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Archive for Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Kansas’ Miles shooting for improvement

October 23, 2002

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Aaron Miles, best known for his passing, spent a good portion of his summer shooting.

Kansas University's point guard hopes to improve on his 40.4 shooting percentage from last year when he helped the Jayhawks win the Big 12 Conference title and reach the Final Four as a true freshman.

"Coach (Roy) Williams wanted me to shoot a lot to make sure I'd have confidence for this year," said Miles, who made 79.3 percent of his free-throw attempts but only 28.9 of his three-pointers. "That's the biggest thing."

After attending the early session of KU's summer school in June, Miles went home to Oregon and worked out with high school and KU teammate Michael Lee at Portland Community College along with other Portland products, including Arizona's Salim Stoudamire and Missouri's Thomas Gardner.

Miles (6-foot-1, 175 pounds) tried to make 300 shots a day as he prepared for his sophomore season.

"I'm not going to look to score," Miles said, emphasizing the word look. "Last year I was a little tentative. During the NCAA Tournament I learned spots where I should shoot and where I can do certain things. I know shots I should be taking and shots I shouldn't be taking. I'm not going to be out there forcing things."

Miles averaged 7.1 points per game last year. That number is likely to climb this season as the Jayhawks try to fill the scoring void created by the departures of forward Drew Gooden and guard Jeff Boschee.

Aaron Miles worked hard this summer to improve his shooting.

Aaron Miles worked hard this summer to improve his shooting.

"My guess is he will score more just because of the jump in confidence from freshman to sophomore year," Williams said. "I don't need Aaron to score more. His assist-to-error ratio as a freshman was outstanding. I'd like it to get it even better."

Miles finished 2001-02 with 252 assists and 112 turnovers. His assist total broke Jacque Vaughn's KU freshman record set in 1994 and was the second-highest total in school history behind Cedric Hunter's 278 in 1986.

Miles improved as the season went on, too. He had 119 of his assists in conference play against only 31 turnovers. His 6.8 assists per game led the team and ranked second in the conference, helping him earn a place on the league's all-freshman team.

As with his shooting, Miles said he expects to improve his ballhandling.

"My expectations are higher," he said. "My confidence has grown. Last year in the tournament I grew a lot and learned places where I can score and where to get the ball in and what my teammates like to do on the court."

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