Panthers still looking for offensive identity

After shooting 21 three pointers Friday night at Auburn, UW-Milwaukee ended Monday night’s game against Minnesota-Crookston with 28 attempts. The Panthers converted 12 of those 28 attempts but as the season moves forward and the schedule gets tougher, relying on the three-point shots could lead to some troubles for Milwaukee, especially with their best three-point shooter Austin Arians sidelined with an ankle injury.

Through the first two games of the season, Milwaukee is shooting 39% from three-point territory, shooting 19 for 49. After the game Panthers head coach Rob Jeter pointed to the defense played by Minnesota-Crookston as the reason behind so many three-point attempts by his team.

“That’s not how we try to play,” Jeter said. “I think it was the way they jammed the paint and really just gave us some shots from the outside and we even passed up a lot. I think we just took what was presented to us.”

The percentage Milwaukee is shooting after two games isn’t something to be concerned about, it’s just the amount of attempts. Milwaukee held a ten-point lead starting the second half of Monday night’s game, but went on a 13-0 run in the first six minutes to extend their lead to 23. Ten out of the 13 points scored during the run came from lay-ups or from the free throw lane. Jeter knows for the team to be successful this year they are going to need to figure out a way to consistently score from inside.

“The bigger question behind that is we do need to figure something out inside,” he said. “It’s not just the fact that we are shooting three’s, we have to make sure to get something in the paint and that’s the work in progress for this team as we progress. When we get more production from inside we’ll be a better team.”

Another area that will allow Milwaukee not to rely on making three’s is creating turnovers. The Panthers were only able to create ten turnovers that led to seven points Monday night. With this year’s team being so quick and athletic, points off turnovers will be another key to the team’s success moving forward.

Milwaukee has two more opportunities this week to improve on their inside production as they take on IUPUI Wednesday night at Panther Arena and then Oklahoma State on Friday in Stillwater.

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