Tum Tum looking to pick up his offensive game
After he turned in a 13-point performance for Michigan State in a 75-74 overtime win over Minnesota on Tuesday, Lourawls “Tum Tum” Nairn now looks to find some consistency on offense, after struggling through his last few games.
“I haven’t played well the last few games,” Nairn admitted following Tuesday’s game.
In the Spartans’ six games since the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament last month, Nairn has averaged 2.7 points on 38.9 percent shooting.
However, despite the criticism of his offense, Nairn said he plans to continue to be aggressive and do whatever coach Tom Izzo needs him to do.
“I don’t care what anybody says about my game,” he said. “I’m a Division I basketball player. I know I can play basketball. I can care less about what people say about me. I’m a winner and that’s all I want to do.”
With the Spartans trailing by 13 at halftime against Minnesota, Nairn scored 11 of his 13 points, including a pair of three-pointers late in the shot clock. He also kept the defense off balance with his constant penetration into the lane.
According to Nairn, coach Izzo wants him to become a threat in transition, which would open up shooters on the wing for open jumpers.
“If I continue to push and push and push in transition, the defense is definitely going to wear down,” Nairn said. “Once they wear down, I can get in there and kick out to our shooters and make plays for my teammates. I definitely have to be a threat in transition. Now they don’t just have to worry about just getting back, they have to worry about me getting to the basket.”
This season, Nairn has shot more three-pointers than all of his other seasons combined at Michigan State. He’s now 7-18 on the year (38.9 percent) after going 2-5 on Tuesday.
“It gives you a lot of confidence and you continue to trust the process and trust what you work on,” Nairn said of seeing those long-distance shots fall. “Last year, Bryn (Forbes) was the best shooter in the country, but he shot every day. It’s not just a one-time thing; you have to do it consistently. All it does is give you confidence to want to work on your game and helps to continue to put yourself in a better position.”
Nairn’s breakout offensive game came just days after he was taken out of the starting lineup due to some stiffness in his left foot.
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