Missouri women's basketball freshman is a three-point sharpshooter

Sunday, November 11, 2012 | 4:09 p.m. CST; updated 4:33 p.m. CST, Sunday, November 11, 2012
Maddie Stock, a freshmen on the MU women's basketball team, controls the ball during Friday's game. Stock scored 11 points in Missouri's regular season opener against Saint Louis University, making three of 11 attempted three-pointers.

COLUMBIA — It starts with a slight bend in the knees and a flick of the wrist. 

As the ball rolls off Maddie Stock's fingertips, her teammates rise off the bench, all as one.

Their eyes follow the arc of the ball. It spins and spins and spins, its perfect rotation captivating the arena. 

Without so much as touching the rim, the ball finally slides through the basket, falling to the hardwood floor effortlessly. Her teammates rejoice. 

The boxed-out defenders under the rim relax. There will be no rebound to battle over this time. 

It's a sequence Stock is used to: a quick, easy delivery resulting in three points for her team.

She did it 260 times for St. Joseph's Academy, the most of any high school girls' basketball player in the history of the Saint Louis area. 

The freshman is a part of the reason that Missouri women's basketball coach Robin Pingeton was confident when she told the team's supporters not to worry about the offense after a poor shooting performance in its first exhibition game. 

In the next exhibition game, Stock made good on Pingeton's promises with 18 points. Fifteen came from behind the three-point arc.

She chipped in with 11 more points in Missouri's regular season opener against Saint Louis University, making three of 11 attempted three-pointers. 

Pingeton sees the positives. A smooth release that she thinks is the quickest on the team. The confidence to attempt big shots, even on nights when they're not falling her way.

Pingeton also sees the negatives. After four years of playing zone defense in high school, Stock has had to adjust to the foreign terminology of Missouri's man-to-man coverage.

"I think when you're out there as a player and you've got to think through some of that, it makes you a step slow," Pingeton said. 

But when the ball is in Stock's hands, there's hardly ever any hesitation.

"That's really all I do," Stock said of the three-point shot. "Not all I do. But it's what I like to do." 

On a team that attempted 36 three-pointers in its regular season opener, Stock hopes to continue to be a consistent force from long range.

"I never really practice threes, even through high school, I never did," Stock said. "I work on getting good form, so that when I do shoot a three, hopefully it goes in."

When it does, her teammates jump off the bench to rejoice. When Stock's shot is falling, it makes life a little easier on the whole team. 

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