Joseph improves outside shot

Syracuse forward Kris Joseph is on a roll.

Over the past two games, Joseph has averaged 26 points per game on a combined 17-for-25 from the field and 5-for-8 shooting from 3-point land. In Syracuse’s Big East opener against Providence, Joseph scored a career-high 27 points to go along with five rebounds and four assists.

“Especially early Kris got going,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. “He got some good looks and knocked them down.”

Joseph has set career highs in points in each of the last two games.

“Coming into this game after having a career-high last game, I definitely have the confidence,” Joseph said. “The shots were falling, and that opened up a lot of things for me, going to the basket or what not.”

Joseph has already built the reputation as a slasher and finisher, but this season, the junior has also developed his outside shot. After shooting 26 and 22 percent from distance in his first two seasons, Joseph is shooting 35 percent this year.

Joseph attributes his improved range to assistant coach Rob Murphy, who has had Joseph shooting with a larger basketball of the same weight.

“He’s been making me shoot with a big basketball before and after practice and before games,” Joseph said. “I have to shoot with the big ball before I touch a regular one.”

It is the same method Murphy used with former Syracuse forward Donte Greene, who now plays for the Sacramento Kings. In his only year at SU, Greene set a freshman record with 90 3-pointers.

“He was a pretty good shooter when he was here,” Joseph said. “I want to follow in those footsteps and become a better shooter from beyond the arc.”

So far, it seems to have worked.

“A big ball like that, the only way it goes in is if you swish it,” Joseph said. “You know you have to be really precise and shoot it over and over again.”

Wesley Cheng is the Editor in Chief for The Juice Online.

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Wes has worked for covering the New York Knicks, as well as for covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also been a contributing writer for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), for SportsNet New York (SNY) as a news desk writer covering all of New York professional sports, and reported on the NBA and MLB for the New York Sportscene. A native of Long Island, New York, Wes graduated from Syracuse University in 2005 with a degree in journalism. Contact him at wes[at]