I have a four year old daughter and I like basketball, so the K-State Women’s team provides me with a win/win situation. Lily gets to run around, sing, dance and occasionally watch basketball in the sparsely populated general admission bleachers while I watch basketball and munch on some popcorn. I can usually snag free tickets, so for the price of parking I get two hours of entertainment, it’s one of the best deals going in my opinion. I highly recommend it to anyone with young kids. It’s a great experience.
So far this season, I’ve watched two vastly different games. In the opener against Fort Hays State, both teams were awful. So awful in fact, that I had a hard time looking away, because you never knew what sort of heinous insult to the purity of basketball was coming next. I realize that K-State was playing without their best player (Kayla Goth) but both teams made simple things look exceedingly difficult. It was like watching an adult struggle to tie their shoelaces for two hours.
The one player on the court that caught my eye was number 43. I snagged a program from a lady in the row behind me and found out her name was Christianna Carr and that she was a true freshman from Manhattan. I was intrigued.
Now don’t get me wrong, she was playing just as poorly as everyone else, but at least she was doing it with confidence. She had a noticeable swagger to her game, even though she couldn’t throw it in the ocean (2-15) and was spraying passes all over the court (6 TOs). While the rest of the team appeared to be shooting the ball because there is a time limit to offensive possessions and around the 28 second mark the rules dictate that someone has to heave the ball in the general vicinity of the goal, Carr was hunting her shot and letting it go with confidence....they just weren’t dropping.
Fast forward to the second exhibition game against Pittsburg State and the shots that weren’t dropping against Fort Hays (and sometimes weren’t even coming close) were gliding smoothly through the rim. Carr was hot from the outside (6-12), and at one point broke off a step back 3 that James Harden would envy. Her footwork was perfect and she knew it was going in before she let it go.
Not only was she bombing away from 3, she was also taking it to the rack with conviction, scoring on an array of layups from different angles. She only shot one free throw on the night because she was shaking her defender so hard they weren’t even in a position to foul her as she attacked the basket. Carr finished the game with 27 points, going 10/20 from the field, and the Wildcats easily dispatched Pittsburg State 65-50.
As I mentioned above, the best thing about Carr’s game is her unshakable confidence. It’s weird, but bad players don’t go 2-15 in a game because they stop shooting. Good players, on occasion, can put up astoundingly bad numbers because they are absolutely sure the next shot is going to fall, and when it doesn’t, it gives them even more certainty that the next one is going to drop.
As an unrepentant chucker with significantly less game than Carr, I appreciate her work, and I’m excited to see how she progresses throughout the season, and her career. She’s probably going to put up a clunker in the box score every now and again, but she also has the potential to go off for 30+ on any given night.
Christianna Carr is the real deal, and Lily and I will be in attendance next Monday night to see what she can do against Omaha in the official home opener. You should join us.