thinking about it after awhile," Hinrich said. "I had played in arenas before coming here, but it does mess with your shot a little at first."
Despite playing large numbers of minutes 36 last night and 39 Tuesday at DePaul Hinrich is not losing his legs to fatigue.
"It's so much easier to shoot when your legs aren't hurting," he said.
This season Hinrich is 20-for-31 (64.5 percent) from three-point range. Last year he shot 28.9 percent (13 of 45) from behind the arc.
As well as he's shooting in microbatches, it could be tempting for him to start firing up more shots. Hinrich insists that thought has not crossed his mind. He still prefers to pass the ball, as shown by his six assists against the Golden Hurricanes.
"I'll keep taking them as long as I'm open," he said. "If I'm not, I really have no reason to shoot the ball more. I think my first responsibility is still to move the ball around. As well as the guys inside are playing right now, we'd be stupid not to keep going there."