Khy Kabellis and Malik Clements have had a whirlwind of a season so far with the men’s basketball team.
Through the first 19 games, North Dakota State has played a Big Ten team in its second game of the 2015-2016 season. And then a Big 12 squad 16 days later, which resulted in a 20-point loss. The team even took a stroll down Bourbon Street in New Orleans. NDSU experienced a four-game winning streak in the month of December and suffered a back-to-back losing streak against Summit League opponents.
“It’s crazy just seeing parts of the country like I’ve never seen before,” Kabellis, a true freshman said. “It’s just a great experience especially being able to be with great guys and play basketball.”
But those long travels haven’t helped Kabellis and Clements knock down three-pointers for the Bison.
Clements is shooting 28.8 percent from beyond the arc, and hasn’t made two or more three-point shots since the game against University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, nearly a month ago.
In his last 11 games, Clements has made just eight of out his 29 three-point attempts.
“That’s leading to nothing that the defense is doing,” the true sophomore said. “I think its just me on myself, and when my shot isn’t falling I think that I need to be more aggressive and take the ball to basket and draw fouls.”
But in his last four games he’s seen limited minutes, seeing the court only 5.5 minutes per game.
It’s a different story with Kabellis.
In his last four games, he’s played 30 minutes or more, including a game against University of South Dakota where he was on the court for 40 minutes.
Poor shooting is also obvious in his game.
Kabellis is shooting 28.8 percent from the three-point line this season and struggled in his first 14 games wearing the Bison uniform, making nine out of 42 three point shots (21.4 percent).
Since being thrown into the starting lineup, though, the California kid has made 10 of his 24 three-point attempts in the last five games.
“I feel comfortable with it,” Kabellis said about his role and game play. “I’m just going to do whatever the team needs me to do and try and do it to the best of my abilities.”
And Kabellis and Clements are doing their best in the season of first’s for the both of them.
First shot made, first turnover, first foul committed, for example.
And with a few departures from the team, the younger student-athletes are showing signs of improvement.
But with Carlin Dupree leaving the team, the two young guards (Kabellis and Clements), who are trying to adjust to the game need to make the next step up the student-athlete three-point shooting ladder.
Because even though NDSU is on a two-game winning streak, its next three games are on the road, and Kabellis and Clements are shooting 31 percent (24 for 77) combined in away gyms this season.